Have you ever been awakened by your kid gently pulling open your right eyelid at six o’clock in the morning?
Have you ever been amazed at their ability to run around aimlessly for hours in 30-degree weather and claim not to need a coat? What about the games they play on the playground with their friends, and you think to yourself, “I’d pass out if I were running around for that long!”
These are all real-life examples I’ve witnessed as a parent myself.
My kids constantly move to the beat of their own drum, even if it is in the midst of a highly fragile aisle of the grocery store. It just amazes me.
They can seamlessly run, jump, move, and adventure for hours on end and just… not… get… tired. I have been asking myself more recently, “how do they do it? How are my kids so energetic?” I did some research, and here is what I found!
If you’re looking for some educational activities to keep your little ones busy, we have just the thing! Please take a look at my FREE STEM activities eBook that I made with my kids, and you can download it here:
Table of Contents
Science Says – It’s Their Bodies!
Kids explore with their bodies, especially as they continue building and strengthening their fine and gross motor skills. Those little bodies they explore with are also built and fueled with much more energy than ours.
US News reported a study where children’s energy and recovery were higher and faster than well-trained adult endurance athletes. According to the study, they found that young children have fatigue-resistant muscles with high endurance.
Next, they noticed the differences in the body’s use of aerobic metabolism. Aerobic metabolism is the process in which oxygen is used to make energy.
For most athletes, it requires a great deal of training to build aerobic metabolism. For children, this energy process in their body is quite effortless. They also use more of it than the average adult. Therefore requiring less output and making them less tired after an entire run.
This makes it sound like our kids are superheroes!
If you’re looking for some fun STEM activities with your kids, please check out our recent article on how to make clouds in a bottle.
Their Breathing is Different
Physiologically kids have way more lung capacity than we do, which helps distribute oxygen well throughout the body. If you look at a baby’s chest while sleeping, you’ll notice how quickly it rises and falls.
That fast rise and fall shows how much more oxygen they are breathing in. The older they get, the slower their beats per minute get.
Although, there aren’t significant changes until your child turns about 7 or 8.
Since kids can breathe more easily, it also helps with any negative feelings they might have. As Creative Healthy Family points out, kids’ solid oxygen flow also helps release toxins and stress. More oxygen into the body equals less stress and way more energy. How fantastic is that?
So What Do You Do When Your Kids Are Too Energetic
You don’t have to sit back and watch them go crazy, Tearing up the house. You can channel that energy into productive and enjoyable activities.
Actively Engage Their Minds
After a particularly full day of errands or monotonous routines, I will notice my kids start to get restless. To me, that is usually a signal that they might simply be bored. While I think all kids could benefit from a healthy dose of boredom.
Anything open-ended helps activate their imaginative minds, as well as their critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Another bonus, they’re actively using their fine motor skills. Motor equals movement, and movement helps release that energy!
Use Exercise and Movement
Kids need exercise, especially the younger they are. It is pretty well known that children under the age of 7 have less ability to sit for more extended periods.
Their attention spans are shorter, and they become restless from pent-up energy. So while the amount of exercise is different for every child depending on their age or need, it is needed for every child.
There are so many benefits that exercise gives kids. It gives them that release their body might be needing and leaves them less restless and more energized.
It also helps regulate their mood in the same way it does for adults. It brings them a natural release of endorphins and increases their oxygen intake, allowing them to breathe nice and easy.
Kids can experience stress just like us. So the more movement they have, the more they are able to breathe in the fresh air that will help regulate their bodies, allowing them to move through any stress they are feeling.
The biggest and most immediate thing that helps regulate my own kids’ mood is a long walk around our block with their scooters or bikes.
Another bonus exercise gives our kids, is the connection with us, their parents. We need movement just as much as they do, and they desire our presence and connection. You kill two birds with one stone when you engage in movement and exercise with your children.
Dr. Laura Markham, a trained clinical psychologist, specializing in childhood research, states, “kids love it when you play physically with them. It’s a terrific way to add some connection and fun back into a relationship that too often deteriorates into constant correction and conflict.”
She created a list of exercise ideas for you and her family: 20 Easy Exercise Ideas for Parents and Kids. We have our favorites posted on our fridge! When one of us is in need, we’ll run over and pull an idea off the list.
Their Energy Is a Helpful Reminder
I certainly know keeping up with your kids is hard and tiring, which is why knowing how their energy works is so helpful. It can be that gentle reminder when you are feeling a little less patient.
It can ease your mind knowing that their energy is helping them release their own stress, and lastly, it can be a motivator for you to connect with them and join in on some quality family movement.
Kids are energetic for a few reasons, but the biggest one is their bodies are built for high energy for exploration and learning.
There are a few things that you can do as a parent to help calm your little ones down. Please make sure they are in a routine, and let them physically play with plenty of exercise. Exercising with you will help strengthen your bond.
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