Tire them out

Are you familiar with the term “animal hour?”

You would recognize this as the time somewhere between 4-6 pm when everybody is frustrated and starts fussing, moaning, or yelling! One reason for this might be because kids spend the greater portion of their day cooped up in a classroom or sat in front of the television for too long. Their bottled-up energy finds release in the form of tantrums as you announce bath time or the end of playtime.

Unload as much of that energy as you possibly can in a positive manner around five o’clock in the afternoon. When little ones are out of breath from exertion, they’re usually more willing to start an evening routine!

Here are some suggestions.

• Play catch with a dog.

• Run around a tree in the garden ten times against a stopwatch.

• Jump like a rabbit to the opposite wall and back again.

• Take turns being the personal trainer at the ‘gym’. Let them work hard!

• Ride around the house on a push-bike.

• Box a pillow that mom or dad holds up.

• Have a sword fight with rolled-up newspaper.

• Perform a mini dance concert choreographed to a fast song.

• Your older children probably have sports to practice – incorporate some backyard practice into your schedule and play with them!

As a bonus you will also rid yourself of work stress! Children may also experience social stress and need a safe outlet. Laughter is guaranteed with these activities.

This process builds relationships.