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Confessions of a mother of a high-energy child
Guest post by Maddie Sinclair from the parenting blog ‘Gammon and Chips’.
Hello. My name is Maddie and for the past 3 years, 6 months and 21 days, I’ve been the mother of a high-energy child.
His (blog) name is Gammon, and ever since he learned to crawl, he has done everything at a hundred miles an hour. He learned to walk on his first birthday, only to instantly disregard this form of transport as too inefficient, and he has run everywhere since.
It’s very hard work. Whenever I take him to a group he is the one who is running around like a hamster who has just received a strong intravenous dose of caffeine, instead of sitting down neatly with all the other children singing ‘Wind The Bobbin Up’.
People are constantly saying “That’s boys for you”… but he’s not like any other boy that I know. He is literally bouncing (usually on his bed) from the time he wakes until the time he has to go to sleep.
Gammon constantly tests me with his behaviour, and pushes the boundaries on most things. He is extremely physical; constantly pushing, throwing, swiping, chasing and fidgeting; and demands a lot of my attention. He is often disobedient and defiant, but he is never naughty or malicious – only cheeky – and he seems to understand the difference.
I have done many things to try and calm him down. I have reduced his sugar intake, done a Positive Parenting course, read a book on ADHD (just in case), taken him on long walks and to indoor play centers to try and wear him out. All of these things have helped, but what has had more impact than anything else is reading an interview with Deborah Phelps, about how they introduced their son Michael to swimming because he was diagnosed with ADHD.
Very early on they realised they needed to channel his high energy levels into something active. Swimming would not only burn energy, but would teach him life skills such as discipline, commitment, motivation, goal-setting, and would ultimately build his self-esteem. This was a bit of an epiphany moment for me, I must say.
I’ve realised that the REAL ‘problem’ has been me, and the way I’ve only been looking at how his high energy affects me. I need to view it, not as a hindrance, but as a potential talent that can be nurtured – Gammon is tougher than other boys; he can run faster, he doesn’t get physically tired, he’s incredibly brave, and he has a very strong sense of adventure. Why should these skills be viewed as different to being good at Maths, or showing an early appreciation for music?
My recent navel gazing has made me admit to myself that, on some occasions, I’ve avoided taking Gammon out because he is so hard to control. While many of his friends have started gymnastics or dance classes, we’ve just stuck with a weekly routine that I can handle; nursery 3 afternoons a week, the crèche at the gym, visiting friends or doing activities at home. But what he really needs is something active.
Hmmm, so now I’ve got the plan of action, where do I start?
Well, that’s where KalliKids comes in.
We are searching the website for the perfect local activity to channel Gammon’s energy. And whichever we choose, I can rest assured that they will be a quality provider, who I’m sure will be used to dealing with all different types of children. I don’t know about you, but I’ve got very high hopes for the 2028 Olympics. Do you think it’s too early to put a bet on?
Maddie Sinclair is a Brighton-based, Aussie expat mum of a high-energy 3-year-old boy and huge-eyed 1-year-old girl. She is also a freelance proofreader and writer, and blogs about life with her 2 children at Gammon and Chips.