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JumpyTheFrog

Kids Who Need to Be Kept Very Busy

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Does anyone else here have kids whose behavior and attitude fall apart rapidly if they have too much free or unstructured time? My 11 year old's gymnastics schedule has changed and he now only has practice three days per week instead of four and it is becoming a problem.

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Does anyone else here have kids whose behavior and attitude fall apart rapidly if they have too much free or unstructured time? My 11 year old's gymnastics schedule has changed and he now only has practice three days per week instead of four and it is becoming a problem.

 

Yes. We have always kept several math streams running parallel as a result. Mine will get cranky and anxious when there is not enough mental stimulation.

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Physically tired doesn't help for my kids. They catch a nap and then they are recharged. Mentally tired is the only thing that guarantees a good night sleep for DS12.

A car ride cures insomnia for DS11 since he was a newborn, still works even on trains and planes.

 

Yes. We have always kept several math streams running parallel as a result. Mine will get cranky and anxious when there is not enough mental stimulation.

Same here for DS12 except it is math and sciences.

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Oh my, yes. 

 

When mental stimulation isn't high enough, we spiral into some very challenging anxiety and OCD-ish behaviours.

My theory is that her brain starts seeking stimulation, albeit in unhealthy ways.

 

I've ridden this wave with my daughter (11) enough times now to know that it will pass, but I need to up, up, up the mental challenge, and this needs to happen 7 days a week. 

 

For us, it's not so much about physical energy. It's the mental energy that needs to be used up in healthy ways.

 

 

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Yes, although here a combination of physical and mental works best. The best thing I ever found out about was unlimited class contracts for one monthly fee.

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Yep. Mine thrives on structure and input. If I feed him enough when he needs it, he plays and dabbles independently on his own time. When I hit that sweet spot he is just delightful. When I don't? Not so much.

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One thing we do in the summer is study halls-take work and go elsewhere for several hours. It's amazing how much a few hours in the college library or a coffee shop does.

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Maybe I need to increase our trips to the library. Once or twice a week doesn't seem to be enough.

When the library was closed for Memorial Day, we spent the day at Barnes & Noble. My kids won't the only children spending the day reading there until 10pm. There were also teens and adults studying at the cafe there. We are at the library almost everyday from opening time especially during the hot summer.

 

ETA:

My kids didn't need as much social time as I did. My days as a kid was packed 6am to 10pm daily before I was contended. I was latchkey and public transport was great so that helps.

Edited by Arcadia

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Ah, I've struggled with this the last two weeks. My kids begged for "summer vacation" like "all the other kids." So I said fine. And I put them in swim classes four days a week and either gymnastics or taekwondoe another day each week, and decided to use that time to plan for next school year, and the rest of the day is free time for them. But I've had more meltdowns in the last two weeks than in the three previous months combined. Sigh. I want to cut the summer break, but I told them we wouldn't start back up again until after July 4th.

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Ah, I've struggled with this the last two weeks. My kids begged for "summer vacation" like "all the other kids." So I said fine. And I put them in swim classes four days a week and either gymnastics or taekwondoe another day each week, and decided to use that time to plan for next school year, and the rest of the day is free time for them. But I've had more meltdowns in the last two weeks than in the three previous months combined. Sigh. I want to cut the summer break, but I told them we wouldn't start back up again until after July 4th.

Yes, I have found we have to do school constantly to avoid trouble. When he was in 3rd grade, I had to even end weekends off in the fall. We ended up with 267 days of school that year. Now we have weekends off. Thanksgiving and Christmas are the only planned holidays off. We'll hit 220 days or so for this year.

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Yes, ever since she was born.

But, as DD gets older (almost 12 now), I struggle mightily with *my* role in keeping her busy. As in, I was hoping she would have an internal compass by now that points her to the problem of intellectual stimulation and seek it out *without* my help.  Maybe I should include this in her life skill goals to meet, for this year. :p  :D

 

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I can take breaks for 5-10 days if not otherwise occupied. We can totally break while traveling or she if she is actively engaged in day camps. Anything else makes life suck.

 

When a particular subject gets too frustrating, we can break from that subject, but not school as a whole. And we most likely break from the subject with nontraditional choices, not an absence of the subject.

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I have one like that. He needs to be busy all the time or he drives everyone crazy. 

9 years old next month and still having 3 different types of sports. Started at 3yo. For the last 3 years he gets cash for his birthdays, which he spends on his activities, sport equipment and books.

Edited by rushhush08

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My Dd is like that and has two sports. She drives people nuts if not busy. She is very athletic and tomboyish though.

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Yes and it took me until this year to realize it. I kept giving him more freedom and moving towards unschooling and it wasn't helping. Once I loaded up the academics and activities we got back to manageable.

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