Menu
Jump to content

What's with the ads?

Gil

Wrangling the Hyper/Mischevious/Prankster/Spunky child without strangling the poor kid.

Recommended Posts

If you have raised a spunky, spirited, mischievous, fun-loving, hyper-active, prank-loving kid who has way more energy than good-sense, let's talk.

Note: Malicious and mean are not on the list. This kid is a handful, but there isn't a mean-bone in his body. He may accidentally break stuff on occassion, but he isn't destructive.
He's just...a lot. He just doesn't have an off-switch. He never gets tired. He has a wicked sense of humor and can be very impulsive.

What clever parenting tips or life style hacks have you come up with to help wrangle that beloved individual before you had to strangle him? (metaphorically speaking of course.)

He isn't a mean or malicious kid, but dammit is he...a lot. He's a live-wire energy wise. He

  • gets rigorous exercise at least twice every day
  • plays sports both team and individual
  • has personal time
  • has 1-1 parent time
  • has academics that are leveled as appropriately for him as I'm able to get them
  • has limits and boundaries and clearly defined consequences for when he exceeds or violates them
  • doesn't eat junk, dyes, preservatives, etc.
  • is a fairly happy kid

He is 11 and still very much a kid. He loves to play. And play. And play. And play. And play. And when he's done, he wants to play some more.

When I say "stop playing" deep down he hears "change the game".

I have come to the conclusion that he isn't trying to be "bad". He just...hears a different drum. He is so very energetic, he has a wonderful sense of humor. He is going to be such a wonderfully interesting adult and probably a great parent. There is a lot about him that is good. But he is he is wearing me out.

What outlet have you found effective for the live-wire kids energy?

 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am absolutely convinced that Calvin and Hobbes and the webcomic Stuffed are the most honest depiction of what living with a high energy, highly creative kid is like out there. 

What worked best here (along with all the things you listed above) is to provide lots of creative outlets and projects. For DD, channeling her energy into her blogging, outreach projects, making art projects for auctions and to sell to benefit organizations and stuff liked that helped a lot. Getting her with adults who loved her enthusiasm and energy, and could keep up with her for a few hours took pressure off me. I know you have already ramped academics way, way, up, but finding outlets to share with other people, like competitions, conferences, talks, etc helped a lot. Having adults who took her seriously helped a lot. At age 10, she also started going to summer programs that were designed for gifted kids, which gave ME a vacation that I sorely needed. 

And ultimately, puberty happened. The high energy kid became a much more self contained, often moody teen. 

  • Like 4

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Not for lack of trying or exposure, but he doesn't have any particular passion. He enjoys learning new things.
He likes to tinker and build things or learn new things--like juggling or stilt walking, etc, but I wouldn't label those things as "passions".


I've tried to get him "into things", and he enjoys the exposure and he learns the basics and gets "pretty good" at various things within a short amount of time, but nothings caught him up just yet. He is not competitive. He does really enjoy winning--and he usually wins but even if he doesn't he does perform very well when he participates in a contest, but he isn't driven by competition.

He has mastered the art and science of "getting his work done" so when he works on personal interest projects say for music or video games he works efficiently and the projects don't steadily consume large chunks of his time. It might be a big time sink for a weekend or so, and then "blip" over that hump and smooth sailing from there. Or if he's stuck, we're stuck and the project gets set aside for a few weeks or longer.

His brother found a passion/hobby that he's able to invest large amounts of his free time too and enjoys. This hobby keeps him creatively and constructively occupied and out of trouble for an hour or two most days. Unfortunately it leaves LiveWire with even more time to "find something to do".   You know the saying about Idle Hands...

Plus, he's very imaginative. Very. Yes, Calvin is a good example. He's daydreaming his way through an adventure and not paying the other people any attention whatsoever. None.

The only thing that I've found helpful for keeping him grounded in the moment is putting him in a leadership position. On his own, like for school or a movie he can concentrate/focus for only about an 1h15m, but when he's "in charge" of smaller kids, he's on his A-game for hours on end. He's amazing with toddlers and smaller kids. He's like the Pied Piper almost, little kids adore him, everyone calls him The Baby Whisperer. He does well with people much older than him, or much younger than him. He can take or leave his same-age peers though.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Tutoring? My son of a similar age is amazing with small kids and helps tutor them: it is interesting how much he can get them to do by just encouraging and saying “you did a great job”. Can he get an opportunity to be an assistant to a teacher? 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

The is sounds like my 2nd DS to a T. Leadership qualities and very into communicating and creating. I often told him to go outside and run around the house 5 times, then put him "in charge" of something. Maybe that was researching vacation destinations for an upcoming trip, maybe it was helping his younger sisters learn magic tricks and helping them stage a magic show, whatever. Anything where he gets to use his creativity and call the shots. 

