‘Boisterous’ can be one of those passive-aggressive words to describe children. “Ohh, your kids are very boisterous” translates into “How can you bear it?”

So we asked parents with so-called boisterous children to tell us what they think...  

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They’re boys

1. “They’re just seven and five year-old-boys. Yes, they are boisterous, but so are most boys their age. They also give the best squeezy hugs and are kind and thoughtful children.” Joanne

You’ve just forgotten what kids are like

2. “I think anyone who calls children boisterous either doesn’t have children or has forgotten what children are like. My parents seem to have completely forgotten how full-on my brother was and are very quick to criticise my kids’ noise levels.” Becky

3. “The dictionary definition of ‘boisterous’ is noisy, energetic, cheerful. In my book, that’s called being a child. And I’ll take boisterous any day over silent, inactive and sad.” Naimh

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It’s just a stage

4. “I have four boys. My youngest are twins and, yes, they are boisterous. I also know from my older boys that they will calm down with age and be less hyper once they find their ‘thing’ to channel that energy into. My older boys play rugby and football but have also got much better on concentrating on things like Lego and puzzles. For now, I enjoy this stage - at least there’s never a dull moment.

“For the record, boisterous has a bit of a negative connotation but my boys have never hurt any other children and are given very warm welcomes at nursery.” Amy

They’re not being deliberately annoying

5. “Boisterous is not the same as naughty. My daughter would never deliberately do anything naughty, but she is full of beans and eager to get into everything. She’s a real character.” Joe

6. “It annoys me that boisterous is seen as the opposite of well-behaved. It’s perfectly possible for kids to be bouncy and energetic and still know how to behave and think of other people’s feelings.” Eve

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What worked for us

7. “If you have boisterous kids, seek out other parents with energetic kids. The children will have a fabulous time together and you’ll get to relax and enjoy them, without feeling like your parenting style is being judged by parents with supposedly perfect children.” Helen

8. “Boisterous just means kids who need to let off steam, not be cooped up indoors all day. I run mine every day to and from school and we have a trampoline in the garden that they can spend hours bouncing on. Years ago a mum told me ‘kids are like dogs - they need running and feeding.’ At the time I thought she was a nutty dog woman. But she was right - regular meals and snacks so they don’t get crabby and regular exercise so they don’t climb the walls is the way to go.” Laura