I saw this meme on my Facebook friends’ feed the other day and I knew there was a blog in there. It reminded me of something my older kids’ dad and I used to jokingly tell them when they got rowdy… “sit still and don’t learn anything.”
I want to say more, but I am not sure that I need to with this one. Other than two…ten…or sixteen…age is a number. We need to instead focus upon brain development and judge our children not against others of the same age but against where they were last month, last year or sometimes two or even five years ago. I believe that given time and that chance to learn through play they will get there. In their time and at their pace, PanKwake’s recent growth spurt in her development validate this assumption.
This message is especially appropriate now that summer is here. Kids are meant to be out and about. As much as mine loves her iPad, television and YouTube, I make sure that it is alternated with loads of running, jumping, swimming, ice skating, climbing and building. I went to a conference three or four years ago before we had the autism (Aspie) diagnosis. It was on epilepsy (her co-morbidity) and behaviors. One of the speakers, a doctor and researcher, gave the best advice I have ever heard…get them out and get them moving. He did not believe that any discipline method could truly work with these children. Instead he advocated proactive management of their behaviors by keeping them too worn out to act out. You know what…there is lots to be said for his methodology.
So this summer when your Aspie, autie, ADHD or just plain old ‘normal’ kid whines I’m bored, before things escalate to the point of no return…meltdowns or punishments…give’em something to do. Here are some of our free or cheap ideas…
- Bubbles…keep them on hand or make them yourself with dish detergent and water.
- Water balloon fights…form teams even…just be sure to pick up the broken balloons as they can be very bad for fish and marine life if they make it into the oceans.
- Water guns…Super soakers, especially on a hot day.
- Walks…in the woods, to the park, around the neighborhood.
- Hide-n-seek…and this one teaches them counting too.
- Tag…oh, boy do we know this one.
Get’em out, get’em movin’ and keep’em happy, tired and learnin’. Or that is my theory anyway.