Calling all single moms out there! If you’ve got boys, we know how frazzled you must feel at times. Boys can be boundless balls of energy, pinging off every flat surface at light speed, leaving disasters in their wake. Evan and I may be dads to daughters, but we’ve hosted enough play dates and birthday parties to know what you’re up against. We’ve reached out to our network of single moms to get some feedback on how to wrangle your little terrors when they’re at their feistiest! Check out what the mom brigade has to say:
My two boys will absolutely terrorize each other unless I find something for them to do together, yet independently. Last week I had them each build a fort and they had a trench warfare shootout with Nerf guns. Amazing how little damage they can cause when they’re confined to a fort! – Jennie F., Indianapolis
Put ‘em to work! I once got my boys to clean the entire basement playroom—including sorting old toys for donation—by promising to take them to see Star Wars on opening night. – Tamera T., Fort Worth
I try to turn everything into a game for them. They’re already so competitive and sports-driven that all I have to do is put up a challenge and all of the sudden, they’re locked in on winning. They’re only a year apart, so the playing field is pretty even. I only have to step in every so often. – Pamela L., Minnetonka
My favorite way to get him settled down is to play “bet you can’t.” Bet you can’t solve this puzzle. Bet you can’t build that Lego set. I feel a little guilty about goading him into things sometimes, but it just works so well for getting him to settle down! – Cheyenne T., Vicksburg
No joke—I literally hide things around the house sometimes and give him a scavenger list. He hunted around for like four hours one Saturday while I was dealing with some bills on the phone. I was able to get my stuff done and we actually had a nice day at the park after that. – Marybeth R., Skokie
I really try to find activities for him to do. I’m close with a couple other moms and we all try to enroll our kids in the same things. This winter it’s basketball camp. Having an activity to focus on keeps him from bouncing off the walls and it’s great because us moms can share the responsibilities of picking them up and dropping them off. – Kirsten F., Kansas City
It’s not easy for single moms to corral their boys when they’re brimming with energy, but it’s not impossible. If you’re at your wits end and feeling run ragged, give these tried and true tips from other moms a try. Or, if you’ve got a secret of your own for calming your little bundle of chaos, share it in the commends below!