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My son needs constant activity

Posted by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 9:04 AM
  • 7 Replies

I put my son in a 3 hour daycare program, 3 mornings a week at the YMCA both as a form of respite for me, and to get him out of the house and around other toddlers. I was worried about how he would do, and if this would be overwhelming for him, but he's actually thriving. I learned that a large majority of his frustrating behavior is stemming from him being BORED. He seems to love spending time away from me, which is great because I really need the break. 

Now that I know what the issue was for him, I've been trying to keep him busy and it is not easy. There's only so many things for an 18 month old to do in the winter. Our schedule is packed, and it still doesn't seem to be enough activity for him. He's in swimming lessons, has 2 or 3 activities per week at the Y, has the 3 mornings of daycare, a play group, therapy 3 times per week plus whatever we decide to do on the weekends. I feel like I can't keep up, and as soon as he has any down time he starts whining. I now know that he's whining for more activity. 

Are any of your children like this? Is this possibly related to ADHD, or is this an autism behavior? Or maybe it's just what toddlers do? 

Thanks! 

by on Jan. 25, 2013 at 9:04 AM
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Replies (1-7):
VioletsMomTown
by Robyn on Jan. 25, 2013 at 9:32 AM

My daughter likes to have one big activity a day, any more than that and she gets overwhelmed. She also loves school, and we struggle to get her enough activity in the winter. Summer we are outside all the time, going to the beach and park, this time of year its hard to figure out. You can only wander the mall so many times! I asked my mom to help us out with activities for Violet. We gave her a bit of money for gas and 3 days a week she would come and take her out to do stuff for 3 or 4 hours. It's exhausting I know, maybe you can find someone else who could help out? I'm not sure whether its a kid thing, an autism thing or what, but my daughter is the same way.

dawncs
by Dawn on Jan. 25, 2013 at 9:43 AM

Have you thought of getting involved with your local TheARC (http://www.thearc.org/), Easter Seals (http://www.easterseals.org/), or Variety Club (http://www.usvariety.org/)? Both offer a variety of different activities for all ages. I would also recommend Special Olympics (http://www.specialolympics.org/) because they have a young athlete program of just learning basic skills.

Dawn
Beautifully Talanted Autistic Social Story Author
Diagnosed Asperger Syndrome as an adult
Diagnosed Edema (since young)
Author Page: http://www.toyboxunlimited.com/ (has discounts)

lucasmadre
by Kari on Jan. 25, 2013 at 11:40 AM

Well, in part I think we "train" our kids in terms of behavior. If you are constantly entertaining him he gets used to that. Try and give him short periods of time to do things by himself, set up something interesting, get him engaged and then back off and see how long he lasts. I think at that age my son loved his Thomas train set and blocks...books, he would look at books for a hour. I wouldn't worry too much, it sounds very normal. Hang in there, it is a very busy age :)

emarin77
by Silver Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 6:09 PM

 

 Any child can whine.  Your child is acting normally.

Quoting lucasmadre:

Well, in part I think we "train" our kids in terms of behavior. If you are constantly entertaining him he gets used to that. Try and give him short periods of time to do things by himself, set up something interesting, get him engaged and then back off and see how long he lasts. I think at that age my son loved his Thomas train set and blocks...books, he would look at books for a hour. I wouldn't worry too much, it sounds very normal. Hang in there, it is a very busy age :)

 

 

lady_katie
by Silver Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 6:35 PM

Of course whining is normal behavior. 

Quoting emarin77:


 Any child can whine.  Your child is acting normally.

Quoting lucasmadre:

Well, in part I think we "train" our kids in terms of behavior. If you are constantly entertaining him he gets used to that. Try and give him short periods of time to do things by himself, set up something interesting, get him engaged and then back off and see how long he lasts. I think at that age my son loved his Thomas train set and blocks...books, he would look at books for a hour. I wouldn't worry too much, it sounds very normal. Hang in there, it is a very busy age :)





lady_katie
by Silver Member on Jan. 25, 2013 at 6:41 PM

I cannot wait until my son is old enough for school (this Sept. if we can get him into the 2 year old program that we applied for), I know that he's going to love it too. And yes, I'm SO sick of the mall lol. That's so great that your mom can come take some of the pressure off. I don't have any family nearby, we're kind of new to the region. 

Quoting VioletsMomTown:

My daughter likes to have one big activity a day, any more than that and she gets overwhelmed. She also loves school, and we struggle to get her enough activity in the winter. Summer we are outside all the time, going to the beach and park, this time of year its hard to figure out. You can only wander the mall so many times! I asked my mom to help us out with activities for Violet. We gave her a bit of money for gas and 3 days a week she would come and take her out to do stuff for 3 or 4 hours. It's exhausting I know, maybe you can find someone else who could help out? I'm not sure whether its a kid thing, an autism thing or what, but my daughter is the same way.



kajira
by Emma on Jan. 25, 2013 at 7:04 PM

Whining when you get bored doesn't mean he needs over the top act activities, what it DOES mean is he may need some guidance on what to do next.

If he gets bored, give him something to do - for my son when he was a toddler, what I would do is offer art projects, a tv show, books, etc, sometimes i'd let him take a bath with toys only allowed in the tub. we had crayons that he could use on the wall.

As an adult, I get bored and it doesn't mean I want so many activities my head explodes, what it means is i can't figure out what I want to do, and none of my normal activities seem to inspire me and I'd like a few suggestions to pick from. My husband is great at giving me a list of ideas when I get like that.

SOMETIMES - it actually means i'm over stimulated and can't just relax and find something to do, because my brain can't focus long neough from over stimulation. So what i really need, is some downtime to relax and sometimes, have something mindless to do that doesn't cause much stress on my brain for a bit.

I would actually consider cutting back some of his activities and doing more quiet activities with him. Teach him to self-soothe and offer quieter activities that allow him to relax, he'll learn when he's bored to come up with his own ideas if he's actually just bored - and if it's not just boredom, being quiet and relaxed may help behavioral outbursts.


When my son says he's bored - what it means is he's overstimulated, can't focus and is about to explode.

My son talks differently, if he can't figure out what to do, he says help me find something to do, vs bored = overstimulation.

So, at 18, high energy wanting to be on the go is pretty normal for a toddler boy... normal or otherwise... if he's got sensory issues, you could try building sensory activities to do to help him - and then redirect him to those activities if he seems to you like he needs something to do.

There's no reason you can't offer ideas to him... and it doesn't mean you have to entertain him every second of every day.

I spend a lot of time playing with my kids - but I can also sit in the room talking to them while reading a book, or watching a movie, or other activities that doesn't involve me being their sole entertainment.

My toddler plays with the dog, the cats, watches tv, goes outside and sees the goats, and has playdates with other kids her age about 1x a week, and she's NT - she has no huge need to be on the go non stop with all these outtings and activities, and she's doing just fine.

My son on the other hand, needed guidance or he'd go insane. It had more to do with his inability to figure out how to play correctly and needing ideas on what to do next.

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