Hyperactivity in medical terms can be described as having impulsive actions with short attention spans and being easily distracted. Here we will look into how to deal with a hyperactive child at home. Hyperactive behaviour in a child usually refers to when a child is easily distracted during activities, subject to aggressiveness, fidgeting, or constant movements and other similar behaviours.
Hyperactivity is a relative term as what seems like an excessive behaviour to one person might not seem excessive to another. Certain children have trouble paying attention, listening, sitting still or waiting their turn way more than others.
So when it gets so out of control, then your child might have what’s called ADHD which stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, which is a medical term for difficulties that can make children fidget and restless most of the time.
The most obvious sign of ADHD is hyperactivity. Hyperactive children are not bad children, it’s only a psychological disorder (ADHD) which is a problem with the brain chemistry that affects the brain’s ability to pass information between brain cells.
Yes, many children are naturally quite active, but kids with hyperactive symptoms of attention deficit disorder are always moving. Such children are subject to depression and sadness as they are always made to feel different.
This decreases as the child grows older and may even disappear once the child reaches adulthood.
However, drugs called psychostimulants or maybe just stimulants, are very effective treatments for childhood ADHD. These medicines include Adderau, Adzenys, XR-ODT, Vyvanse, Concerta, Focalin and so many others; which help them focus their thoughts and ignore distractions.
It’s important to note that certain medications could help balance the brain chemistry of ADHD patients, however, all medications carry side effects so it must not be a default option for your child. If behaviour modifications do not work for your child over a long period then you should consult your child’s doctor who would decide if medication is the next option. This should be the last option rather than the first.
When it comes to hyperactive children, dealing with them could be hard as they want to be doing one thing or another at every point in time. They seem difficult to live with as they move from one activity to another with limitless emery.
They appear to have issues following simple instructions, perform poorly in school with unacceptable grades and behavioural problems. Some children are hyperactive naturally while some occur only because of lack of attention from the parents. In truth, these children’s conditions are difficult to handle, they are not impossible.
Here are some ways you could deal with a hyperactive child.
1. Create A System
A system such as check-lists, sticker notes, picture schedules, should be created. This helps your child to remain focused, organized and get tasks done. Instructions or tasks should be written down, step by step as it allows your child to keep focus. The list could also be referred to if forgotten.
Once the task is done, it should be ticked. You must also reward your child such as a hug, a glow sticker once the task has been completed as task completion is a struggle for hyperactive children. Bear in mind that it is difficult for your child to adhere and take note of a list of instructions because of ADHD. So tasks assigned to your child should be in small factions.
2. Set A Daily Routine
Easy routine creates a structure which helps how you can be flexible to constructively allow space for your child’s hyperactivity. This is of great importance. Each activity should be allotted time as your child wakes up in the morning. Activities should also be made in small factions. You should avoid keeping a loose household with lack of laid down rules.
This casual parenting system works for other kids, however, hyperactive children tend to have troubles in this environment. It is therefore advised to have a clear system of laid rules in your household. This helps your child know what is expected of him or her as each day comes.
Whilst teaching your child discipline and stating the do’s and don’ts, you should also be conscious of the fact that you have to be flexible. You must be aware that your child living within the constraint of daily life will be a struggle. So be ready to allow some actions to slide and focus on areas of utmost importance.
Your relationship with your child shouldn’t be built around instructions and orders. You could also take him to play so that you could both spend quality time together and your child can also make use of energy levels.
4. Talk To Your Child In Simple Terms
When corrected, it should be with love and care, not yelling and cussing. Simply talking to your child helps them relax. Helping them relax may increase their awareness and understanding of their bodies, feelings and behaviours.
When talking to your child, make sure you both look at each other in the eye, while you explain things and present information in the simplest form possible. Also, have your child repeat or explain the information back to you.
5. Behavioural Therapy
Making rules can be very good for them. State your do’s and don’ts for them. This also helps to test their self-control, especially when those rules are set by you. You could also teach your child how to engage in breathing exercises. Anytime he/she feels aggressive or gets annoyed, he/she should take deep breaths.
Once your child can master this – anger and aggression are managed better which means there won’t be hitting or hurting any other child or his/her self either at school or at home. When deep breaths are taken, there’s a high level of oxygen taken to the brain which helps your child to calm down.
