Parenting 101

Simple ways to deal with restlessness in children

Introduction

Children can be little devils when they’re restless. More so, during the summer months when the long school break and ample daylight can make them excitable from dawn until late evening. They’ll run around, scream, shout, cry, and what not. They may even damage things around the house or worse, injure themselves if they go overboard in their enthusiasm.

Dealing with restless children can be a nightmare, but it doesn’t have to be as long as you’re willing to analyze the situation and figure out why your children are feeling the way they are in the first place. Being a parent is a tough job that comes with huge responsibilities. Calming your children down is a big part of that job description. So to give you a bit of assistance, here are a few tips that will help you determine what’s causing your children to be restless and how you can remedy it.

Avoid over-stimulation

Reduce the amount of time they’re allowed to spend on mental stimulation. For instance, take away their tablets and shut down their computers and video games a few hours before bedtime. Make sure they’re not allowed to watch television in their rooms. Small children should have no access to smartphones. For older children, make sure they know that phones are a privilege and meant for use only during emergencies.

This will help reduce the information overload and subsequent inability in your children to settle down. It is a must so that they can focus more on their studies and overall development. Although it’s never a bad idea to expose them to technology, too much of anything can be bad. Relaxing their minds and bodies instead of trying to beat their friends’ high scores in a video game can go a long way in turning them into more balanced adults. So, when it comes to the latest gadgets/apps, avoiding over-stimulation, moderating their usage and staying within recommended age-wise screen time limits is a must.

Ensure that they are getting enough sleep every day

One important factor in keeping children calm during the day is making sure that they are getting enough sleep at night. Young children should get far more sleep than adults to function. So, if your children are sleeping at midnight and waking up at 8 AM for school, then you may want to consider pulling their bedtime back an hour or two. It’s recommended for children to get roughly 11-12 hours of sleep until they become teenagers. At that point, it can be reduced to around 9-10 hours instead.

If your children are having trouble sleeping, then it could be because of many factors. For instance, if their beds are uncomfortable, consider looking at this article by ChooseMattress for memory foam alternatives that offer better comfort. The physical settings of a child’s bedroom are vital in ensuring a good night’s sleep. Remember that your children will probably spend around 40% of their lives (till they leave home) sleeping on their beds. So, investing in good, comfortable and robust bedding is important. If sleep is still a struggle due to other reasons, here are some additional secrets for making your children’s bedtime a breeze.

Ensure they are getting enough playtime/exercise

Children have a lot of energy stored up in their bodies. They’re raring to go and expend that energy in whichever way they can. This is probably the most important factor why they tend to get so restless when at home. So, it is a must that they get enough playtime outside daily. Being active, exploring, jumping, hopping and exercising in general tire them out in a pleasant way. When they’re back inside after they had had their fill, they are more likely to spend time doing calming tasks.

Please note that when we speak of exercise for children, it doesn’t mean a full-blown gym fitness routine or scheduled sports sessions. In fact, it could be something as simple as playing their favorite game in the backyard, going out with friends to the local park, cycling in the neighborhood etc. Whatever they choose to be active with, make sure that they wear protective gear and are safe and supervised at all times.

In leaving

Children remain restless when their creative and physical energies are left unused, either partially or fully. Once you have figured out the root cause for this, you can work on organizing their days in a way that balances their needs better. It may seem like a daunting task, but a regular day with plenty of playtimes interspersed with rest and healthy meals could simply do the trick.

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