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#327998 07/10/07 04:10 PM
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lala21 Offline OP
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How is a parent or teacher supposed to keep an EXTREMELY active kid occupied?

I babysit for a family member and her daughter is the MOST active kid I have ever met. She gets bored within seconds of doing something. In a matter of an hour we coloured, we watched a tv show, ate, played with playdough, read 3 books...

and then she wanted to go to the park. So I brought a frisbee and some bocce balls and its a 10 minute walk to the park. So off we go. The SECOND we get to the park she says I want to go home. So I convince her to play a bit before we head back. She went on the swings for less than a minute, played with the balls for MAYBE 5 minutes, sat in the shade for a couple minutes, threw the frisbee once or twice and she kept saying lets go home... so after like 10 minutes of being at the park, we walk home. Now she wants to watch a movie so I just put it on for her...

Shes like this everytime I watch her. Her mom was saying that her daughter was excited for me to babysit her because Im fun.. but all day today shes been complaining about being bored. So I keep asking her what she wants to do, then we'll do it for less than 2 minutes and shes bored again. I dont know how to keep her interested. She is 4 years old. Are all 4 year olds like this??? I remember watching my other cousins when they were this age and younger and they werent nearly as "bored" or easily distracted... it makes me not want to watch her because it feels like chaos the entire time. She's whiney (which most kids are) but I just dont know how to keep her happy. In the past we've done everything from making crafts to going to the park.. and nothing ever lasts for more than 5 minutes! Any suggestions?

oh and about her being very active... she HATES just sitting.. shes CONSTANTLY moving about. You would think that walking for 20 minutes and then walking around a mall looking at pets in a pet store etc and then walking 10 minutes to a park and playing there for 20 minutes then walking 20 minutes home would tire out a 4 year old but not her! Thats what we did last time I watched her and She wanted more! when we got back from all that walking she wanted to play tag in the back yard and all this stuff that involves activity. Which is good.. but its not something Im used to with kids. She is out of the ordinary.. in my opinion.

Last edited by lala21; 07/10/07 04:13 PM.
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Shark
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She is busy. I have never said this before, but does she have ADD or something? I cannot recall a time any of my kids said they were bored, they always found something to do.

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lala21 Offline OP
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Thank you! I thought this was a little out of the ordinary for a kid! Hubby suggested that maybe she could have ADD... but that's not something I want to bring up with the mother.

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Shark
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To be honest with you, if I had a child like that it would have been an only child. A day once in a while, but wow. And I had four. I can't imagine that little body in perpetual motion all day long! No, I wouldn't bring it up either. But if you do decide not to watch her anymore, or maybe shorten the time you are available, and comment, "oh, she just wears me out as she goes and goes!" (With a smile on your face of course). Her parents will eventually figure it out, does she go to any daycare type situations?

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lala21 Offline OP
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She is in lots of activities - swimming, skating, gymnastics, etc

Her mom and her would go to a play group at a local rec center once or twice a week.

And she is an only child too! Wouldn't it make it easier on a parent to have 2 children in that case, so that she has someone other than the parent to play with??

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Shark
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Maybe, but it wouldn't change the fact that she's on the move all the time. It's kind of odd that her mother isn't more aware, since she does bring her to social play groups, you would think that she would notice. Maybe it's just you, and you bring out the fun in her!

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Gecko
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Hi! It makes me wonder too if this child isn't having fun just keeping you going? You are a special person to her and she knows that she can make you work to please her. Here's an idea to try next time: If you set a timer and say that you will do the next thing when the timer goes off, you can bit by bit extend her tolerance for one activity. This is a technique used with ADHD and autistic kids but it should work fine with any child wanting your total and undivided attention and finding you will turn somersaults to give it to her. This might make the time you share a lot more fun, and less exhausting for you!!!
Let us know how it works. T


Be kinder than you need to be. Everyone is dealing with something.
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She is busy. I have never said this before, but does she have ADD or something? I cannot recall a time any of my kids said they were bored, they always found something to do.

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or maybe her mom has ADHD also.

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Let me just clarify something really quick. ADHD is what this kid would have if she does in fact have anything at all. ADHD has the hyperactive component. ADD does not. This kid has the hyperactive part so therefore she does not have ADD.

I know this because I have ADD myself and people frequently mix up the two disorders.

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Gecko
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Parents have to start teaching babies to entertain themselves really early or they become unable to do so! You may have to set aside times where you refuse to be her entertainment. Some children play better by themselves than others, but if babies see that we are willing to jump every time they say they are bored that's easier than learning to occupy their own time.

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Children tend to be overdiagnosed with ADD and ADHD. Just make sure the child isn't just keeping you going for kicks or is just very busy. If you just can't keep up, try teaching her to play by herself.

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Amoeba
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How quickly everyone assumes that a rambunctuous kid has a disorder (ADD, ADHD, etc.). If the child can focus enough to participate in structured activity such as gymnastics, swimming and others which requires concentration and following instruction I feel that when the kid is with you she is enjoying having every whim met by you. Do not bow so quickly to the demands every two minutes. Do you get to do what YOU want to do every 2 minutes? No, and neither should she.

Next time you go to the park you have a discussion before hand stating that if you walk to the park you will stay for 1 hour. If she is bored with frisbee playing, she can ride a swing, or go down a slide. Those can be the changing choices....not all this back and forth. Again, in the structured activities she follows orders as she should when being watched by you.

Just my 2 cents worth.

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If she is in a lot of activities and has someone do something with her constantly she is unable to entertain herself and unable to enjoy anyone thing because everything will be boring.

I used to have kids come into my dayhome from structured daycares and constantly ask me how to do something or what was next. I would always just say "figure it out" They would and became very independent in a very short period of time.

You won't be able to say anything to the parents, the school will say something though. They love to label those that don't fit into the mold.

She just doesn't have an imagination. Kids that are so overstructured and overly entertained usually don't. Do more imaginative pretend things.

She could be very excited to have you there and just wants to do anything and everything with you.

Last edited by Carennedy; 01/16/08 01:26 PM.
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