September 22, 2011

The Energy Management Plan



Like puppies, little boys need lots of exercise. That's why I've got my twins enrolled in every imaginable organized sport. Actually, they are only playing baseball and soccer right now, but I spend enough time shuttling people to and from playing fields that it feels like a lot more.

I'm entertaining the idea of trading in my car for a camper van, but that's a different story.
You have to admit that when you think about, the idea is startling appealing.

Anyway...I don't know how it's possible, but sometimes even a two hour practice isn't enough to rid my children of the need to wrestle in my dining room and/or play freeze tag right next to me while I'm making dinner.

Inspired by the successes that I've witnessed at local dog parks, I'm now making them run laps around my neighborhood.

I would also like to purchase one of these super cool ball throwers that I've seen around. But my husband said "no." :(

Look how much fun she's having. This could so be me.


Some of my neighbors are supportive of my new energy management plan. One has even signed up her third grader for the same program. Others are a little freaked out by the sight of two--and sometimes three--boys sprinting down the street several times each day.

"One of your boys just ran past my house. Again!" This is what the woman who lives across the street called to tell me this afternoon.

I assured the woman that Cortlen wasn't casing the joint. Nor was he training for the Olympics. He and his brother just need "off" buttons.

It's 11pm as I write this and five minutes ago, I just caught them in the dark using my cell phone charger cord as a string to play with the cat.

"What are you doing up?" I screeched. "Why are you out of your beds?"

They asked me if it was too late to go running.

43 comments

Vicki Randerson said...

I make my son run laps around the house, then do sit ups and push ups. It really works!

http://vickibitesback.blogspot.com/

SnipsofSnailsandPuppyDogTails said...

Sounds like a perfectly logical plan to me! I have "enrolled" my boys in similar plans myself.

Christy Marshall said...

the last sentence was my favorite. haha.

www.pausebuttonplease.blogspot.com

Mal said...

My mum used to keep us out of the house between the hours of 3 and 6 pm. Unless we were being quiet or sick, we weren't allowed inside. We would run laps around our house, up and down the street, around the ball park at the end of our street. We ran all the time! (If we weren't playing.) We loved it!

You should give your neighbor the statistics on childhood obesity and then mention how long your kids get for recess at school (I can bet it's less than 45 minutes) and then tell her she's free to run with them if she likes.

WendyLou said...

Yup. Sometimes we send our 11 year old son outside with his 5 year old brother with these simple instructions: "Run him."

Mom of 12 said...

Well at least they are enjoying it! Our kitchen and living room form a continuous loop and my kids and grandkids ride scooters,run dump trucks, and sometimes even power wheels round and round and round. And they still have enough energy to drive me nuts!
Sandy
www.twelvemakesadozen.blogspot.com

JennieB said...

I wish we could somehow harness that energy, and convert it into electricity. Energy crisis solved.

Mum on the Run said...

Absolutely.
Suck their tanks dry!!!
:-)

Jenny said...

I would LOVE to have a portion of that energy!

Cristy said...

You crack me up, and I SO totally get it. My 11 and 5-year olds get 20 minutes of recess a day. A. DAY. And then they get PE for 45 minutes....wait for it....A WEEK. I think I love Mal's mom the best and am instituting nobody in the house between arrival from school and 6 PM. When they've been banished to the outdoors in the past, though, the annoying thing is dealing with the constantly tattling....suggestions? Really? You REALLY need to come tell me your sister drew on your bike? I don't care! Get. out.

Future Mama said...

Haha, my mom just to make my younger brother run laps around the house too! She kept upping the laps "I bet you can't make it around 20 times!" He was high energy, despite soccer, too.

Much love,
Future Mama
http://expectingablessing.blogspot.com/

Renee Anne said...

I have a friend from high school who is ex-military (army) and when her oldest (10 years old) gets all riled up, she makes him do army workouts in the yard (army crawls in the snow are her particular favorite).

Some people would say this is cruel and unusual punishment but I think it's brilliant.

Also, the teachers have noticed that said child behaves much better and is more focused after PE or recess...just sayin'.

Johnson said...

These expert team of pediatricians practice work as a group which means at any given point of time 24/7 365 days round the clock –one of them will be having your child’s details well documented in the HMS (Hospital Management Software).
Cloud Nine Peditrics

Anonymous said...

I used to teach 4th grade, and one year I had 14 boys and 3 girls. Of those 14, 9 were diagnosed ADHD. We'd run laps of the parking lot at least once a day, for very similar reasons. With all the cut-backs in Phys Ed programs, and the disproportionate amount of time they spend sitting still (unnatural for little boys) I thought it was the least I could do.

Anyway, it worked. They looked forward to running time, and afterward, sat in air-conditioned stillness, listening attentively.

Kimberly said...

I was one of those children that was sent to run laps around the house. My brother and I thought it was great fun! If only I thought running was that fun now . . .

Carrie said...

Our living room and kitchen is divided by a partial wall, there are two entryways on either side to the kitchen. I frequently have my 4 year old daughter do laps around that wall! We have advanced to outside laps also.

HerMamma said...

When I was a teenaged babysitter I "sat" for this family with two kids that I didn't like much, but my mom was a friend of thier mom.

To keep them occupied I invented a "card game".

In the summer it went like this:
I sat on the porch and the kids came and picked a card. The number on the card was how many times they had to run around the outside of the house before they could come pick another card.

In the winter (4+ feet of snow outside) we did the same thing but in the basement. Or if they were really 'rangy I'd dress them up and do it outside anyway.

They LOVED it. The daughter does the same thing with her own kids now, lol.

bequi said...

Cristy, my mom's suggestion would be to lock the doors. That's what she did, anyway. We all went to the bathroom, then were banished outside until dinner. She'd just listen for screaming and pretend she couldn't hear anything else. Give it enough time, and the kids will quit wasting their time trying to tattle.

