Hyper children often have it hard. From the moment that they learn to walk, adults are constantly running behind them screaming “No.” And things don’t get any better when they grow to be school aged children. In fact, most teachers and administrators frown on kids who move around a lot. Unfortunately, by the time these children reach adolescence, they are broken, have low self-esteem, and even hate school. This is a parent’s worst nightmare. However, there are some things that you can do as a parent to help your child out.
I was recently watching the movie “Happy Feet” and suddenly, I became quite aware of how much this movie reflected children who are hyper. Mumble’s tap dancing was unorthodox among Penguins and his differences resulted in him being torn away from his family and everything that he knew. However, in the end, the very thing that made him different was the very thing that saved his community.
So yes, hyper children are constantly on the go. Their little feet and hands are always moving. And unfortunately, people are always scorning them for who they are. However, just like Mumble the Penguin, in the end, these children will also grow up to be extremely happy and productive people. Here are some ways that you can help your little one do just that!
- Embrace your child’s individuality. Sure, your child may be a little hyper, but he was made that way for a reason. In fact, some of the world’s best athletes were described as “hyperactive” children. And think about it, if they weren’t fast paced, then they probably wouldn’t be the athletes that they are today. It’s important to remember that the world needs fast paced people for some tasks just like it needs slower paced people for other tasks. I mean, who knows, your little girl or boy might be the next creative genius in the making. Now, doesn’t it feel better to focus on your child’s amazing potential instead of all of the things that society says that he/she needs to fix?
- Keep them active. Every parent gets a little frustrated with their children at some point or another. It’s just a part of parenting. And when your child is bouncing off of the walls while you’re trying to get dinner on the table or get the house in order for the house guests that are expected to arrive SOON – this can test the nerves of even the most patient of parents. But here’s a tip for you: Try to keep your ‘busy’ child engaged in a lot of physical activity. Kids say all the time “I need to get my wiggles out,” so why not help them do it. When you let children have a lot of physical activity, then they’re often a lot calmer later on. Physical activities can be structured like sports, dance, and gymnastics or they can be unstructured like shooting hoops with dad or running around the park for an hour. It doesn’t matter what type of activity it is as long as your kids get it in every day.
- Funnel their energy toward more productive activities. When you see that your kid is starting to bounce off of the walls, it’s time to redirect her energy to another activity. Try switching gears to see if that helps. Maybe she needs a break to “get the wiggles out” (like we just talked about) or perhaps he would jump at the chance to help you prepare a treat for snack time. And don’t underestimate the power of prayer and meditation. These strategies can have a calming effect on young children. This process doesn’t have to be anything major. The idea is to help your child maintain self-control by switching focus. Redirecting their attention to other tasks can make a whirl of difference.
- Maintain a balanced diet. Numerous research studies show that diet has a huge influence on behavior. If your child is naturally on the hyper side, then you definitely want to avoid additives, preservatives, dyes and other unnatural chemicals. This means trying to provide natural and freshly prepared meals for your child as much as possible. Of course, your child is going to want a hot dog or some skittles at some point, so I’m not saying to wipe those things off of the menu altogether. But what I am saying is to only allow your child to consume those things in moderation, like on a specific day of the week or during special events. The rest of the time, you should shoot for preparing fresh vegetables, meat with no hormones or preservatives, and organic dairy food. Fresh fruit and nuts also make great snack alternatives.
- NO labeling the kids. I’m a firm believer that kids often behave the way that people expect them to behave. It’s like prophecy fulfillment. If you keep saying that your child has “ADHD” or “too hyper” or worse: “bad,” then he/she is going to display those characteristics. Am I tlling you to be in denial if your child has ADHD? Of course not. But what I am saying is that it’s better to focus more on what she is doing right and less on what she is doing wrong. So, if you have to label your kid as something, try something fantastic like “My kid is the best kid ever!”
- Point out the positives. We touched on it above, but it’s worth mentioning again here. Your child is a fantastic kid who has a bunch of positive things going for him. Point out the things that he does well more often than the areas that are struggles for him. You’ll be amazed at how much this act alone will help improve his confidence.
Your children might be a little hyper, but they sure are something special! Make sure that they know and believe this!