Teaching Hyperactive Children to Slow Down

By Sharon H. Bolling
Structure can help a hyperactive child slow down.
Structure can help a hyperactive child slow down.

Hyperactive children have lots of energy to release. Parents, guardians and teachers can find their excessive movements, fidgeting, talking and lack of focus quite frustrating at times. Helping your child learn to slow down will likely take some patience and attention. However, the outcome is often well worth the effort as you can establish expectations and routines that can benefit your hyperactive child.

Provide Structure

Hyperactivity in a child is often the result of feeling out of control. Regular routines and structured schedules may help children react more calmly throughout their daily activities. Arranging your child's day so it is predictable, calm and organized helps her to feel safe and in control, notes MayoClinic.com. Giving your child at least a few moment's notice before there's a change in activities, or explaining changes well in advance, provides your child with the opportunity to adjust to the transition, lessening the chances of a hyperactive reaction.

Address the Senses

For some children, hyperactivity is a sign of over-stimulation of the sensory system. If your child has sensory hypersensitivity, she might feel things too easily or intensely, notes the Children's Hospital of Ontario, Canada. It can help if you know what senses are affected. For example, a child with an auditory hypersensitivity might become easily upset in a noisy classroom. If this is the case, you can work with your child's teacher to perhaps find the quietest place in the classroom for your child to sit. You might also want to explain to your child ahead of time if the class is going to have a party and there is going to be additional noise. In this case, the teacher might arrange for your child to step away from the party for a bit to help her from getting too over-stimulated.

Help Him Relax

While a structured day and an environment free of chaos help hyperactive children remain calm, teaching your child how to relax provides him with a way to slow down when he begins to feel himself getting over-excited. Progressive relaxation is a technique in which your child alternately flexes and relaxes different muscles in the body. Hyperactive kids use this technique in situations, such as the classroom or other places where they need to remain still, notes Thomas Armstrong in his book "ADD/ADHD Alternatives in the Classroom." Deep breathing, massage and visual imagery are other beneficial methods of relaxation to help your child slow down.

Control Yourself

Having a hyperactive child can bring stress into the family dynamics and often creates difficult circumstances. Learning to control your reaction to your child's behavior is an important step in helping him slow down. Speaking quietly and calmly, remaining in control of the situation and lovingly disciplining your child can decrease the lack of control and pressure she is experiencing, notes MayoClinic.com. By identifying the challenges your child faces early on, you can create home and academic environments where he is surrounded by people who understand his needs and how to help meet them.

About the Author

Sharon Bolling holds a master's in counseling and human development with a concentration in school counseling from Radford University. She is an experienced instructor of both high school and college students. She has been writing for Demand Media online since April 2013.