Sometimes the house can feel a little crazy. On any given day, you can be washing dishes at the sink while you watch what seems like pure chaos unfolding around you. You try to focus on the sound of the rushing water and feel the coolness and then the loud screams and shrills of laughing and playing interrupts you. As you try to gather back your thoughts, your hear running feet through to the living room, down the hallway, and back again, making a loop a few times before heading to the couch and jumping on it, kicking all the throw pillows onto the floor (and on top of the toys that are scattered across the carpet). S/he’s yelling or singing in a big loud voice and the next thing that comes to your head is to scream. But you tell yourself to calm down and it’s not long before you feel the child whiz by you on his way upstairs only to be found moments later dragging all sorts of pillows and stuffed animals downstairs to jump and crash on. That’s it! You’ve had enough and you’re about to burst!
If this is you, congrats! You’ve got a hyperactive child.
A hyperactive child is not a problem. It’s just that s/he may just need a little more attention and patience to channel their energy and thought-process.
Don’t get it twisted. There’s one common denominator that’s often at the root of a hyperactive child or toddler, and that’s sensory. It’s almost impossible for hyperactivity and sensory not to go together, they’re like peanut butter and jelly. Hyperactivity in and of itself is looking for more activity whether that means a child is tipping back on their chair, jumping on the couch again, or getting up from the table 20 times during dinner.
The brain is looking for more sensations and it won’t be satisfied until it gets it. That’s why hyperactive kids keep pushing the envelope, seeming not to hear or understand when told to sit down. It seems like they’re being bad or defiant which sometimes make the parents feel bad. Don’t you worry. Read on.
Here are some characters hyperactive kids exhibit.
*Hyperactive kids have difficulty in listening to or following directions.
*They can’t sit back in their seats and tend to move around a lot.
*They talk too much or interrupt other people’s conversations.
*Hyperactive kids fail to follow instructions or do a step-by-step routine.
*They are impulsive, overenthusiastic and bouncing with energy.
*They can easily become worried, frustrated, angry, and sad.
Does that sound like your child(ren)? You’re not alone. Understanding why they act the way they do is the first step towards better management of the situation and since hyperactivity is related to the brain, the best way to handle such kids is to make the child relax and take things one at a time.
Here are few tips that can help you deal better with hyperactive kids;
Offer activities with rhythm and structure:
It’s incredibly important for hyperactive and energetic kids to have an outlet for all that energy. Stifling it, or trying to, often will make it worse. But, sometimes a free for all can make things much worse as well. So, that is where deliberate measures are needed. There’s a difference between going outside and running around everywhere and running back and forth between two points. The latter is putting some structure to an open activity that may otherwise just make your child more hyperactive.
Then, to kick it up a notch, if you combine some structure with rhythm, the rhythm is often even more calming and organizing to the body and mind (this is one of the sensory tricks). Adding a rhythmic song will make it more entertaining.
Now you can take those ideas of structure and rhythm and apply it to these activities:
This is built in structure. There are many sporting activities your child can play with you, a sibling, or friend in the backyard or safe space in the home. With tons of sports to choose from, you have endless options.
These don’t have to be too complicated, think about simple ideas like crawling over and under objects, walking on a line, and hopping to the finish line.
Going for a walk or run or jumping on a trampoline.
Climbing: You can use a staircase on hands or knees, a jungle gym, a tree, or if you’re lucky enough a rock wall.
Free Active Time:
Sometimes it’s wise you let them rein free. While structure is important for a hyperactive child(ren), so is free play. A time when they can run wildly if they choose to without anyone telling them to stop.
Sometimes it’s best to lead with a period of time where they have the time and space to run wild and do what they like. Great if this can be outside, but inside the home can work too. Set some ground rules about safe behavior, and if it’s hard to watch, maybe there are some dishes you can attend to.
Get the child(ren) to relax:
This strategy can be used for a hyperactive kid especially before bed or during activities they need to sit still as long as possible. Kids like this can have a particularly hard time going from a high energy level to a lower one, using some calming activities, like these can make a huge difference:
Rocking – either in a swing, hammock, or rocking chair
Swinging – think porch swing.
Dim lights – don’t underestimate this subtle change. Sometimes just dimming the lights can help calm a child.
Organized room – an organized space with toys and items put away can also have a big impact.
Music – think soft, slower music.
Managing a hyperactive child(ren) can be exhausting, in every sense of the word, but don’t lose hope. Learn as much as you can everyday as it can helps you manage the child. One caveat though, don’t give up on these tips too soon. It’s so important that you try all of these strategies multiple times. It will take you and your child some time to figure out what’s working and what’s not.
One more thing. Have an open conversation with the child(ren). You’ll be surprise how much they listen.
How were you able to manage a hyperactive child(ren) as a parent, guardian or teacher? Please share with us in the comment section.