How to deal with a high spirited 5 yr old girl?

Darlene - posted on 05/05/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )

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My daughter Ivy is a high spirited 5 yr old. She some times has problems sitting still and listening to the teachers at daycare and kindergarten. The teachers at daycare write in a weekly book for Ivy, and it is always negative and only about Ivy's behavior, and it makes me feel like a bad mother. Ivy is not bad. She is just spirited and always on the move. She is very bright and learns at a rapid rate. How can I help Ivy to calm down without breaking her spirit?

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Erin - posted on 05/08/2012

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Glad to be of some help, hopefully! I hope they work out for you, and that she has a blast with it.

Erin - posted on 05/05/2012

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My aunt has had much the same problem. She has one girl who's 6, and the other is 4. Rebecca, the oldest, is already in school, and Grace, the youngest, is already trying to do her sister's homework.. and succeeding! She's sharp as a tack, and has a lot of energy.. and because she picks things up and learns so fast, she often feels bored quickly when having to stick to a task she's already mastered. It wasn't so much a problem until she started pre-school, and her teachers expressed similar concerns. The best solution my aunt has found was to enroll both girls into a creative activity. She let them pick, and they chose ballet. It gives them a creative outlet after school that lets them express themselves more actively.. and burn off some of that energy too. Since they started, they're both calmer during the day, and learning to restrain that extra energy for after school.. since they have something super fun to look forward to. Not to mention they've both made a lot of new friends, so it opened up opportunities for play-dates and whatnot for them. And I know she takes them to the park after school on nice days, when they don't have lessons, so they can let loose a little. Another thing she's tried that's helped is a chart system. She keeps it posted on the fridge with both their names on it and she uses smiley/frowny face stickers on it. Each day they get a good report, they get a smiley, every bad report gets a frowny. At the end of the week, they get $1 for every smiley for their piggy bank, and have to do an extra chore each day for every frowny. At the end of the month she gives them the option to save their piggy bank money for later, or to use it to buy something special of their choice. And for every week they get all smileys, they get something extra.. be it a little toy, a little extra money, a happy meal.. something along those lines. Between the dance classes and the chart, it's been great motivation for them to behave well in school and put their energy into the right places.

Hope this gives you some ideas or at least a place to start.. I plan to try something similar with my son when he starts school this fall. He's got quite a lot of energy himself. Would love to hear back with her progress. Good luck to you!

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