Positive Parenting Tools For Helping Your High Energy Child Thrive
My daughter is so loud at times. She has more energy than I can handle for sure. Shared a mom recently in a parents group.
Well, my son just cannot slow down! He is totally the annoying kid I swore I would never have!!! It’s SO overwhelming. shared another mom.
Only a few parents will openly say that they find their child very annoying and overwhelming. But the reality is that some children have very energetic personalities. Do you have a high energy, full of life, must touch everything and ask 1,000 questions a day, can’t sit still, curious, spunky, type of child?
Do you sometimes feel frustrated with all the energy your child has?
If it’s feels like a bit much to handle you are not at all alone in that feeling.
It’s not easy when a child’s temperament is high energy, particularly if the parent tends to have an opposite temperament. I have a very high energy child. Honestly, I love his energy. His exuberance and joy of life is enviable. Sometimes, all the enthusiasm and the high energy level is perceived as annoyance by others. Yes, sometimes I feel annoyed too, when all that extra energy translates into “in your face, over-wound behaviors”.
High energy children can grow well and thrive when they feel fully accepted and are given positive guidance.
So how to handle over-wound, exuberant, annoying behaviors in a positive way?
1.Set clear limits with kindness: When setting limits, take the time to make eye contact and help your child focus on your request, the effort is totally worth it. Encourage your child to repeat back to you what they understood to reduce disagreements. High energy children tend to be sensitive too, yelling an shaming them to calm down will not work.
2. Teach calming skills It can be a glitter jar, rice bottle, wheel of choice or breathing exercise. Do it together until it can be a go to habit. Initially this may seem hard to do, but it does work with time so investing the time to teach this is very worth it.
3.Seek to understand All the extra energy is sometimes a disguise for frustration and overwhelm. Be open and ready to listen to upsets with empathy, understanding and validation. Don’t squash the negative emotions because they are valid too.
4.Find Outlets Find healthy outlets for your child to release energy. Children need access to free play and space where they can just be free to explore and move about. Active play is also a healthy way to process all feelings, including anger and pent up upsets. Offering outlets is essential to living well with a high energy child. The playground, a dirt lot, parks, water play, sensory dough, giant blocks, active play games, rough-housing and bike paths, are all great.
5.Teach Social Emotional Skills Children recognize emotions like sad, mad, happy, surprised in others, at a very early age, but need practice and exposure to get really good at recognizing and verbalizing their own feelings.
Need resources for teaching social and emotional skills? Check out this pin-board full of excellent resources, from coloring pages to game ideas.
6.Drop the labels Try to avoid using words like my wild and crazy kid, the rough kid, my difficult one, the monster as much as possible. Our words and labels become our child’s inner voice. Strive to make positive statements instead “I love your energy” and “I admire your joy for life.” and observations “I notice you have a lot of energy” “I notice you might be looking for something to do.”
7.Encourage Every child thrives on encouragement and feeling like they belong. Focus on the good and encourage more by making observations and avoid using blanket praise. “I noticed you set the table, that was helpful to me, thank you!” “I notice you remembered to put your shoes away, I really appreciate that.”
8.Connect daily to recharge emotional needs. Hug, read together, ask the child to chose an activity to do with you (distraction free) for at least 10-15 min each day. This special time is so very important to maintaining the lines of communication and cooperation open.
9. Don’t take it personally. Everyone has their own personality and style. Embrace your child for who they are, that kind of acceptance alone will help you see that their behaviors are often just an expression of who they are and how they approach the world, not things done to annoy you.
10. Make time for self care. Especially if you have conflicting personality and energy styles, taking time to be alone and rest is not selfish. This will refill your energy reserves to continue responding in caring, sensitive ways to your child.
Peace and Be well,
If you are feeling really out of synch with your child, you will probably love this: What to do when you have fallen out of Like with your child by Andrea Nair
These two books are excellent for parenting children that are high energy!