Stress Free Bedtime Routines Hack #4: Drain Energy and Get Ready For Bed

Sometimes we forget that our children spend most of their day sitting on a chair in school. Recess time is usually very short, and it’s difficult to burn a lot of energy at that time. When we pick up our kids from school, they are usually full of energy, a little agitated, some may have meltdowns… that is totally normal!

They may be mentally tired, but they have a lot of built up energy from having limited movement and from having to be paying attention for a long time. They need an outlet for all that energy once they’re out of school. We need to make sure our children have interesting, stimulating, age-appropriate, and varied activities during the afternoon, including physical activity and fresh air, so that they can burn up energy, exercise their bodies and mind, and be looking forward the wind down time at night time.

My daughters practice a few physically draining activities during the school year, such as archery, running, swimming, dance and American Ninja Warrior. They also practice a few mentally draining activities, such as viola and robotics. These activities are great to help them burn up their energy and free their minds from their school work.

We need to be careful though, not to make these after school activities another source of stress for our kids. We want our children to feel more relaxed after engaging in an after school activity. They should get a chance to play, make new friends, socialize with new people, have well-rounded experiences outside of academics, and learn something new.

We don’t want these activities to be another point of contention, or something that, instead of helping our kids be happy and disconnect from school, will cause them frustration or stress. Make sure your child loves the activity they are participating in, and be aware of over scheduling them. Over-scheduling may lead to unnecessary pressure on kids. Over-scheduling is really about having our children’s schedules so packed, that they don’t have time to be children and have free play.

Family Playing Soccer In Park Together

When they are not busy with after school activities, my daughters get together with friends and play outside. There is no need for structured activities, children can enjoy their time and drain their energy by running around the neighborhood with friends, going with their parents to walk the dog, going for a family bike ride, playing tag in their backyard, or simply jumping on their trampoline.

With our busy schedules and homework load, sometimes it is difficult to plan unstructured physical play. However, we should make a conscious effort to do a physical activity with our children, at least once or twice a week. It can be a great bonding experience!

If we help our children release all the pent up energy they have from their busy days in school, they will be more likely to want to relax at bedtime. Recent studies have shown the importance of roughhousing with your kids. A few minutes of roughhousing after dinner can have a tremendous positive impact.

What activities do your kids do? What do you to physically engage with them? How do they drain their energy during the afternoon so they are ready for bed?

Much love, Diana-

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