If it helps you have any hope, now that he's a senior he is able to be amazingly focused on his own projects, as long as he's internally motivated by them. He teaches speech to our speech and debate club, he competes in Lincoln Douglas debate, he directs and manages a middle school drama troupe, he chooses music for our church holiday programs, he composes and arranges and performs his own music, and he shoots and edits videos.

His energy drains me sometimes, but he is a spectacularly fun person to be around 🙂

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have a kid like this so grain of salt.  Can you get him involved in "serious" issues?  Something like helping the underserved or the environment, or tackling big problems?  Maybe something like that will give him a direction for his energies and perhaps sober him up?  And I don't mean to imply he needs to change, but maybe understanding the problems of the world will encourage him to become a more thoughtful person?  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

If he’s great with younger and older people, how about some intensive volunteering with one or both groups?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This may not be what you're looking for, but balance boards.  Getting him to do that while doing something else is key.  Dh and I just found a more intensive one (a board on a canister) to replace some of the more childish ones we have with mazes.

Also, scouting worked wonders for my oldest.  The leaders of his great troop told us straight off to be prepared for the unexpected because they learn through mistakes.  He'd come home after a weekend missing his mess kit, with holes burned in his jeans, and melted sneakers, but alive and worn out.  By age 13-14, the maturity started to sink in and slow him down.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

scouting worked for mine.  The SM had plenty of projects that needed a leader and the lad had exposure to a lot of hobby/sports/opportunities in life. summer camp counselor, lifeguard, leading teams (including motivating out of shape sensory avoidant scouts) lots of opportunities.  Post - scouting he picked mountain biking/snowboarding/target shooting as his energizer bunny outlets.  If you don't want to get into scouting, get him into something complex, like automechanics, where he can hone his problem solving skills, use his big muscles, and enthrall the preteen audience with his exploits.  Maybe he can rebuild something.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Have you considered a drum set?  

Edited by lewelma

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
8 hours ago, lewelma said:

Have you considered a drum set?  

:huh:I can't tell if you are serious or not.

Re: Volunteering. Volunteer opportunities for an 11yo are scarce. Most local places don't allow just child volunteers under 13 or 14. The few places where children can volunteer, require they volunteer with a parent. I (somewhat) have a life and am not able or very willing to take on more right now.

Re: Scouting. Not an option for us right now.

Re: Big Issues. He's the family humanitarian. He writes letters to politicians and officials a few times a year, he has a cause that he raises money for/donates too. He follows current events and attends local town meetings. He often asks me to sign (or not sign) certain petitions being circulated in our area.

Re: Running Laps. HAHAHAHAHAHA. I wish that'd work. But thanks for the laugh any way.
When I said that he gets rigorous exercise twice a day, that's exactly what I mean. Those exercise times don't include the time that we spend practicing sports outside of Sports Practice or just playing a sport or outdoor game either.

Re: Sending him away for camps/programs. Not an option for him right now.

Re: Tutoring. Each of The Boys are allowed 2 tutees and he does well with them; he takes his tutoring very seriously and does good work with them.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Get him a dog?

I'm somewhat serious there.  That could give him purpose and direction for his energy and brainpower.

Edited by happypamama

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Re: Dog.

Not an option at this time.

I almost wish that I could get him into horse riding. I have heard a lot of good things about the calming effect that horses can have on troubled kids.  But we don't have access to a horse currently. I'm not a fan of animals and a part of me would be worried that he'd be kicked, crushed or thrown from a horse anyway. But barring the expense and the possibility of a tragic accident, I'm almost desperate enough to get him into horses.

 

Edited by Gil
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
3 hours ago, Gil said:

:huh:I can't tell if you are serious or not.

Well, kind of both!😀  

I know it seems kind of a zany idea, but my nephew was similar and my sister got him an electric drum set that could be plugged in so not nearly so noisy (just sounded like tapping to her).  The rhythmic work, energy, and focus required to play from a score helped to calm him.  A used set could be found for reasonably cheap, and it would be in your home and available round the clock for when he just needed to pound something. No need to travel, no need to supervise, no need to organize others, no need to pay for a tutor, no worry for safety, no ongoing costs.  Just good clean energy-driven fun. Just saying. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I am just smiling ear to ear that your little guy is so sweetly driving you bonkers still. Warms the heart.😊 (hi Gil!!!)

There might be something to the drumming. The steady beats & patterns of sound can be calming, grounding.

Any musical instrument will do. Then you'll need a teacher... 

