If your child is just naturally hyperactive, what’s a tired parent to do? Our experts help you understand his kinks and quirks, and suggest ways to restore a sense of order and calm at home.
1. Keep him busy. Find as many outlets as possible for his energy upsurge. Engage your little tyke in purposeful activities like sports, dance, or rhythm activities, Villar suggests. Paint, draw, or color together. Hand him a pair of tambourines, or let him pound on beat boxes with all his might. Go out and ride a bike or march off to the park.
2. Draft a game plan. Set a stable and regular routine. Consistency is important to all kids, even more so to a hyperactive child. Villar suggests, “Make visual schedules to organize your child’s day, and see to it that he follows it as closely as possible.” Persistence is the key, says Villar. Help your child stick to a schedule; it won’t be easy but it’s worth the effort.
3. Give him some room. Pick a quiet space for silent reading time or alone time, where your tyke can literally stay still, says Villar. Use carpet or matted floors instead of hard wood. A comfy beanbag would be ideal, so that he could sit back and relax. Have an art supplies tray ready for when he wants to do some quiet creative work.
4. Set realistic expectations. Accept it: He can’t sit or stand still for a long time. So why bring him to a place where he can’t run around or touch things? Bringing him to the museum or the kitchenware section of a department store will be sheer torture for him and you, too. If he’s not interested, he wouldn’t wait patiently in one corner.
5. De-stress Yoga for kids and Tai Chi exercises should be on your list of “new things to try.” These exercises will teach him how to focus and calm down. Give him exercise breaks and free movement activities throughout the day.
A warm bath and a wind-down routine before tucking him in at night is a good way to end the day. Ditch TV viewing or video games at least one hour before bedtime. These will only stir him more and wake his senses rather than calm him down.