As a parent, you’ll agree that a quiet child sitting in one corner of a room is not as much a happy sight to behold as compared to one that keeps running about and chattering happily.
Commonly, when parents are asked if their child is hyperactive, most happily claim, ‘yes’! However, there’s a difference between a child who is naturally active and one who is suffering from the medical condition hyperactivity and as a parent you need to be sensitive about that.
The condition is actually quite widespread, with as many as 1 in 5 children in the US identified being diagnosed with ADHD,. However, you need not feel worried because it’s not something particularly threatening.
Hyperactive children are definitely unique in their own way. They have the potential to grow in succeed in life as much as their peers.
It’s just that they find it slightly tougher to focus and be attentive. As such, hyperactive children find it difficult to control impulsive actions, and do so without thinking of consequences. However, this doesn’t mean at all, that they can’t be calmed down.
Here are some effective ways that will definitely help to calm down your hyperactive child and help them focus and perform better –
Provide Positive Attention
With a hyperactive child seamlessly hopping from one activity to another, parenting can become daunting. It is understandable that you can, at times, feel the lack of time and energy to manage your child. However, not paying enough attention could make your hyperactive child feel neglected and lonely, and lead to the development of certain behavioural tendencies.
As a parent, providing positive and complete attention to them for at least an hour every day can go a long way in calming them down and making them feel loved. Doing so will also help to make the child less attention-seeking.
Give One Instruction at a Time
Hyperactive children commonly suffer from very short attention spans. They are too occupied and busy to listen to a chain of instructions and follow them diligently. And when they are instructed to do a lot many things together, they just get irritated and all the more hyperactive.
It’s really important that you as a parent develop some extra patience here. You should give them only one set of positive instructions at a time, and you will definitely be surprised by how well they are able to grasp it.
For instance, you could switch off the TV and get closer to your child. While you talk, simply make an eye contact and place a hand on his or her shoulder perhaps before you go about saying anything. This way, the child will eventually develop the good habit of listening to things with care and attention.
Ignore, Care and Praise
As a parent, you might have observed that the hyperactive child has slightly lower control on his/her emotions and activities. It’s common to find hyperactive children ending up doing some misdeeds. You need to understand that most often, it is completely unintentional. At this point, if you rebuke them all the time, they can start feeling extremely low.
Since most of their actions are impulsive, ignoring those that are not particularly damaging is the best way to go forward. You must also make a conscious effort to praise your child for everything good that he/she does. Doing so will help him/her concentrate on that particular task better and the more he/she concentrates, the calmer he/she will feel.
Channelize Their Energy
The excessive energy of any hyperactive child can always be positively channelized to enable him/her to do well in life. It is justified on your part to desperately want to make him or her sit quietly.
However, here you must understand that calming down is not just about making the child sit quietly. It also includes chanelising his/her energy and attention to games and activities where he/she can actually be very successful. For instance, you could consider getting your child enrolled in Karate classes. When he/she eventually learns the art well, you’ll find a different flush of confidence.
If hyperactive kids have interest towards sports they can become great sports personality. A few good examples are Michael Phelps who was diagnosed with ADHD and Simone Biles, Olympic gymnast, hailed as the best gymnast of all-time, has ADHD.
Give Rewards To Form Their Behaviour
Although as a parent, you might want to stay away from giving too many rewards feeling that you will be encouraging bribes, it is an effective technique for hyperactive children in particular. Cognitive behavioural therapy suggests that rewarding hyperactive children makes them more keen to extend their attention span on any assigned activity.
The effective behavioural rewards that you may roll out need not even be material and can simply include small perks like an extended play time, a short outing or even a few kind words.
Draw Their Interest Towards Tasks related to restlessness
Restlessness-related activities are yet another way of channelizing the excessive energy of hyperactive children and calming them down. You could get your child a colour matching cube and let him /her concentrate on it for as long as possible. In fact, you should make your child feel that you are confident of him/her to be able to complete the task. Such tasks that presuppose patience are known to significantly improve their attention span and focus levels while also reducing their activity engagement levels.
Help Them Relax
You must teach your hyperactive child the process of relaxation. We are often unable to understand the fact that a lot of things go on in the mind of a hyperactive child.
Learning about the relaxation techniques increases their awareness and understanding of their own body, behaviours and feelings.
Hence, you must sit with them on a regular basis and begin with deep breathing exercises, visualization techniques and progressive muscle relaxation initially. Eventually you can teach them to meditate. Implementing these might be difficult to start with but the results are definitely going to be worth it.
Your role as a parent is an extremely vital one. If you play your part right, you can really help your child to calm down and actually benefit from their underlying hyperactive tendencies.