The Aviles Six Pack said...

Let me just remind you that running gives you a "natural" high and it makes you feel even more energetic. So maybe that's what's happening...maybe...:D

EliB said...

my mom does the same thing lol

Kay said...

I had 4 boys & one girl & they knew not to get to wound up in the house or say that they were bored because I would make them go out & run around the block. I always said that you should keep boys working & tired so that they are too tired to get into trouble. If I could have I would of signed them up for the military when thery were 12!

dani jane said...

I have a daughter who also plays several sports but still has enough energy to terrorize our entire household. She is usually found shooting 20 layups from each side and kicking goals, 20 per foot, as a form of "release". There are days when this kinda works......

No Drama Mama said...

Every time I chase my extremely energetic toddler to give her a bath, or pull her down from the top of...well, everything...I am so grateful my husband talked me into having children before 35!

Janet's page said...

Just remember that like dogs, the more they get the more they will need to achieve the same longed for results ;-)

Dave and Gina said...

Running is great! A sanity saver for you, definitely.

My aunt took her little boys to the local Jr High and made them run laps outside on the track. I have thought about taking my toddlers to the park during the day and having them run back and forth in the tennis court. They are still too little to run outside or anywhere not fenced off.

Deanna said...

Ha!
I started making the kids jump on the trampoline instead of sitting in time out. We start at 50 jumps and it goes up by increments if they talk back, slam the door etc on their way to the trampoline.

My son mentioned this to his vice principal (whom we have known for 8 years) and she was floored at what a great idea it was!

They usually loose track of the counts and are smiling after a bit and they come in the house much calmer.

I say buy that ball toy, hide the wrapper and play fetch with the kids! See who can get the ball first- ha!- and watch the competitive hilarity ensue!

The Bus Driver said...

I love creative ways of expending kids energy. When I substituted in the classrooms, I'd notice that the younger kids would get antsy after sitting for an extended period of time and it was more difficult to control them the longer they sat with no energy release. I discovered that each "grade" had their limit of time to sit still. (2nd grade - 30 minutes, 3rd - 35-45 minutes, and 4th - 45-50 minutes)

So to combat the "ants in the pants" and since time was limited and we didn't have but 30-40 minutes for recess, I implemented what I called "wiggle time". I'd have them stand up... then say OKAY WIGGLE!!!! they'd wiggle their bodies in place and shake the ants out.... then i'd tell them FREEZE... they'd freeze in place and sometimes dissolve into fits of giggles as classmates fell over or lost balance. Then I'd command WIGGLE AGAIN!!! and wiggling would commence again... then a second "FREEZE"..... then i'd have them stand up, breathe in deep and out.... and sit back down.

This method "reset" their brains and refocused them back on task and I rarely had any behavior problems. They would always look forward to "wiggle time" and the funny thing is, it only took 2 minutes out of class time per "wiggle time" to help focus the kids.

When i worked in a girl scout camp, we would make the kids run around the campsite if they were not tired or wouldnt go to bed. At about the 5th lap they'd be begging to go to bed, we'd make them go 2-4 more times around and then send them off to bed.

Jennifer said...

My mom used to do that... Now my brother runs marathons :)

Tracie said...

I love that idea! I am gonna haave to try it on my kids. I love the card idea too.

Tammy said...

My mom had the perfect way to stop tattling. Her question to the tattler was "Would you like me to punish her? Okay, and I'll punish you too for being a tattler." No more tattling!
My 14 yr. old just started playing high school soccer and it has done amazing things for his attitude. Tired boys are good boys:)

Rocket Ma'am said...

That's popular at our house, too. My 5 year old in particular puts a lot of effort into behaving at school (which I appreciate) and when he comes home he's so pent up with energy if you try to make him hold still, he will sit down and punch himself in the head.
On rainy days you can tie them up with jumpropes and time them to see how long it takes for them to free themselves. You use up time and energy and also prepare them for a career as Navy SEALs.

Librarian Mom said...

I can't even stay up to watch SNL anymore let alone run around the block! Getting old sucks. Great idea by the way. Will save for when my toddlers are out of the nap phase.

akathemom said...

I've given a lot of thought to the camper van. I think it's brilliant. Just need to convince my husband...

le said...

I am a huge believer in making children run laps. Especially when cousins are around and everyone is at grandma's. Children love running laps.

Ruby said...

Hee! I started making my girls run laps the winter they were three and six. Running is a good energy buster. Hang in there. They will grow up and calm down a little.

Who me?! said...

A friend of mine has four brothers and a sister. Her parents were athletes so when ever they got in trouble, they had to do laps around the neighborhood or push ups. If they were in the car and a wrestling match broke out, no joke, her mom would pull over and make them RUN home! Dont worry, she put her hazzards on and drove next to them. They all grew up to be state MVPs in their respective sports with scholoarships up the wazoo.

Jen said...

Oh dear. I fear this is my future.

Jen said...

I fear this is my future... my very near future. (mom of 5 year old boy)

jennibell said...

Good plan! We do laps around the house and if they don't run fast enough they have to do it again!

Anonymous said...

Thanks for making me laugh regularly.

Heidi said...

I always make my 6 year old run laps around my house & time him. I encourage him to make multiple laps to "better his time"...or burn off more energy.

Halfpence said...

I was visiting my goddaughters yesterday. They were so hyper I thought of your "Energy Management Plan" and suggested they might like to run around the house. Whaddaya know, they did! Settled them right down for dinner/homework, too.

Pamelas7 said...

I love that idea. right now my daughter is only 8 months old but still full of energy. I do my exercises with her and by the time I'm done she is tired and ready for a nap :)
http://mychicmommy.blogspot.com/