Positive Parenting Tools For Helping Your Hyper or High Energy Child Thrive
My daughter is so loud at times. She has more energy than I can handle for sure.
I think my kid has ADHD, can positive parenting help with hyper behaviors?
Well, my son just cannot slow down! He is totally the annoying kid I swore I would never have!!! It’s SO overwhelming.
Any of that sound familiar to you and how you feel about parenting your high energy child?
Here’s some great news: Positive Parenting Can Help your Child go from Hyper to Happy
Only a few parents will openly say that they find their child hyper, very annoying and overwhelming.
Many children have very energetic personalities.
Here’s a quick way to know if your child is high energy:
- Does it seem like your child must touch everything and anything when you go places?
- Does your child chat non stop or and ask 1,000 questions a day?
- Does your child have a hard time when they must sit still for a while?
- Would you describe yor child as curious, adventurous or fearless?
- Do you sometimes feel frustrated with all the energy your child has?
- Are you worried that your child is too hyper?
- Do wonder if your child probably has ADHD or ADD?
- Have you looked up the signs and symptoms for ADHD and thought your child sort of fits some or even all of what you read?
According to Yale University health, children with ADHD have difficulties controling their activity level. Impulse control and decision making can be very challenging for your child as well.
If you feel overwhelmed trying to manage your child’s behaviors and lack of impulse control, you are not at all alone in that feeling.
Two things you must know about high energy kids:
- Not every child that has loads of energy has ADHD
- There are many ways to support high energy kids using a positive approach to parenting and disicpline.
So how to handle over-wound, exuberant, annoying behaviors in a positive way?
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.
1.Set clear limits in a calm and clear way:
When setting limits, take the time to make eye contact and help your child focus on your request.
Taking the time to slow down and speak clearly is helpful for your child to be able to follow your expectations.
Here is a Limit Setting Action Plan You Can Try
- Make sure you are near your child so they can hear you.
- Say what you mean and mean what you say.
- Encourage your child to repeat back to you what they understood to reduce misunderstandings.
- Stay calm: High energy children tend to be sensitive, yelling for them to calm down will only escalate the situation.
- Help your child meet your expectations by staying close by or asking them to check in with you when they are done.
2. Teach calming skills
Practice calming skilss together until it can be something your child does on their own.
Calming skills need to be taught when your child is ready to learn, not when they are spinning out or melting down.
Investing time in teaching calming skills is well worth it as it will teach skills your child can use as they grow.
3.Seek to understand your child’s energy and motivation
Extra energy is sometimes a disguise for frustration and overwhelm. It can also be a sign of anxiety or uncertanty. It can be that your child is bored or needing more time to play outdoors.
Be curious about when and why your child seems to have too much energy, then make a plan of action to make a positive change.
4. 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.
Structured activities like a ballet class, karate, soccerr or basketball can be great ways for children to release energy and learn some self-regulation skills.
Do stay mindful about overscheduling and be sure to find a coach or teacher that is attentive, kind and full of patience for high energy kids.
5.Teach your child social emotional skills
Children need practice and coaching to get really good at recognizing and verbalizing their own feelings.
If you want to help your child learn to calm down instead of melt down or spin out, teaching them to recognize feelings is a great place to start.
Need resources for teaching social and emotional skills? Check out this pin-board full of excellent resources, from coloring pages to game ideas.
6.Reframe your own thoughts and labels
Wild and crazy kid, the rough kid, my difficult one, the monster, a crazy tornado, monster child, naughty brat, he’s the awful one, this is my wacky and wild child….
The way we treat our child directly impacts what they believe about themselves.
Try new ways of seeing your child’s energy:
- “I love my daughters high spirits”
- “I admire my son’s total joy for life”
- “My child is very adventurous “
- “My child likes to stay busy and find new things to do”
7. Praise progress and encourage positive changes
Every child thrives on encouragement and feeling like they have done something well.
Focus on the good things your child has done and encourage more by making positive observations.
- “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.”
- “I see your shoes are still by the door, I bet you remember where they go? Come tell me when you have put them away. Thanks!”
8.Connect daily to recharge emotional needs.
Hug, read together, ask your child to chose an activity to do with you (distraction free) for at least 10-15 min each day.
This special time and positive attention can help your child feel well and behave well.
The more positive interactions your child has, the more her brain and grow and develop well.
Book Reccomendation: Beyond Behaviors by Mona Delahooke Using Brain Science and Compassion to Understand and Solve Children’s Behavioral Challenges
9. Your child’s hyper energy is not out to get you (Don’t take it personally.)
Everyone has their own personality and style. Some people are naturally very energetic and peppy. Other people are more mellow and quiet.
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. Recharge your own energy reserves so you can cope better.
Parenting is hard work. It’s a never ending job with high demands.
Especially if you have conflicting personality and energy styles with your child you will need time for breaks.
Taking time to care for yourself and rest is not selfish, it’s necessary.
Find ways to replenish your energy reserves so you can respond to your high energy child in caring, positive ways.
If you have tried all of the above suggestions consistently and still challenged or overwhelmed, find a local family counselor or professional you trust for additional guidance.
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