6. Help Them Deal With Their Feelings
As parents, you should help them understand that they are normal and should be treated like every other child. You could also help your child to think positively and engage him/her in activities. Your child should be helped so that he/she can learn how to pay attention to creativity and also activities that he/she can channel those energy levels, whilst remaining focused and concentrating well in the activity.
Don’t forget your child’s feelings are dependent on how he channels the energy levels. So this energy should be taken in the right direction.
7. Yoga and Meditation
Channel their energy to things like yoga classes and meditation. These set of activities help your child calm down. You should also help him/her concentrate on these positive activities more as this will help your child calm down gradually.
Eventually, hyperactive children get calmed down but when your child has been helped to pay attention through positive activities, it will help keep focus in the right direction.
One other thing to note is that your child could be lacking self-control which might cause him/her to speak and act before thinking. So another way to address this medical condition is to ask your child to verbalize his/her thoughts and reasoning when the urge to act out arises.
Understanding your child’s thought process is of utmost importance to help him/her curb impulsive behaviours.
8. Take A Walk
You should take your child on a walk regularly as it helps the child calm down. Being outside along with regular exercise have both been shown to reduce ADHD symptoms. Also, research has shown that walking regularly helps increase concentrating power and it helps your child stay focused.
Aside from taking a walk, exercises could be employed as it burns out excess energy in healthy ways while also helping the child focus his/her attention.
Exercises help improve concentration, reduce the risk of depression as well as anxiety. It also stimulates the brain in healthy ways. Research has proven that athletics can help people with ADHD find a productive way to channel their passion, attention and energy.
9. Provide Good Breakfast
Experts recommend eating a high protein and healthy fats which helps them stay fuller longer and also promote the production of dopamine as well as norepinephrine which are so often lacking in ADHD brains.
Also, their sugar intake should be reduced drastically. This breakfast helps them focus and concentrate. Taking vitamins and mineral supplements helps make up for the lack of vegetables in their diet.
10. Encourage Reading
It’s often good to encourage your child to read some interesting books of his/her choice. Let your child choose the book he wants to read at that moment. You should also give time for a break like 5 minutes where you allow your child to move, stretch, run, walk or kickball.
You should also create an organized homework as well as a study section which should be facing a wall, away from windows and doors to minimize distraction.
Make sure your child understands that this exercise is not a punishment and explain that the workspace is to help improve focus and concentration. You both could also design a workspace that seems comfortable for your child. Children with ADHD tend to get easily distracted, so it’s your job to limit distractions as much as possible.
Things most individuals never notice often catches the attention of people with ADHD disorder and easily distracts them. Therefore, tasks such as reading, assignments, homework, projects should be done in areas with minimal distractions.
11. Household Chores
It’s also advisable to engage your child in household chores to burn extra energy into physical and productive activities. Chores such as walking the dog, washing the car/scooter, helping in the kitchen, cleaning the house, setting the table or gardening are recommended.
These chores could be fixed either daily or weekly or even done by the entire family. If the entire family is engaged in this activity, everyone is happy, your work is completed and your child would have used those energy levels to do a productive activity.
12. Mandatory Bedtime
Bedtime could be a struggle for children with ADHD which means lack of sleep. This results in hyperactivity, recklessness and inattention. Look for a way to get your child to sleep as this is very important.
You could establish a healthy bedtime ritual which your child finds calming, such as reading a bedtime story. To help your child find better rest, cut off stimulants like sugar, caffeine. You should also decrease the television time.
It’s better to have a single opinion, most likely your child’s doctor. While it’s helpful to read health journals, magazines and even talk to friends, always consult your doctor before altering your child’s health routine or taking any medical decisions. All forms of information should not replace medical advice.
You could also find a therapist as you can’t do it all. Your child also needs encouragement. You shouldn’t hesitate to seek assistance if and when you need it. Many parents are so focused on their kids that they forget their own mental needs.
Find a therapist also, to help you manage your stress levels, anxiety as well as your kid. You could also use local support groups.
You should also inform people who would be responsible for your child. When you discuss your child’s disorder in advance, it provides an avenue to also state the methods which you’ve adopted.
Endeavour to have a consistent environment and structure for your child as it’s of utmost importance. So, if a certain reward is given for each task or there’s a way you deal with each negative behaviour, it should be maintained.
You have to be patient and calm as spending quality time with your child helps build a good and healthy relationship. Create a lot of time for you and your child to play around.