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Your 5-year-old now
Big kids need at least a half hour to an hour of physical activity a day — ideally a full hour. Your energetic child does a lot of this activity naturally as he wiggles and jumps through the day.
Research shows that physical play reduces stress in children and improves their attention span. Try not to get too involved in your child's free play, whether it's solo play or time with friends. Set some guidelines, and then let him go. When adults aren't micromanaging their play, kids relax and have more fun. They're better able to take control of their own interactions. They learn to negotiate conflict and make choices on their own.
The best thing about all this furious activity? At the end of the day, they should be so tuckered out they'll fall blissfully to sleep. (We can dream, can't we?).
Your life now
What's the best way to tell your child that you're not really interested in what he has to say? Encourage him to talk but then keep busy doing something else. Your child deserves your undivided attention when he's talking to you, especially if he's trying to tell you about something that happened that was very good or very upsetting.
Take a moment to give your child your full attention while he's talking. Eye contact and the rest of your body language tell him in clear terms that you care about him and what he has to say. Don't interrupt or hurry him along.
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