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Understanding and calming a hyperactive child

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By Denise Morganthall

Hyperactive children can wreak havoc on your nerves…however, there is light at the end of the tunnel. Yes, dealing with a hyperactive child can be very challenging, but it can also be rewarding when you see the positive results from all your hard work, dedication and love given to the child.


Hyperactive children cannot sit for a long period of time. They are always on the go and often find themselves in trouble at school, home and with their friends. Some children are hyperactive by nature; others may be that way because of their environment. Many children who are hyperactive also exhibit signs of ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) and struggle with paying attention for long stretches of time. So how do we deal with these children? Here are some techniques to try:

  1. Set clear rules and consequences. Make sure he knows the expectations when you are going on a trip, whether to the park or the grocery store.
  2. Consistency and structure are critical to managing a hyperactive child. There should be a regular schedule with time for meals, naps and fun.
  3. Encourage exercise on a daily basis. Going for a walk with your child will benefit you as well.
  4. Create a place where your child can relax and enjoy quiet time, away from activity.
  5. Use positive reinforcement techniques. See the good rather than the negative. Positive praise goes a long way!
  6. Avoid over-stimulation. Don’t allow television before bedtime, as this can rev up your hyperactive child.
  7. Watch his diet, reducing the amount of sugar he consumes and avoiding caffeine.
  8. Ask neighbors and others to help watch for any problems the child may get into. Help them to understand that he is hyperactive, not bad.

If your child exhibits unmanageable hyperactivity, you should see a doctor and have the child undergo appropriate testing to make a proper diagnosis for his behavior. Some children are given medication to control their behaviors. There are many resources available to help you and the child. 

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