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, she is a super hyper child, 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 controlling 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. Many parents reach out for help because in their own words, they have a very hyper or hard to calm child.
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 discipline.
So how to handle over-wound, exuberant, annoying behaviors from your child 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
It can be a glitter jar, rice bottle, wheel of choice or breathing exercise.
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, soccer or basketball can be great ways for your hyper child 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
Twelve Alternatives to Time Out by Ariadne Brill
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.
[…] Positive Parenting: When Your Child is Overwhelming, Annoying and Super Duper High Energy ~ Ariadne Brill (Positive Parenting Connection) […]
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.
I have a 3 yr old and his energy level is really high! I’ve been told that he might be hyperactive and that I should have professionals assess him, but I feel like I know my kid and he just wants to explore and do things just as this article explains.I also believe that I have not found the right activities for him. He does not sit still, plays too rough, compared to other kids, and he is not fully potty train. I know that I need to take action and I appreciate articles like this one, brings hope that I can do it.
Great tips on a difficult subject. I have three kids myself with ages ranging one at 10 years old, two and a half and a 6 month old. The oldest was a bit easier to use these techniques on but the two year old is refusing almost everything, very opposite personalities, LOL. Your number 6 tips is a very good one and really helps me as a parent to maintain my patience and to be honest, it helps with a lot of situations in life by simply changing your vocabulary. Great article, thanks for sharing!
This is for me. My 7-year-old is hyperactive. I need all the energy to run round with him.
I’m going to share this article with my sister it really hits home and brings a new light into a seemingly dark chapter in her life right now. My niece is very energetic and has a bigger than life personality that her current school wants to change. By the way she is only in the first grade.
Great insights, I love that my son is uber active, I can’t keep up, but that is ok, I need to save my energy to come up with plans to channel his energy into Good things. It’s important to remember that these kids are usually in great shape with excellent muscle tone, there is definitely a genetic element that can’t be ignored. So don’t get mad, they are just wired that way 🙂