The great outdoors and hyperactivity

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by Malika, Dec 26, 2011.

  1. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    On one of our long walks (in the stunningly beautiful nature that surrounds us) today, it occurred to me that the great outdoors transforms J from an irritation that has to be suffered - not always, alas, in silence - to a force of nature in its own element... running ahead, being Batman with his jacket hood on and the arms flying free, playing hide and seek, saving the dog from danger and stamping in puddles, he is completely free and completely happy. I do not know how parents of hyperactive kids manage without this. J is not bad indoors, all things considered, playing for long sessions on his own with his games of imagination involving various characters played out with his cars and figurines, but inbetween times he is jumping up and down and all over the sofa, demanding to watch television (special holiday rules apply at the moment) or literally running about our small space with a gun. I get annoyed... I try not to, I "know" he is hyperactive, but I still cannot really live with it very successfully indoors. Outdoors, however, his energy and exuberance are joyful assets.
  2. HaoZi

    HaoZi Guest

    Hopefully that outdoor exercise runs some of that energy out of him so he's more settled indoors later.
  3. Steely

    Steely Active Member

    Oh, I sooo agree. I have always believed that Matt should have been born 100-200 years ago. Living life as a hunter he would have thrived at. He would have been probably the Chief Indian, and done it gallantly. He has such powerful energy - yet usually it has had to be harnessed between 4 walls. Corralling that much energy into a room or on a task, is not what his spirit was meant to do - he was meant to run, be a leader, and to be free. Sigh.
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Steely -
    So many of "our" kids, would have done much better even 100 years ago.
    Like... my own grandpa - born onto a homestead, got 6 years of education (that gave him his "grade 4" certificate) by the time he was 12, at which point he worked part time as a hired hand for various neighbors, while still working at home... at 18, left home fully equiped (skills and tools) to sign up for his own homestead. Sleeping under the wagon, training horses... His boundless energy had a productive outlet. (from anecdotal reports, my psychiatrist said "definitely ADHD").

    Now... there are very few who have a productive outlet for that energy.
    And you sure can't quit school at age 12 and "make it" in this world... can't even quit school if you wanted to.

    ADHD and other human anomalies, exist for a reason... these were traits that were good for the human race as a whole, "in small doses". The explorers, the migrators... weren't just ordinary souls.

    Malika - the more you can work the outdoors into the schedule for you and J, the better... can you take the dog out for a run before school? after school? the more you can do it daily, the better the impact. Think of it as a natural medicine...!
  5. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    This is one of the reasons Jamie planned his life and set his goals for the military in the Marine Corps from the age of 8 years old. He knew he was never meant for a job behind a desk. We have a program here called "take your child to work day"and I took both my boys at different times. When I took Jamie he was absolutely miserable because I had a desk job. He couldnt stand it. There was nothing to do. I tried having him file papers for me but that got old real fast. Eventually he went and found the janitor and spent the day with him sweeping, picking up and emptying trash cans and cleaning the bathrooms. The activity kept him busy so he was happier.

    Jamie came off ritalin when he was entering HS at 14 so he could go into the Marines. To cope with his ADHD, he started running every morning for 2 miles and then when he came home he would run another mile. He also was on the football team his freshman year along with the ROTC program. His sophomore through senior years he ran long distance track. This was to prepare him for the Marines.

    I could have never raised my younger two boys in the city. They lived for the outdoors. They came home from school and hit the door running. They hated rainy days. Those were the only days they played video games or attempted to watch tv shows. I dont think they sat through an entire tv show until they were in the upper stages of elementary school. If they were that still, they fell asleep. They scoured the woods and built forts, climbed trees and jumped out of them. The road their bikes all through the woods. They went fishing on the river we have near us. Sometimes they went hunting together for squirrels or rabbits. They were boys. That could have never happened in a city and they would have gone absolutely ape.
  6. forkeeps251

    forkeeps251 Member

    I've noticed something similar in my difficult child. I never gave the idea of camping much thought until we actually did it. At five years old, difficult child is a wonderful camper! No complaints, he is totally compliant! He goes to bed without so much as a whimper and takes hikes with us and rarely complains. Even food that he normally wouldn't touch if I fixed it at home is suddenly delicious! During the months when it is nice out side we take several camping trips, just staying in a tent at a state park that is close by for one or two nights. Camping has become one of my family's favorite activities. Even my oldest son loves it, and it means he can't plan xbox so that is a big deal!
  7. AnnieO

