I allow a reasonable amount of running, but the bigger the kids get, the faster they run, and It doesn't seem safe to me either.
I was at my cousin's house this summer in St Louis... it's a very old, solid house with long narrow hallways. His grandsons came over, and HOLY COW...these kids tore this place apart, running, breaking everything... I was pretty surprised that it was allowed. But, I was even more nervous that the youngest one was going to get hurt...sure enough, he was being chased down the hall, tripped, fell into the edge of the heavy wooden door, and spent the rest of the night in the ER. It was inevitable I guess. He was fine.... stitches, and loose teeth.
But, I honestly think that since it was obvious that this was coming, somebody should have put a stop to it, especially since it wasn't their home.
If it were their home, and they still could anticipate an accident, I think they should have stopped it then too.... But, at home, obviously the kids need some sort of outlet that is appropriate. Like a cage fighting ring, or a padded basement. (just kidding about the cage fighting)
You could set up the house in either a way that it's too hard to run, or makes it easier to run.
My brother and I would pull each other around on heavy blankets. We built hotwheel tracks on the stairs and kept busy climbing up and down to race our cars. (This was the 70s) and we could run all over the neighborhood, even at night, and even in the dead of winter. We built snow forts, tunnels, snow cities etc... and came in cold, happy wet and tired.
My point is, kids NEED to run. They must run. They need to jump, climb, fall, etc. It's an actual need. But, without the freedom of playing outside, kids don't get to experience it the was we did as children...so, it looks like they are being obnoxious. To adults, it is obnoxious. But, if they had a large space to play alone with no adults, we'd never notice it...and what we don't know, can't hurt us.
But, seriously, I 2nd the "kids need to run" theory. They have more energy and need to burn it off. Short of climbing a tree in a thunderstorm, they CAN be outside running. When they're driving you crazy, bundle them up in their coats, gloves, whatever and LET them play outside. Playing outside is NEVER a punishment! No yard? How about the basement or garage? Move the cars out of the garage and let them ride the bikes around and around. Basements are also great for this. Your deck sounds wonderful. Bundle them up and let them do everything outside!
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I think kids need activity but they don't need to run in the house.
Do you have the means to get an alternative? For example, a toddler tranpoline or slide that they can use in a safe space? Something that would let them be active but wouldn't take up as much space as running around the house (do they make treadmills for toddlers?? hehe). I know they make little exercise bikes for little kids. There are even exercise videos for kids. Maybe something like that would work - safe and also lets them get their energy out.
My son has very high energy needs. I try to take him out every moning for at least an hour or two to play "hard." What I mean is that we do activities that really wear him out. For us that means riding his bike, using his scooter, jumping on a trampoline, swimming, soccer, hiking, etc. Then at home he might sometimes run in the house but there's no guilt for me if I put the kabosh on it. He's simply not allowed to run inside, throw toys inside, or jump on the beds. Those are dangerous activies, period. Now I'm not saying he listens all the time, but that's another issue.
I agree with just bundling them up and letting them play outside so long as it's a safe environment that you can monitor.
Here's the other thing: mental energy can be just as tiring. If the kids get enough physical exercise already (playing outside or whatever) and they're still running, maybe try tiring them out mentally instead of physically. Perhaps they need more mental challenges. Could they make a fort with blankets? Maybe color a cardboard castle? Do other crafts or make music?
My kids are the same age-I let them run in the house in certain areas-i.e. not in the kitchen when I am cooking, yes in the living room/playroom area. My house is pretty little though, so mostly they are just running in a straight line back and forth, lol. If they get too wild, I will make them stop though. We also have the trampoline inside, though they don't jump on it nearly as much as I thought they would.
If you really don't want them to run but they need to get the wiggles out, maybe encourage them to run in place or jump up in down or show them how to do jumping jacks or something. Are they running just to run or as part of a game or what? If they are just super energetic for part of the day, I would just try to get them moving or engaged in an activity like PP said, or of course to set them loose outside if possible. If they just like to run all day, I would definitely have to set some limits mostly because that level of constant activity and chaos kind of drives me crazy for an extended period of time, plus it tends to wind mine up until someone inevitably gets or hurt or breaks something :/
I let the kids run in the house and also have a mini trampoline, and stretchy swing over a doorway in the living room. We live in the Pacific Northwest and its dark outside early and rainy for the next 9 months... I like them to be active. When DD was younger, I padded the dangerous spots (we have a countertop that sticks out a bit, and the corner of the stereo cabinet also worried me).
My boys are a very similar age to your's op and they also run in the house, its difficult to stop them, and instead of causing distress about why we shouldn't run in the house I have just made the living room a safer place if they are running. There is a large open space surrounded by sofas and any walk ways are mainly always clear so if they choose to run, which I would prefer they did outside and they did fall they aren't terribly likely to get hurt. Could you re-arrange your furniture to make it a little more safe for them???
I believe it is natural and important to kids to run, jump, skip, roll, etc. Even if given a lot of outdoor time they often need to use their body lots inside. I don't think of it as only a way to use up energy, but using their body is an important learning activity and a way kids interact with the world. I do let them jump on their own beds and to put mattresses and blankets on the floor to roll and jump on. I do often send them outside or suggest a more quiet activity, though! Parents have to live, too.
So I let my kids run in the house. yes, we get hurt sometimes. I don't think that is a big deal.mpeople get hurt when they live.
My advice may not be appropriate for you. That's ok. You are just fine how you are and I am the right kind of me.
Are you looking to curb the running because you would prefer they don't do it in general or out of your concern for a potential injury?
Like many of the previous posters commented, I also let my kids run and occasionally participate too. I request that it mainly happens in our family room which is the largest room in our house (however, it still occurs elsewhere!). It seems like it is a natural activity with children, especially when younger siblings try to keep up with the older ones. I have four littles that are constantly all over the place. At times it can get a wee bit overwhelming, but I would rather have laughter and giggling than fighting and/or crying. However, if you prefer it not happen at all, I would concur with finding other activities that let them be active without running. Maybe you have already tried that? We do a lot of creative games ... lining up a spotted path of pillows on the floor to jump from one to one to avoid the "hot lava" ... bouncing from the mini-tramp to a chair then hop to a stool (insert obstacle) on a quest to fight a dragon ... that type of thing.
I completely understand your concern of injury. In my personal experience, you can do all you can to make things "safe" but kids will get hurt regardless, it's just natural. One of my toddlers took a nice tumble from a completely innocuous movement that resulted in a nice forehead bruise. We can only do so much...
Good luck! I hope you are able to find a solution that works for you!
1) Allow lots of physical time outdoors. Or have a specific time indoors that can be used as a reward for appropriate indoor walking, like you can set up an obstacle course later in the afternoon or something.
2) Demonstrate proper walking technique. Have them follow, and make it into a game that you play. Don't say things like "this is what you need to do in the house." Just show them through example, and eventually, they should be doing that more often. You can introduce it by saying things like "I'm going to walk through the house now!" or, "I'm going to tip-toe through the house now!" Who can lead us?
3) Remember that natural consequences are good teachers. If someone ends up with a bloody lip from running into a wall, it might slow them down. ;-)