Overactive children may fidget, have difficulty concentrating, be unable to sit still or generally be overexcited.
Some children are just livelier than others and you will find all kids are different. I have two children - one is quiet, shy and gentle while the other is outgoing, confident and a little bonkers!
It can be a phase they will grow out of it but other times they are naturally lively and will continue to be so. We all have a friend who is full of beans the whole time and seems to be so full of energy while we just get tired watching them. Don't we?
However, there are a few things you can do to help calm down your child if you feel they are a little over-energetic and might just give you a little bit of relaxation yourself!
How to calm your overactive child
Let them have their own calming space.
We try to ensure our child has a little play area with their toys and fun stuff, but if possible consider having a calming area where they can just chill out! Place a few cushions or beanbags on the floor with teddies and books, maybe a little tea set or dinky cars. Call it the “quiet area” and turn off the T.V and play some calming music! Most kids love music and while dancing to pop is great if you want energetic time, a bit of calming music will relax everyone.
Limit T.V and screen time.
Too much T.V or any screen time be it on laptops or tablets should be minimised. With all the bright colours, rapid movement and noise it can actually trigger hyperactivity. While it is ok to let them watch T.V for a short amount of time, be careful what they are watching - something like a program fighting baddies can start your child bouncing from sofa to floor playing out the scenes!
Find a calming activity you both enjoy.
Find something you like doing together that is relaxing and quiet, whether reading a book inside or going for a stroll with the dog. Cuddling up with a book is great for you both of you and it again is enhancing the calming environment. Some parents swear by baby massage and continuing while they grow to relax them - they might like their back being massaged or even their feet.
Try not to let them get bored.
Always keep your child occupied if at home all day - if they get bored they are more likely to act up and get hyper. I always try to have a few things laid out on the table, like things to get them doing colouring for a while and then maybe move on to play dough. Encourage their imagination by helping them set up 'a land' with all their favourite toys on the floor- and this will keep them interested and enthralled in playing calmly.
In the summer it can be a lot easier, getting outdoors and running of some of that excess energy is great! Kids love cycling, scooting and running, and exploring all day, mixed with a picnic can be absolute bliss. Try the local park and bring a book if you want to relax yourself while your child plays happily in the nice weather.
Limit their sugar intake.
Too much sugar can set off children’s hyperactivity. A lot of parents say they can’t give their children fizzy drinks or some lollypops. If you are worried about the amount of sugar or processed foods your child is having, limit them for a few weeks and see if you recognise any improvements in their behaviour or if they have any less hyper moments.
Have a calming bedtime routine.
Getting into a really good quiet time routine before bedtime is imperative. Turn off the T.V for 20 minutes before bedtime and if more children are in the house, ask them all to quieten down. Get your child into a warm bath and let them play for a while before drying off and keep the house calm if possible! Having a house with less shouting or a lot going on will relax everyone. Just before sleep, enjoy reading a bedtime story and this should help them become sleepy and slip off to the land of nod!
Until tomorrow... Phew! Then it all begins again. Hopefully, these few ideas and tips will help to introduce some calm into your overactive child's life.
The information contained here is not a substitute for medical examination, diagnosis or treatment by a qualified professional. If in doubt, always consult your family doctor.