“Why can’t you sit in one place?”
“Why are you always out of your seat?”
“You are such a mischief monger!”
If this is what you are constantly telling your child, you most likely have a hyperactive child. Very quickly, hyperactive children get labeled as a nuisance to others, or being distracted, misbehaved or aggressive, and parents and educators find it tough to manage them. While they may seem to be misfits in conventional settings, it is important to channelize the energy of your hyperactive child to help build confidence and a sense of calm.
How to identify a hyperactive child?
A minute here, a minute there, go-go-go – that’s how hyperactive children behave. They simply can’t sit still, and are constantly looking for ways to get rid of their energy.
They have difficulty concentrating on one thing at a time, and tend to be impulsive. They can’t sit still for simple activities like eating or watching television. They may talk too much and make noises while eating. As they are looking out for things to do, they may indulge in destructive behaviour like tearing things apart, throwing away random stuff, or disturbing others. If your child exhibits some or all of these behavioural patterns, then you may want to consult a medical professional to talk more about this.
Many parents of diagnosed individuals are worried about how to manage hyperactive children. Keep reading to learn more about hyperactivity and for some tips on how to manage behaviour to foster confidence and calm in your child.
Why do hyperactive children behave like that?
While a common perception is that hyperactive children suffer from ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder), there can be many reasons for hyperactivity. The first step to channelize the energy of your hyperactive child is to find out underlying causes. Some known underlying causes include:
Sometimes, disturbed mental health can be a cause for hyperactivity. Death of a family member or pet, being bullied, or having a scary experience may lead to trauma and create severe anxiety in a child. It is important to understand what has triggered a sudden change in behaviour if a child has not always been hyperactive.
Children are naturally energetic and full of excitement. However, if they land in situations of prolonged inactivity or lack of exercise, it can make them hyperactive. Not having enough space to move around or a lack of regular play time can be frustrating for children and may lead to hyperactivity.
Lack of sleep
Sleep deprived children may show all symptoms of hyperactivity. If a child doesn’t get sufficient sleep, the body produces more cortisol and adrenaline, leading to hyperactivity.
If nothing else seems to be the cause, it’s time to look out for medical symptoms. Get your child investigated for thyroid, ADHD, or other genetic conditions which may be causing hyperactivity.
Yes, children experience stress. A change in schedule, being separated from their parents or caregivers, a broken toy – any of these can be a stressful situation for a child. Even something that seems positive like moving to a new neighbourhood or having guests over can create stress.
How to channelize the energy of your hyperactive child?
Hyperactive children have an excessive amount of energy which, if left unchecked, creates problems for them as well as their caretakers. If you have been wondering how to manage hyperactive children, here are 5 things you can do:
Define a schedule
Hyperactive children thrive on structure. As their educators and guardians, it is imperative to chalk out a schedule that keeps them busy. Include a wide variety of activities in their schedule as they get easily bored. Household tasks like folding the laundry, filling water bottles, and putting things back in their place are some of the things to include in their time-table. Help them to make to-do lists and encourage them to tick off stuff that is done. This will help them experience a sense of accomplishment, and channel their energy in the right direction.
Sign up for sports
Children who are hyperactive need activities that challenge them physically. Enroll them in sports like karate, swimming, kickboxing to release some excess energy. Dancing, aerobics, and gymnastics are some other options to consider. Having a punching bag installed at home or in the classroom also helps such children to calm their nerves.
Feed less sugar and carbs
The impact of sugar on hyperactivity is not stressed enough. They say you are what you eat, and it can’t be closer to the truth. Refined sugars, processed foods, and excessive amounts of carbohydrates, which are complex sugars, cause rapid changes in the blood sugar levels and influence childhood activity. It is advisable to be mindful of what your child is eating and how it affects them. A protein-rich diet comprising nuts, eggs, lean meats like fish and poultry, beans, and low-fat dairy products often helps folks keep their hyperactivity in check.
Sufficient free time
On an average, kids need 2-3 hours of unstructured time on a daily basis. Hyperactive kids may need a bit more than that. While it is important to create a schedule, it is equally important to let them have enough free time to jump around and bounce off that extra energy. Allow them to play on trampolines, slides, crawl under make-shift play zones, climb trees, and generally indulge in free play. Take them to play zones and parks regularly, and encourage unstructured playtime.
Everyone loves a treat, however small it is. With hyperactive kids, positive reinforcement can do wonders for motivation. Reward them with a compliment or their favourite food item when they complete an assigned task and see the change over time. It starts with perception. Showering them with praise helps them realize the value of accomplishment.
Hyperactive children often display unusual creative streaks and bring forth unique ways of solving problems. They are spontaneous, resilient, and are great conversationalists. Their abundant energy can actually be a gift when channelized in the right direction. It is extremely important to channelize the energy of your hyperactive child.
With a bit of patience and loads of love, caregivers can help hyperactive kids feel calmer and more confident. Connect with international career success coaches of LaunchMyCareer to understand how to manage hyperactive children and lead them on the path of confidence and success today.