Dealing With a High Demand or Hyper Kid
Hyperactive and high demand children typically require more of a parent’s attention than do other children. The AskDr.Sears website states that high demand children need more understanding from their parents. While there is no standard description for how a child is supposed to act, a parent can help guide behavior toward beneficial outcomes. Likewise, a hyperactive child who has an abundance of extra energy can learn to channel the excess productively.
Keep Her Busy
Hyperactive kids benefit from activities that keep them moving. The key is to keep your child busy without overwhelming her. Although hyperactive kids who are unoccupied easily become restless, you want to fill up your child’s time with constructive activities. Physical activities enable her to burn energy as well as to improve her concentration, according to Helpguide.org. Sports that require constant motion are a practical choice. Providing lots of hands-on interactive activities also help keep children focused and busy. In an article first published in "Educational Leadership," Dr. Thomas Armstrong, executive director for the American Institute for Learning and Human Development, suggests allowing a hyperactive child to manipulate a squeeze ball in her hands to help her sit and listen while someone talks 4.
Establish a Structured Routine
It is no secret that stability helps a child feel more secure. An article published in the April/May 2004 issue of “ADDitude” magazine, includes research that children are healthier and demonstrate better behavior when families follow predictable routines. Like other children, a hyperactive or high demand child needs the consistency of a structured routine. The key is to keep it simple, so your child is clear about what to expect from day-to-day. In addition, your child must be clear as to what you expect from him.
Give Lots of Attention
Watch for good behavior in your child instead of being on guard against behaviors you find inappropriate. Hyperactive kids tend to get a lot of negative attention, which often leads to criticism. This tends to reinforce more negative behavior. These kids need more positive reinforcement in the form of praise and rewards for the small triumphs they accomplish. Helpguide.org points out that praising children who have ADHD can encourage them to improve their behavior and have better impulse control 3. Besides recognizing the efforts your child makes, spending time with him each day cuddling can enable him to feel more secure.
Encourage Healthy Habits
Lack of sleep can cause problems with behavior by making a child hyperactive and less attentive, according to KidsHealth. Kids, who are over stimulated, like those with ADHD, tend to fight bedtime and often have sleep problems as it is. Seeing that your child goes to bed early and at the same time every night can help get him in a pattern of falling asleep faster. Your child’s diet is another factor that may be affecting his behavior. Not only do regular mealtimes and snacks contribute to a structured routine throughout the day, they also encourage healthy eating habits. Eating a steady diet of nutritious foods is good for your child both physically and mentally.
- AskDrSears: What High Need Means – A Story About Our High Need Baby
- ADDitude; Reliable Routines for ADHD Children (and Their Parents!); Peter Jaksa
- Helpguide.org: ADD/ADHD Parenting Tips
- American Institute for Learning and Human Development: To Empower - Not Control - A Holistic Approach to ADHD
- KidsHealth: Naps; The Importance of Naps
- Ezra Shaw/Digital Vision/Getty Images