Member comment: I feel like I never have enough ideas to
Offer of physical outlets for older kids. Like older than 9…wall pushups and throwing ice outside are the two I’ve suggested but they don’t seem to be a big hit…
Rachel’s response: I’ll be giving a one-sheet for older kids (and even teens and adults) too!
Often since they’re more coordinated — and sometimes even have their own interests, like sports or martial arts — they can actually do more. Just as one example, they can pace + do something in their heads to the rhythm of their walking. (I’ve even told kids they could say mean words in their head for each step that they take…and then as they “walk it out” they become more calm and the words become less mean.)
Ultimately with older kids we want them to be deciding themselves what their strategy should be. The more involved they are, the more likely they are to do it. Older kids are more likely to say “I don’t know,” if you ask them what they want to try, so here are some ways to get around that:
1.) Have this conversation when you’re already connected, NOT out of the blue. If they’re not feeling good, they will not be open to problem solving and NOTHING will work. (Have you heard that before?!)
2.) Offer them suggestions that work for you and let them tell you how much those wouldn’t work for them. Often they’ll come up with someone “better” ideas to contradict our “dumb” ones.
3.) Do this as a family instead of focusing on them. Have everyone in the family come up with a strategy and talk about it at dinner together as a reminder for everyone.