But a cajone is simple enough to learn via internet and is reasonably pleasant to hear. And it's very physical to play.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have any ideas. I have a child who is similar. I was wondering if you'd share how he gets his exercise every day. I'm always looking for more ways to wear my 12 yo ds out.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/29/2019 at 9:57 PM, Gil said:

I almost wish that I could get him into horse riding. I have heard a lot of good things about the calming effect that horses can have on troubled kids.  But we don't have access to a horse currently. I'm not a fan of animals and a part of me would be worried that he'd be kicked, crushed or thrown from a horse anyway. But barring the expense and the possibility of a tragic accident, I'm almost desperate enough to get him into horses.

 

 

Ah, this was too funny.  Thanks for the chuckle.  

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 hours ago, TABmom said:

I don't have any ideas. I have a child who is similar. I was wondering if you'd share how he gets his exercise every day. I'm always looking for more ways to wear my 12 yo ds out.

My younger boy needs a ton of exercise to be happy. This weekly list is barely enough.  He is much much happier after a 6 day 80mile tramp with a heavy backpack, because that is about 6-8 hours per day. So here is his weekly list that he has done from age 11-15 (he turns 16 next week!):

Sunday: 2 hours badminton +1 hour walk roundtrip to get there

Monday: Music lessons + 30 min walk home

Tuesday: play outside 1 hour (usually finding and carving sticks, but sometimes walking 30 minutes roundtrip to the lookout up a big hill)

Wednesday: 1.5 hour gymnastics (which includes 30 min hard core conditioning) + 20 min push scooter to get there

Thursday: 2 hours swimming + 30 min weight lifting at gym + 30 minutes walk home

Friday: 2 hours drama + push scooter 40 minutes round trip to get there. And on alternating weeks ALSO does 2 hours of multisport with the homeschoolers + 20 min walk roundtrip to the bus to get there.

Saturday: Long hike with dad while I'm tutoring - usually 2-5 hours.

PLUS he started an daily exercise routine about 4 months ago that includes pushups, squats, pullups, jumps etc. Takes about 15 minutes daily.

++++++++

This is barely enough. DS still struggles to get to sleep, and on tuesdays he is Jittery because it has been 2 days with less. As you can see, transport is a large portion of the exercise, but we live in a safe city. And most of these activities are either cheap through the homeschoolers, so our costs are not crazy. 

Edited by lewelma
  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Gil, have you looked at rock climbing, parkour, or ninja competition teams?  He's young, but if he has that much energy, these are all fun ways to burn it off. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My middle daughter sounds so much like your son.  She is so sweet but just a lot!  Honestly we just keep her busy and redirect her to activities that don’t drive us crazy. She does 13 hours of gymnastics a week which helps.  In general we keep her busy orchestra, plays and a day at our hybrid school.  We keep one room stocked with all the arts and crafts and building stuff so when the mood strikes she can create.  She volunteers at her sisters therapeutic horse stable she is only old enough to clean pens, feed and bathe horses.  The horses absolutely do have a calming effect on her.  DH is great at getting her involved in home and auto repairs. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
On 10/31/2019 at 3:44 PM, lewelma said:

My younger boy needs a ton of exercise to be happy. This weekly list is barely enough.  He is much much happier after a 6 day 80mile tramp with a heavy backpack, because that is about 6-8 hours per day. So here is his weekly list that he has done from age 11-15 (he turns 16 next week!):

Sunday: 2 hours badminton +1 hour walk roundtrip to get there

Monday: Music lessons + 30 min walk home

Tuesday: play outside 1 hour (usually finding and carving sticks, but sometimes walking 30 minutes roundtrip to the lookout up a big hill)

Wednesday: 1.5 hour gymnastics (which includes 30 min hard core conditioning) + 20 min push scooter to get there

Thursday: 2 hours swimming + 30 min weight lifting at gym + 30 minutes walk home

Friday: 2 hours drama + push scooter 40 minutes round trip to get there. And on alternating weeks ALSO does 2 hours of multisport with the homeschoolers + 20 min walk roundtrip to the bus to get there.

Saturday: Long hike with dad while I'm tutoring - usually 2-5 hours.

PLUS he started an daily exercise routine about 4 months ago that includes pushups, squats, pullups, jumps etc. Takes about 15 minutes daily.

++++++++

This is barely enough. DS still struggles to get to sleep, and on tuesdays he is Jittery because it has been 2 days with less. As you can see, transport is a large portion of the exercise, but we live in a safe city. And most of these activities are either cheap through the homeschoolers, so our costs are not crazy. 

Thanks for the examples. It's so good to see how other people accomplish this. My ds is 12 and we just wrapped up a season of cross country. So he generally runs about 3 miles/day. He has martial arts 2 nights a week and does YouTube workouts that I think are fairly intense! BUT- since CC is over now, the competition factor isn't there and his motivation has nosedived. The weather doesn't help either. I wish he could walk more places, but we're in a small town. He can run all over, but most activities require driving.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

×
×
  • Create New...