Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Tiring Kids Out

I'm feeling frustrated. As I begin typing this, Trixie has spent 40 minutes refusing to nap. Her brothers were so loud and out of control while she was trying to fall asleep, that I'm pretty sure THEY are in large part responsible.

This morning, we left the breakfast dishes on the table and got out the bikes, properly inflated 8 tires, got dressed, covered everyone with sunscreen, packed water and snack, and were out the door for a 2 mile bike ride by 8:30am. Phew! Felt like some real effort to coordinate all that and manage some whiny/fighting/crying behaviors.

We biked to a playground and adjacent stream drainage ditch. The kids played for a little over an hour. When it started getting hot, we biked the 2 miles back home. We returned about 10:30.

And then, I thought, I'd peacefully do the breakfast dishes done while the kids quietly read something or did a puzzle or played legos. (Because they'd be tired, right?)

No. The boys acted like complete lunatics, tearing apart the house, building stuff out of the sofa cushions and bedding, jumping/banging/running all over the place.

Sometimes I have the distinct impression that the more active their activity, the more active they generally ARE. Whenever someone mentions "tiring kids out," I really wonder. There are basically two options: 1) I didn't really tire them out enough or 2) "tiring out kids" doesn't really work. If I believe 1), then I failed today after what seemed like quite a bit of effort and wrangling. If 2) is true, then giving my kids more to do just makes them more demanding; so why bother with all the extra effort?

(Trixie finally falls asleep on the disassembled sofa.)
Being able to do the dishes in peace would be SOOO nice. As is almost always the case, the photos tell a different version.


Anonymous said...

I commiserate with you - it can be so frustrating if the balance between hassle (mom getting everybody ready, packings things...) and profit (kids tired and happy, mom relaxed and happy) is so off. And if that happens on one of my bad days, it can be outright depressing.
My husband was and is no help with that - he expects the kids to be thankful after we went on a bigger trip with them, not recognizing that they still can be cranky after a long day because they are totally worn out and sometimes don't know what to do with their feelings.
No magic trick from me today, but maybe the encouragement to tell the kids what you expect them to do - like: when we get home, we put our things away and then we all take a rest and have some quiet time.
I found that the actual coming home can ruin a day, because the kids start fighting while taking off their shoes and putting away coats and such. So I sometimes tried to give them time slots or put them in different areas of the entry hall, keeping a close eye on the younger once to make sure they washed hands and used the restroom (takes a certain pressure off) and reminding them that they are supposed to find a quiet spot/activity....
So maybe your kids need to get used to a new routine - nice outing, then some down time? Might take a few more tries, but you still have a few more days without school, right?

Pregnantly Plump said...

Is that a new sofa? I understand about the tiring out. It's frustrating. I usually just tire myself out. I try to tell myself they created great memories.

Ann Wyse said...

Thank you, Anonymous, I shall certainly keep those points in mind!

PP - nope, not a new sofa. That's the sofa upstairs - which made it all the way downstairs when it became a slide. And yes, I, too, am tiring myself more than the kids...