10 Helpful Strategies for Parenting Super High Energy Kids

10 Helpful Strategies for Parenting Super High Energy Kids

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.

parenting high energy kids

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,

Ariadne

Keeping up with a high energy child can take a lot of energy and patience. Fill up your parenting toolbox by subscribing to our newsletter.


Recommended Resources:

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!

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Ariadne is a happy and busy mama to three children. She practices peaceful, playful, responsive parenting and is passionate about all things parenting and chocolate. Ariadne has a B.S. in Communication, is a certified Positive Discipline Parenting Educator, and has completed several graduate courses in child development, psychology and family counseling. She lives on top of a beautiful mountain with her family, one cuddly dog and "bluey" the fish.

4 Responses to 10 Helpful Strategies for Parenting Super High Energy Kids

  1. What do you so qhen this is your child and she is having a hard time with potty training? Refusing to go at times especially pooping

    • Hi Susan, potty learning with a high energy child can be quite the challenge! Do you find your child is showing readyness signs to start using a toilet? Does your child refuse to go because they are very busy and involved with their current activity? Sometimes children refuse to use the toilet as means to keep control, in these situations i encourage parents to step back, and see if they might be asking their child very often “need to potty? can you go potty? lets go pee-pee! you know it’s been a while….”I would encourage them to stop that for a few days. sometimes children just need a break from the extra requests! I know for many parents they see that accident coming, they feel it could have been prevented, but to the child, keeping it in, keeps them feeling in charge of their body, or they simply are not interested/able yet to toilet learn. Hard to say not knowing all the details here ( her age?) but most children will transition well out of diapers when they have all the readiness signals (pulling down pants,recognizing bladder is full, articulating “gotta go” or any such words, discomfort being wet, staying dry for about 2 hours at a time, being interested in the bathroom and what a toilet is for). Potty refusal is one of the things I work a lot with in coaching with parents, especially pooping sometimes turns into a battle and more stress than needed – hang in there, if it feels right to you, step back a few days, start fresh, happy to listen and support you if you would like.

  2. Frankly, when I first started reading this article I was annoyed by it…. I am feeling really negative right now because I am in the thick of dealing with my annoying me high energy child, but this article is a really good check-in for me! My daughter and I have different energy levels and she is acting out of the worst and most annoying traits from her father and I find that annoying in and of itself. I will be saving this article to return to re-centre myself and my thought process.

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