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Is there such a thing as being too active?

749 Views 11 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  kdtmom2be
My 4 year old DD just. never. stops. going. From the morning when she gets up til she passes out at 7:30 pm at night she never stops moving, talking asking name it.

I'm by nature a quiet person so I admit I feel very much overwhelmed by the intensity of her need to "do" things. I hesitate to ever introduce a new game with her because I know that for the next 4 hours I will be badgered to do the same thing over and over and over again.

She's extremely bright and has taught herself to read.

I'm trying to think of ways to channel that energy. Of course we are in the middle of winter and it is wet and cold out. We don't have a yard so I need to be out to supervise if she goes outside and I can't really drag my 3 week old outside for long periods of time.

Also she will not play by herself at all. So if I send her out to play she won't do anything unless I'm there and play with her which makes it very difficult.

I love her like crazy, but she is really driving me around the bend. This is not new since the baby was born, but I'm realizing that now that we need to find an outlet for her. I am feeling resentful and disconnected from her and I need to figure out a way of resetting our relationship and helping her work through her nervous energy. We also don't have a vehicle and money is somewhat tight.

I've been considering trying to get her into some sort of gymnastics or something, but at the moment just doing the basics is enough to exhaust me so trying to figure out the logistics of getting the 3 of us to a class overwhelms me.

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Preschool saved my sanity for my extroverted, active, alert DS (who is now 6). I just could not provide the kind of socialization and activity he needs. Best of luck, momma -- it's especially tough with a newborn.
My oldest DD is like this. The way that I cope is having a schedule of activities- that way she knows what is coming next instead of badgering me. I also schedule down time and snacks in there, so I know when to expect a little calmness.
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DS is almost 3 and is headed that same way. Wild man, and quiet introverted parents. Preschool and play groups are my sanity because there are other people to chase after him.
she is in preschool thank goodness. Two days a week. I don't think it is enough. I started looking at some classes after I posted. I've also really let her call the shots as to what we do a lot of the time. I realize that is something of a mistake. I had a very authoritarian mother who was borderline abusive so I have to watch that I don't overcompensate the other direction...and I think I have. I've got some books from the library so hopefully I can work on my style and work it to be more compatible with DD.

I think maybe a routine would be useful too because then like a PP said, I could schedule in calm time. It is somewhat hard for me with a newborn I think because new DD has no routine yet. She's currently sleeping in a wrap nursing... (newDD not DD4)

I've also been reading more on here since I posted and I think there is a lot of anxiety because of her new little sister. Feeling like she still needs to belong so she's getting the attention any way possible and unfortunately mostly negative at the moment.

I'm really trying hard to make her feel wanted and important, but it is hard because wherever we go, E is there and she is a marathon cluster feeder so I'm almost constantly nursing. When I'm not nursing it is hard for me to just not want to run away and wash the spitup off my chest or go pee without a baby on me.
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my DD is like that, too. she will be 4 in april. i have a DS who was born in Sept. so i have gone through it, and am still going through it.

we did enroll her in gymnastics. that's on Wednesdays. Preschool is Tues. and Thurs. (2.5 hours in the morning). i also signed her up for story time at the library (Mondays), and there are occasional special programs on Fridays.

it takes A LOT to wear her out.

sometimes, by the end of the week, she is tired enough to fall asleep easily by 7 pm. i don't bother trying to get her to nap. she resists it strongly. and when she does nap, it totally ruins her bedtime later in the day.

might i add that i am 41, so not a *young* mom, and, to reiterate, this girl is seriously active. some might say hyper. i have thought hyper for awhile now.

one thing she will do, however, is play by herself. i am able to go back to bed with the baby, put the TV on PBS for her, and when i check on her, she has gotten out her stuffed toys or dolls and set up elaborate imaginative play with them, using whatever props are around. i don't think she usually sits and watches the TV, more like she gets ideas from her shows, and "acts" them out with her toys. and she is able to entertain herself like this for a couple hours while i get a bit more rest.

a couple other suggestions for wearing her out: go somewhere. i don't know if you can ever make a trip on the train or by car, but i find that the stimulation of being gone all day and in new environments, wears her out pretty good!

also as others have suggested, playdates are great for wearing her out.

does your baby sleep well through the "noise" of the older child? if so, lucky you. mine didn't. he's starting to settle down and we're in a better groove, now that he's 5 months old. but he sleeps only for about a 1/2 hour at a time, but does so every couple hours throughout the day.

oh, one more idea that works for us. i put DD in charge of DS's entertainment. she is *GREAT* for this. i tell her how much he looks up to her, and wants to be just like her, she totally eats it up. she lets him pull her hair, they "talk" to each other, she's showing him how to crawl, she'll practice rolling over with him, etc., etc. in MANY ways it is easier for me as a parent to DS, to have DD around with me. when i need to use the bathroom, i'll put him on his tummy time mat, and ask her to talk with him, or show him a stuffed animal, and she really helps a lot.

it will get easier as your new LO grows and is less "fragile". i keep telling DD that by summer DS is going to be her little playmate. i do believe that that is when it will really get "easier". he is going to be the kind of brother who plays dolls and dress up (he will have no choice with the firecracker of a sister he's got) and he'd better learn to talk if he hopes to get a word in edgewise on her or speak for himself!!

oh well, thanks for listening to my story. glad to know i'm not the only one with a seriously active preschool daughter and a baby!!

ps: i have every confidence that a girl like we've got is going to grow into a driven and accomplished woman some day.
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My DD, who is 3, is very much like this. She is extremely active. It took a very long time before she was interested in reading books or (limited) TV. Now I can at least get her to relax with a Winnie the Pooh video in the afternoon (she doesn't nap), but after that her favorite activities are to either run circles around the house or jump on her mini-trampoline. She doesn't do puzzles, crafts or drawing. That would require sitting! She does like her board games, but I have to play them with her.

