Photo: Tatyana Dzemileva (Shutterstock)
I don’t know if you noticed, but kids have a lot of energy. When they’re not running away or climbing something, they’ll ask questions or want to be entertained, which can be hard to deal with if you ever want to do other things too. But then there are the hyperactive children who bring a completely different level of “energetics” with them.
Although the reasons for hyperactivity vary, its effects on parents are not. It’s exhausting keeping up with a hyperactive child and keeping them from trying death defying stunts they might make up.
With my own hyperactive son, it is a challenge to exhaust him. He’s the boy who climbs the tallest structure in the playground, the boy who instantly runs into a crowd, and the boy who bounces and jumps while the rest of his playmates run. I’m now the disheveled mother who holds her third cup of coffee for the day and spends all of her time chasing after him for fear that he might need another visit to the emergency room.
If my son gets enough exercise, he’ll be a cute, happy kid. When he’s not, he’s restless, moody, and prone to acting out. It is important to give him some space for his energy, but all too often he exhausts me rather than the other way around.
What Causes Hyperactivity In Some Children?
It is important to provide hyperactive children with proper electrical outlets for their energy – but what are the best electrical outlets and how do you provide them without exhausting yourself? According to the website “Your children’s table“Written by Alisha Grogan, a licensed pediatric occupational therapist and mother of three boys, helping hyperactive children burn their energy requires a slightly different strategy than helping children who are not hyperactive.
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According to Grogan, hyperactivity is often related to sensory problemswhich leads to them constantly looking for new sensations. To help your hyperactive child, it is not enough just to let them run around until they are exhausted. Rather, it helps to be strategic in their activities to give them what they need.
Grogan’s advice for dealing with hyperactive children is to come up with activities that work one of three criteria, and vary your strategy according to your child’s needs at that moment. These solutions are:
Offer activities with rhythm and structure
Hyperactive children have a lot of energy, but that doesn’t mean they don’t crave structure, whether they realize it or not. Jumping up and down is great for burning energy; It’s even better to jump up and down to the rhythm of your favorite song.
For my son, he loves dance parties with dad, where the two of them bounce up and down while singing songs. During a dance party, his movement is a little more targeted, but his mood is much better.
Other possibilities are to play sports, to go for a walk, to climb a free-standing structure or a rock wall or set up an obstacle course. The movement helps burn the energy while the structure helps keep it a little more focused.
Offer free active time
Structured play is important, but sometimes you just need to give your child a little free rein to get all of this restlessness out of their system. This could be in the form of unstructured playtime in a park or playground, a wrestling match with dad, jumping up and down on the bed, or anything else that can help you get excess energy out of your system.
They’re kids, after all, which means that sometimes you just have to embrace the chaos. As long as no one gets hurt and nothing of value breaks, it’s okay to lean into this restless energy a little. Just make sure that you’ve finished your coffee and that the breakable items are secured.
Provide a relaxing environment to help with transitions
Most children struggle with transitionssuch as B. move from the active time to the quiet time. Hyperactive children seem to struggle a little more than most, which makes it all the more important to make a smooth transition from active time to rest or rest time.
If you have a hyperactive child who is showing signs of fatigue but just cannot relax, moving them to a relaxed environment is a good strategy. This can include dimming the lights, rocking back and forth, or playing soothing music. If you’re looking for a quiet time to organize their room can help, which can help them calm down. (And we, by the way.)