Aloha Friday #2  

Friday, May 1, 2009

I have a four year old daughter who is an only child, and who has TONS of energy. That usually makes me her BFF, and I generally do not have a lot of energy. Most days I try to be a "good" mom and take her outside to let her run around (I often compare raising Paige to having a large St. Bernard puppy - she needs lots of room to run) or to do "projects" or play games, etc. with her. But some days I am doing all I can just to survive the hours between getting home from work and putting her to bed. When I'm really exhausted or not feeling well, that's when I find myself suggesting a video or tv show to her. Although I'm not against her watching (appropriate) TV, I sometimes feel bad that I'm the one suggesting she watch it, just because it'll keep her busy and I can sit still for a bit.

So my question is this: What are your best tips for entertaining energetic children when you are sick, exhausted, feeling brain dead, (all of the above?) or just want a minute to breathe?

For more Aloha Friday, go to An Island Life.

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9 comments: to “ Aloha Friday #2

  • On the Eastern Journey
    May 1, 2009 at 12:00 PM  

    I totally understand! Schäfer has a lot of energy and would love to run around outside 24/7.

    When I'm sick: I fight through it and sleep when he sleeps. Seriously, I go to bed super early.

    I joined an indoor play area where he can run around while I sit for a bit. This helps on rainy days. It's probably comparative with a McDonald's playground.

    Feeling brain dead:
    If we're home and I'm tired, I find that reading is easy. It does take much energy or focus to sit in a chair and read Clifford.

    All of the above:
    Maybe creating a little craft station where she can paint or can color a picture without much supervision could give you 20 free minutes. Just a little space where she could initiate art.

    Just want to breathe:
    Set a timer on the table and tell her that she gets 30 minutes of free play to play with whatever she wants to. But at the end of 30 minutes, she'll have to go outside. This way, she knows she's going outside, but you also get free time. Play happy music during this free play. It makes it more fun.

    If you still need a longer amount of time, I would invest in some educational DVD's from Leapfrog so you don't have to worry about what is on tv/commercials. As a teacher, I'm sure you know more about this than I do!

    I hope one of these ideas is helpful!

  • Michie
    May 1, 2009 at 5:15 PM  


    Thanks for your great response! I do try to mix in educational videos with the not so educational cartoons and whatnot. I want her to learn some things, but also to just relax and have fun. I don't want to push her too hard - we all need down time where we don't need to think too much!

    My problem with Paige is that she wants to play with me all the time. She doesn't want free time - she wants me to play with her no matter what she's doing. She has no idea what to do, even if I offer her choices, such as, "you can color, you can build with your blocks, or you could play with your dolls." Her answer is that she wants ME to color, build with the blocks, or play with the dolls with her. She doesn't want to go play alone at all. So at least when I put on the tv I can sit or lie on the couch and she'll sit too (sometimes.)

    Even at play areas she wants me to go play with her. Maybe this is my fault because I usually do!! :)

  • Anissa
    May 1, 2009 at 9:43 PM  

    I don't have any -- I just make my self go and we have an early night.

  • Michie
    May 1, 2009 at 9:47 PM  

    Early nights don't work so well for me because I can't get her to bed any earlier just because I'm tired. In fact, we've had a lot of sleeping issues lately, so sometimes it is difficult to get her to sleep no matter what!

    But thanks for stopping by. :)

  • sues2u2
    May 2, 2009 at 3:40 AM  

    Are you in a playgroup? If not start one. On those days when we didn't meet (we only met once a week) if one of us needed a break we could always call one of the other moms. This worked amazingly well!

    Sorry but it's been a few years & I'm not used to thinking in those lines. Let's see what other things. I used to keep some "special" ie, toys that weren't out w/ reg toys, for those times when nothing else worked. Maybe some crafty items like paper & stickers or magazines & scissors that she could cut up to make a collage (just know that you'll have a bit of a mess but get her to help clean up). Cleaning supplies (swiffer duster, baby wipes etc...) were always interesting for a bit too.

    You also mentioned that sleeping is an issue? Is she still taking a nap? Maybe she does or doesn't need some time out? Sorry, I can't help myself. I always try to make everything right! lol
    Good luck!

  • sues2u2
    May 2, 2009 at 3:50 AM  

    Okay, so I went back & was rereading some of your older blogs in particular last weeks Aloha Friday which I missed. My 7 yr old daughter will still sometimes come in to our room. It started the day we brought her home from the hospital. She wouldn't settle down until we put her in a little basket in our bed. Fast forward & she was forever coming into our room. I think right now because she is young & all she remembers is sleeping in the same room w/ mom & dad you need to let her a bit. I really liked the suggestion about her coming in on her own as long as she went to sleep in her room first. This might seem like a really bad, long lasting idea but eventually she will get more used to her own room.

    Back to my Hanae. She last came in to sleep w/ us about 2 wks ago & before that it was probably a couple of months. She sleeps w/ us & just crawls over us to the middle. I don't even know she's there until the am! Maybe you could get your daughter one of those little foam character folding couches for the middle of the night. Put it close to your bedside somewhere & let her know it's there for her.

    Okay, I'm done. I wish you all the best. It's so hard to be a parent sometimes!

  • Candace
    May 2, 2009 at 8:34 AM  

    I was totally sick this week and I didn't want to do ANYTHING! I managed to play cards and hold her baby to get it to sleep that was a good one cause we have to be quiet. We watched some tv. I went outside with her and we sat in the swing and watched the birds and bugs etc.

    She also doesn't like to do things without me. I just let her know how bad I felt and that we were going to take it easy! She did pretty good as long as I would keep talking to her. She even let me catch a 15 minute cat nap!!!

  • sunnymama
    May 2, 2009 at 11:46 PM  

    Sunnyboy is a bit younger but getting outside is the best! It's great now he's able to play in the garden with the door open and I don't need to be outside with him at all times. Some other things that keep him busy are filling up a bowl with pasta/rice and some utensils for him to play with, running a bubble bath with lots of bath toys, blowing bubbles, and of course dvds!

    I left you an award on my blog - no need to pass it on unless you want to but I wanted you to know that I really like your blog!

  • itsahumanzoo
    May 3, 2009 at 1:13 AM  

    I usually just let Mason play on the balcony in his sandbox. We're on the ground floor, and it is completely walled in, so I don't worry about him getting away. I also keep the glass door and blinds open so I can see him. Then I just lay on the couch and relax. If it's yucky outside then we watch a movie together. And I'm also not above a little bribery. :)


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