She does preschool five days a week from 8:30-1:00pm, but this just started a few weeks ago. When she was in the toddler program 3xweek we definitely had an active class on our off days- gymnastics on Monday and Mom/Me Dance on Fridays. I suggest getting out of the house for activities is a must with a high energy kid. I know it can be challenging with a newborn, but at this age you should just be able to watch while she participates.

Hang in there! Summer is coming least that's what gets me through the day!!
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absolutely yes!!! for the mom. who is T I R E D by the end of the day.

the child? nope

my dd was double active. not just physical. but also mentally. at one year old she sat in a corner and opened and closed a pen cap for over an hour before seh felt she had figured it out.

one of the things it took me a while to understand was that dd needed both - physical and intellectual challenges. i made the mistake thinking she just needed physical stuff.

she is 7 and i am already working on her to just sometimes sit and enjoy what's around her. she is a driven person - on the go. i want to lower the stress i know she will take on as an adult. so from now i want her to experience the 'stop and smell the roses on the way.

for instance at 4 i remember NEVER EVER going into the grocery store first chore in the monring. if we didnt have anything else we first went for a walk.
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Our ds is 4.5 and never stops, from the moment he wakes up to the moment he falls asleep at 8.30/9pm, I often say to folk that after the age of 3 months I didn't have a baby he was rolling over at 3 months and sitting a couple of weeks later - crawling not much after than and walking at just before 8 months, he stopped using nappies at about 12 months and he just runs all the time, at school sitting on the bench with other kids is too hard because it's almost like standing for him and the teacher gets him to lie on the floor, even then just the fact of keeping still is almost impossible. He goes to sports and other activities along side 4 complete days at school, if he falls asleep even for less than 5 minutes during the day that's it until 2 or 3 in the morning, he's an intelligent child but finds it too hard to sit still for any length of time to concentrate on school work, everything has to be done as quickly as possible so that he can get on with the next thing!!
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Originally Posted by ElliesMomma View Post
ps: i have every confidence that a girl like we've got is going to grow into a driven and accomplished woman some day.
That seriously made me tear up. It really gave me some perspective that this won't last forever.

I'm reading "honey I wrecked the kids" right now and it is really helping me gain insight into some of her behaviour and I'm actually able to think before I act instead of just reacting. Well that is today after a 4 day weekend with DH home. Hopefully that will translate over into the coming days when he goes back to work again.

I am looking for programs but I'm having a heck of a time finding anything that is accessible to us during the day. I don't drive so getting places is a bit of an issue. There is a YMCA about 20 minutes from us but according to our transit trip planner, it is not accessable from my area within a 3 hour bus ride.
It sucks because they have gymnastics and a bunch of other things but if I can't get there, it isn't useful. I'm seriously considering getting my driver's liscense, but that will be a year away but at least I'd have something to look forward to. We won't have a second car, but if I needed, I could drive DH to the train in the morning and pick him up at least.

The weather is supposed to be better this week so I'm hoping that just being able to get out and take DD to the park will help.

I'm kind of glad to know that I'm not the only one with a very active kid. I also agree that she needs mental stimulation as much as physical activity. I'm bored of our book collection so I think a trip to the library is in order or failing that the book store.
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Originally Posted by Caittune View Post
I also agree that she needs mental stimulation as much as physical activity. I'm bored of our book collection so I think a trip to the library is in order or failing that the book store.
oooooooh a GREAT source of intellectual stimulation is junk mail. i gave all my junk mail and catalogues to dd and she LOVED reading them. i noticed she liked to read different things. so her reading material (at least to see and look at) were all sorts of different things - like cat food tins, empty cereal boxes, soup cans, pencils - packaging materials with writing and pictures. she would spend just hours looking at them. those were her 'nap' times. she looked adn stared for about half an hour to 45 mins and that was enough to reenergise her.

btw if she is super independent then give her chores. dd LOOOOOVED chores. one of them by that age was sorting my mail. also have her v. involved in lil sis's care and upbringing like what outfit lil sis should wear or she could be the checker that you always have stashes of water wherever you nurse.

i know with my dd i gave her much more responsibility than was expected out of a 3 year old. but she did it and enjoyed it. that was her personality and chores (only ones that involved helping mommy, not cleaning her room) were her favourite thing to do.

so there is a lot you can get out of her than just taking her out. i notice with dd she liked being kept busy. her fav. thing in the world is to help me. this is the time you can involve her in actual cooking. by 6 dd was making bfast by herself with me just providing supervision over the stove. i notice with my dd she needs a sense of being part of the whole house/family rather than just a kid who should do kid things. this is all tied into extra energy thing. and intellectual stimulation.
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I'm sure we've chatted here before, I live not far from you. I started my DD in gymnastics at Cartwheels. It's a little pricier than the rec center programs but has been worth every penny. I don't recall what area of Surrey you are in, PM me if you like, I might have some ideas for programs for you. DD is much like yours (and same name!) and we've had her in soccer, swimming and gymnastics in the last year and those days are so much better for us than the days we are stranded in the house.
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