A 5-Step Cure To Calm Cooped-Up, Wound-Up Kids

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Ohh, isn't it the worst? Little ones who want to go outside, but can't? We've been having miserable weather here in New England of late, and that plus one of my two kids being sick...well, they've been driving me just a little crazy. Is it seriously heading to "that time of year" already? The bad weather + flu + kids indoors weather? If so, I'd better get started practicing some of these steps to wind-down these cooped-up kids.

1. Check yourself. Ever have one of those terrible, horrible, no good, very bad days where your bad mood actually puts the kids in a bad mood? The first thing I have to remember to do when the kids are wound up, and it's hard to actually do this because it means admitting I'm not perfect, is ask "is it me?". Am I shouting more than normal, more on edge than normal, putting the kids on edge? If so, what will calm me down and chill me out? A cup of tea? A walk with the kids outside (even if it's cold)? A shower? Skype a friend? If your mood could be playing a part, do whatever it takes to change your mood first.

2. Get the kids' "beans" out. Even if you can't get outside, get them active in the house. Have them help with the laundry, lifting and moving things. Dance to some music. Set up an obstacle course in the living room. Build a fort. Play hide and seek. Get moving, and get moving fast.

3. Once you're all exhausted, set the house into quiet mode. Turn off the television, turn off video games, turn off music. Get the house quiet for some chill time.

4. For little kids, a bath might help. Water play can be so relaxing for youngsters. Just think of what a nice long bath does for you when you're exhausted. It's okay if they've already had a bath or the usual bath time is right before bed - this one can be a special treat.

5. Get into comfy clothes and have a nice, long story time. Let the kids make a huge pile of books they want you to read. If it's cold, let them snuggle under blankets. Even better - that fort you made. Read in it until everyone's ready for a nap.

Ahhh. A nap. Doesn't that sound nice?

(Image: Matt & Betsy Siber/Matt and Betsy's Color-Inspired Coach House)