As a parent, you would agree that no two kids are the same and thus the experience of raising them will not necessarily be the same as well. While it might be easy to bring up some kids whose energy levels are moderate, there might be challenges in taking care of little ones who are way too active and switch between different activities from in a very short time say 10-15 minutes.
The researchers and psychologists call them ‘HYPERACTIVE’.
- Hyperactivity is often caused by a medical condition called attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
- Kids who are overactive don’t just move their bodies a lot—their brains also have trouble slowing down.
- There are steps you can take to help manage hyperactive behaviour at home and in school.
How will I know if my kid is hyperactive?
The signs of hyperactivity are hard to miss. The common behavioural symptoms of hyperactivity are:
- Inability to be or sit still and keep fidgeting even when sitting down so much so that he/she starts having trouble sitting still for meals as well.
- Exhibit quick and often clumsy movement from one place to another
- Bumps into things
- Fluctuating temperaments – can switch from being curious to easily becoming worried, angry or sad.
- Interrupt when two people are talking and almost talk all the time.
- Fidgets and has to pick up everything and play with it
It is important to understand that hyperactivity is a specific condition of the brain and has nothing to do with bad parenting. However, a parent might need to be extra observant and sensitive about the kid’s movement if he/she observes any such signs. The most important thing is to keep hyperactive kids calm by engaging them in simple activities that squeeze out his/her pulsating energy.
Strategies to handle hyperactive kids
- Talk to your child: Be a part of your child’s life. Spend considerable time with them so that you get to observe their behaviour. It will also give them the comfortability to open with you regarding their likes, dislikes, worries and interests. Give them the attention they seek.This way you’ll be able to figure out certain patterns and trigger spots where they tend to become most hyperactive and also give you a hint of the level of care they need.
- Provide something to fidget with: What a hyperactive kid often has is stress. It is therefore imperative to channelise this energy like giving them a bubble gum to chew or a stress ball to fiddle with. It can help direct some of the overactivity and cut down on your child picking up and playing with random items.
- Limit screen time: Studies show that uncontrolled screen time affects a child’s brain and sensory processing abilities. Children (especially with ADHD) often get into a state of hyper-focus, because their brain is so super-busy processing all the fast-changing visual information. Therefore, watching TV or videos on the mobile phone is not the correct channel to vent out energy and in fact makes the kids more aggressive.
- Improve your child’s Attention span: Make sure you reward non-hyperactive behaviour. This is the key to preparing your child for social interaction and school. You can also begin teaching your child how to be persistent at what he does and thereby increase his attention span. Introduce him to one new game at a time and avoid giving him too many games that can distract him.
Calming activities for hyperactive kids
Yoga or martial arts: These give your child an outlet for his energy. These can also teach your child to be aware of his movements and be in control of his body. The ideal activities could be martial arts or yoga. Building confidence, learning to focus, and developing enhanced coordination are just a few of the benefits of the same.
Outdoor sports: Sports like badminton, basketball or football are great for hyperactive kids as they help as there is no standing around in these games. The constant movement keeps them help drain their extra energy and thereby balance their actions.
Good music: Music is a superb exercise not only as it calms the mind but because it’s a great leisure activity. While other activities suck the energy out, music soothes the senses and help a kid stay calm.
Swimming: Swimming requires a perfect blend of physical and mental coordination and is a great means to stay fit. Where at one end it refreshes the kid, it’s a great way to burn calories.
Nature related activities: Nature, with its organic beauty, has its own ways to calm down a hyperactive child. Activities like Trekking, hiking, rock climbing, rowing, etc. are great options for your bundle of high-energy.
Please remember while you take various measures to tone down your kid’s hyperactivity, it’s important that you do not overdo anything. Pressure is a demon for kids. Even though bringing up hyperactive kids can be a little challenging, with due attention and soft care, it won’t be as difficult either.