Having an overactive child is a challenge many parents face. Dealing with their energy can be exhausting, and knowing how to handle the situation can be difficult. But there are ways to help your child learn to channel their energy more productively without suppressing it entirely.This blog post will discuss some tips for handling an overactive child. With the proper guidance and support, you can help your little ones become more mindful of their behaviour and find healthier outlets for their energy.
Symptoms of an overactive child
If your child bounces off the walls, never seems to sit still, and is always on the go, they may be described as overactive. It can be not easy to deal with as a parent, but there are some things you can do to help your child.A few different disorders cause overactiveness in children. But the most common is attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). This disorder can cause your child to have trouble paying attention, be easily distracted, and act impulsively. They may also have difficulty sitting still or controlling their energy levels.
While ADHD is the most common overactive disorder, it’s not the only one. Other disorders that can cause similar overactive symptoms are:
- Oppositional defiant disorder (ODD)
- Anxiety disorders
- Bipolar disorder
- Sleep disorders.
How to handle an overactive child
If you have an overactive child, there are a few things you can do to help manage their energy levels.
First, get involved in physical activity, which can help burn excess energy.
Secondly, ensure that this child gets enough sleep; a tired child is often overactive. Finally, give them opportunities to expend their energy constructively.
By providing your overactive child with outlets for their energy, you can help them stay calm and focused throughout the day.
Seven tips for handling an overactive child
Define the behaviour
When handling an overactive child, it’s essential to define the behaviour you want to be changed. It will help you better communicate your expectations to your child and make it easier to identify when they are meeting your expectations. Once you’ve defined the behaviour, be sure to be consistent in responding to it.
Setting rules and consequences
It’s essential to set rules and consequences when handling an overactive child, and it will help them understand what is expected of them and help them maintain a sense of control in your household.Consequences should be age-appropriate and consistent. For example, if your child is three years old and does not listen when you ask them to stop running around, you may put them in a one-minute time-out. If they continue to disobey after this, you may escalate the consequence by adding another minute or taking away a privilege such as having dessert at dinner.Following through with consequences when your child breaks the rules is also essential. If you say you will do something, make sure you do it. It will help your child learn that there are real consequences for their actions and help them learn self-control.
You must be consistent to see results from a behaviour modification plan, and it means that everyone in the child’s life must be on board with the program and follow through with it daily. Without consistency, the child will quickly learn that they can get away with certain behaviours because there are no consequences.It can be frustrating for parents, but it’s important to remember that children crave structure and consistency, and they need to know what is expected of them and the consequences if they don’t meet those expectations.
Try positive reinforcement
When handling an overactive child, one of the best things you can do is try positive reinforcement. It means rewarding your child when they display good behaviour or follows instructions.Some ways to provide positive reinforcement include verbal praise, hugs, stickers, and toys. You can also give your child additional time to play or do something they enjoy after displaying good behaviour. It is essential to be consistent with positive reinforcement, so your child knows how to earn a reward.
Keep communication open
Keeping communication open when handling an overactive child can be challenging. They may constantly be on the move and unable to sit still or focus on one thing for a long time. However, it is essential to try to talk with your child and listen to what they say.One way to help keep communication open is to set aside time each day to talk with your child without distractions. Another way to keep communication open is to encourage your child to express themselves creatively through writing, drawing, and painting. It can be an excellent outlet for them to share their thoughts and feelings, and you can learn much about what is happening inside their head this way.
When handling an overactive child, minimizing distractions means keeping them away from television, video games, and other electronic screens. You should also limit their exposure to sugar and highly processed foods, as these can aggravate overactivity. Instead, focus on feeding them healthy meals and snacks.
Seek professional help if needed
If your child struggles with their behaviour, it may be time to seek professional help. Many professionals, including psychologists, psychiatrists, and counsellors, can help your child learn how to manage their behaviour better. If you need help figuring out where to start, ask your child’s doctor for a referral.
United We Care has a panel specializing in handling an overactive child. Talk to our team today to help yourself or your child overcome overactiveness.