Are kids testing the limits of your patience? Perhaps you’re feeling cooped up with a baby who won’t settle down for a nap, a whining toddler or older children who are arguing incessantly. If so, maybe it’s time to take it outside.
When I was a young mother, taking a crying baby outdoors in my arms or in the stroller always seemed to take the edge off. Even if the baby didn’t settle completely, at least I felt better.
When my sons were older, having them run around the house several times was my favorite solution to behavior that was spiralling downwards. They always came back in refreshed and in a better mood than before they went out. More often than not, time outside can be more effective than a time out.
Of course children don’t always want to go outside. They might complain that the sun’s too bright or it’s too windy, too wet, too cold, too hot or too early in the morning. Never mind. Dress them appropriately and throw them out. Better yet, go with them. If they’re climbing the walls, you probably are too.
You can’t stop kids from horsing around, but you can have them take their loud voices and rough play to a place where noise isn’t an issue and they can inhale fresh air while exercising their large muscles.
Climbing the walls isn’t half as much fun as climbing trees. Besides, the trees don’t mind.
- This post is the fifth in a series about Getting Children Outdoors.