Does Your Child Suffer From RBS? (Restless Body Syndrome)

Written by on July 20, 2012 in Family - 1 Comment | Print this page


Okay, in all fairness, I made this “condition” up, but if you were to spend 30 seconds around my children you would witness their amazing, frustrating ability to not be still, at all, ever, not a bit, not even when they’re sleeping.   

When watching a movie or a cartoon, or eating at the table, or standing to talk to you, they constantly wiggle, flip over, flail their arms and legs around, shake, spin, twist, turn upside down, rotate, roll, and squirm; their movement is constant and some days I feel like I will lose my mind if they don’t stop moving.

I know parents who have these children that sit still, for extended periods of time, and I am incredibly jealous and resentful.  I once found myself complaining about my wriggly children to a friend who pointed out that little children are really no different than puppies. This was a major AHA moment for me, as I remembered the extreme frustration of dealing with our Husky puppy, Kaya, who NEVER STOPPED MOVING, ever, ever, ever. AHA, yes! Small children are just like puppies! That explains it.

So what can you do to deal with a child that never stops moving?

 1)    Give them lots of physical outlets:  Active children need to be active, plain and simple. Get them outside as much as possible to run, jump, and play, flip whatever.  They need to burn off that excess energy (wouldn’t you just kill for “excess” energy?)

2)    Reduce their sugar intake?  There is a lot of debate over whether or not sugar actually affects the hyper-activity of children or if this is just a myth and the culprit is really the situation in which the children tend to consume sugar (birthday parties, holidays, beach days etc.) I have also read studies on the effects of Red Dye in foods on children.  I figure why not be on the safe side and limit the sweet stuff, not only is it better for them anyway, but I need to try everything I can!

3)    Limit over stimulation:  I’m not saying become the fun police but if you have an extremely active child, I believe that it’s very proactive to recognize those situations that get your child riled up.  After a very physical or exciting event have a good “calm-down” plan such as reading a book, coloring, playing a game like eye-spy.  Give them something to focus on to bring their movement down a few notches.

4)    BREATHE:   While typing this article my five year old has flipped over the back of the couch ten times, my 3 year old fell while standing up because she was wiggling so much and they both have been writhing behind me like puppies on speed.  While it can be very challenging to be around this kind of movement, constantly, like the drone of a bee, or bad traffic, I find it helps to take a deep breath and repeat, “bed time will come, bed time will come, bed time will come.”

In all honesty I love that my children are not lumps on bump and admit that with their over-activeness comes their amazing personalities.  I’m sure they will grow up to be highly motivated “do-ers” that will be able to accomplish anything they set their minds to with their crazy energy reserves.  (At least that’s what I tell myself when they fall off of the furniture..again…and again….and again)






About the Author

Jenessa Blanchet

I am a working mother of two, with a passion for writing and lending a literary helping hand to fellow parents and family enthusiasts. Born and raised on the west coast, I have a love of the outdoors; sailing, beaching and all things wonderful including constantly trying to keep a handle on family life. View all posts on Family Life.