When your kid just won’t stop jumping on the couch

Some children are more energetic than others. As a mom I know this firsthand, because my son has always been pretty active, but my daughter is on another level. If I could bottle up her energy and sell it, I would probably be a millionaire. When she was younger, it was even more challenging, because if we didn’t fit in enough activities she would get cranky.

Many parents face the same issue: how do I channel my kids’ energy in a positive manner? We are so exhausted from our days that we simply cannot keep up with kids who never get tired. Even siblings can become overwhelmed, as a high-energy child will want to play non-stop.

All I can say is, thank goodness for sports. Not only do they provide structure, but they allow children to use their boundless energy in a way that’s healthy for their bodies and minds. You just need to find something that calls out to them, so it’s fun and not a chore.

We tried several activities until my daughter found her calling: gymnastics. Even before she started training, she was constantly doing cartwheels or tumbling around. It was as if she couldn’t keep still. After she convinced her coach to let her compete, she was a happier child, despite the long hours she spends training and the competition schedule, which can be quite intense. I’m not pushing her, but I’m proudly supporting her every step of the way. She found something where her high energy levels help her achieve her goals.

That’s why I totally understand what Gina Chiles says when explaining why she put her Citizen Kid, Jordan, in gymnastics class. She wouldn’t stop moving! All that energy came with a tremendous gift for jumping, tumbling, and vaulting. After quickly moving through different levels, Jordan became the 2014 U.S. Classic Junior Champion in gymnastics. At 13, she dreams of being a part of the US Olympic team, and her coach believes she can achieve that. After watching this video, I am rooting for her. She’s working so hard for her dream, even attending public school for half a day and then completing her class schedule at night thanks to online courses.

Jordan is just one example of how there are amazing children everywhere. But even if the Olympics aren’t on your kid’s radar, here are 5 lessons I’ve learned that might help you if your kid is a bit too energetic:

  1. Accept that your child needs more physical activity than others.
  2. Find one sport or activity that he or she enjoys.
  3. If possible, find a school that has daily recess or offers regular PE classes.
  4. Schedule after-school activities that will allow your child to blow off some steam, but don’t overdo it. Kids need time to wind down, and being overtired can also create problems related to school, sleep, or behavior.
  5. Explain to your child that not everybody has their gift of endless energy, so they will understand that friends might be more laid back and less active.

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