    AnnieO Shooting from the Hip

    I loved playing outside. I still love camping.

    Jett does NOT... He'd rather sit still... And then later make the rest of us crazy...
  8. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I have come to ralize that being outdoorsy people was a lifesave for me. All of my kids have benefitted from it for those very reasons. Even when we dont' have real "outside" plans, we often will ust make a fire in the driveway to sit around. It gives Wee a reason to be outside, and being outside, in and of itself, is GREAT for him. Has for all the kids.

    Have you heard of The Horse Boy? Rupert Isaacson. You might enjoy it.
  9. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    You would think so, wouldn't you? And yet the curious thing - and I have read about this in connection with ADHD - is that the hyperactivity does not seem to be a finite pool, as it were, than can be exhausted... He doesn't get tired from physical activity but just carries on being as active as ever even after great physical exertion. It's very strange. On the other hand (and this is not typical of hyperactivity) he has never had any problems going to sleep. He is very tired at the end of the day and goes to sleep in a couple of minutes at about 8 pm. He is actually tired way before then - but tiredness does not make him stop being active.
  10. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    FWIW Wee is the same way. Heck, so am I, for that matter. I can work like a dog all day long, no doubt I'm hyper, and crash. I sleep better when I do work physically. Wee's the same way. He just goes and goes and goes and goes...until he doesn't, and then he crashes.
  11. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Expresses it perfectly...
  12. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Oh - and a question. Does Wee play sports, Shari?
  13. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    He has played baseball the past couple of summers in a local rec league. Not sure what we'll do next year as his age group goes to the competitive league, and Wee's just not competitive about it...
  14. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    That's a shame. Is there anything else he'd go for? I've kind of got J in as much as I can - at the moment, roller-skating class, tennis and gym - on the principle that the earlier he learns sports discipline, the better. Will put him in rugby and football next year, and hopefully horse-riding and winter ski-ing... Then he can learn motor-biking and karting when he's 7. He'll love the speed, of course.
  15. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My difficult child was similar when he was younger. Some of his meltdowns used to come when he would finally have to come inside. He always did best at swimming. When he was in the water he was a different kid, still is to some extent.
  16. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    I guess baseball is his only organized team sport. We've had a hard time getting him in non-adapted group activities, but we're making progress. He started boy scouts this fall and likes that so far. He's also getting interested in mounted shooting with me, and of course, we ride quite a bit. I've also taken him to a couple of team sorting events, and he is all over that (and he and his little horse are fairly good at it). He loves to make stuff, too, so I try to keep him in arts and crafts supplies, and he has his dog and rats (he got a new one for Christmas). He also does swim lessons for 2 or 3 months a year in the winter, and we buy a pool pass for the summer. I also just found a tae kwon do class in town that he wants to try.
    So we have stuff to do, just not really team sports.
  17. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Shari - your approach is probably far better than a raft of team sports. JMO of course, but... team sports are far too over-rated.

    Malika - if he's doing all of THAT by age 7, what on earth will he be doing at 14??? You do need to think about it... because it will be here before you know it.
  18. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    As much as Wee craves routine, he flops when he's over-scheduled. He needs flexibility within structure - a choice of predictable activities, I guess.
  19. Malika

    Malika Well-Known Member

    Lol. My idea is more that he will try different sports - easy to do here as we are in a very outdoor, sporty area - to see what he likes, what he takes to and will go on with...