It is important for children to have the opportunity to run around, play, and be free. But there are also times when they need to be still, calm and quiet.
It is important for them to have a balance, but they also need to learn when it is and isn’t appropriate to play and run around so they can conduct themselves properly in school and in various social settings. But how can you calm down a hyper child?
If you have a hyperactive child, this can seem like a real struggle at times. It can be very challenging to calm down a hyper child without both you and the child becoming distressed.
But there are things that you can do which make it easier for both of you. Keep reading to find out some useful tips and tricks for calming down your hyperactive child.
Why Is Your Child Hyper?
Before you try to calm your child down, it is important that you try to understand why they are being hyper in the first place. There are several things that cause a child to be hyperactive.
It could be temperament or genetics – certain children have a more hyperactive disposition or inherit hyperactivity from their parents. If this is the case, there are still things that you can do to manage it and to help calm them down.
Diet and lifestyle also play a big part in their hyperactivity. If your child has a high sugar diet then this causes them to have bursts of excessive energy followed by a crash which could lead to temper tantrums brought on by tiredness and frustration.
Remember that carbohydrates get converted into sugar, so too much of that can cause issues as well. If your child does not get enough exercise then this can lead to a build up of pent-up energy and a period of hyperactivity.
This could happen more in the winter when your child has less opportunity to play outside and let off steam.
Your child’s environment also has a part to play. If they have a disorganized room or house then this can encourage more wild and hyper behavior.
If their days lack routine and stability then this can also contribute to chaotic behavior. Some children are also naturally more sensitive to stimuli in their environment which can cause them to become hyper.
So what can you do to calm down a hyper child?
How To Calm Down A Hyper Child
Play A Game
It might seem like playing a game would make a child more hyper, but this is not necessarily the case. If your child is over excited or over stimulated then playing a game which involves them to concentrate will distract them and can be a good tool to calm down a hyper child.
For example, a game of ‘Simon Says’ will cause a hyper child to concentrate on their bodily movements, to listen to instructions, and will bring their attention back to you and calm them down.
Once you have played this game and they seem a lot calmer, you can then redirect them to a more sedentary activity like reading or drawing.
Another example of this is ‘animal walks’. Ask your child to walk like a crab, or a bear, or any other animal. Get them to really concentrate on what they are doing with their limbs.
Don’t encourage them to make animal noises as this could get them over-excited- the idea is to engage their brain and their muscles at the same time. You will notice that they seem a lot calmer afterwards.
You could also come up with a game which involves them laying still, as this will bring down their heart rate and help them to feel more calm.
Ask them to lie on top of a blanket with their head sticking out, then wrap them up and pretend to turn them into a burrito.
You can make it fun- sprinkle them with gloves and scarves or socks to resemble cheese and salad. This will engage their imagination but will also keep them still long enough for them to calm down and reset.
It is not always practical, but if you are able to take your child outside this will really help, even if it is just for a short walk. If your aim is to calm down a hyper child, then don’t encourage them to run around like crazy. Instead, guide them through some simple mindfulness exercises.
As you are walking, get them to focus on the sound that their shoes are making on the floor, the birds singing, the wind in the trees.
Ask them to describe what they can smell, and get them to spot different things as you walk – cars of a certain color, people walking their dogs, different types of trees. This kind of walk will engage all of their senses, keep them distracted, and also make them feel more tired.
It is incredible how nature can play an important role in how to calm down a hyper child.
One of the best ways to calm down a hyper child is to put them in water. Run a nice bath but don’t add in lots of bath toys as this will overstimulate them. Instead, give them something simple to play with like a bottle or a jug so they can fill it up with water and pour it out.
A simple action like this can be very soothing. You can also pour water gently on their head or down their arms, or use a sponge to do this.
The water will make them feel relaxed and calm. You can also add a few drops of lavender essential oil to the water for an even more soothing effect.
Afterwards, wrap them up in a nice fluffy towel, get them dry, put them in some pajamas and settle down to read a story together- a nice calm activity that will continue to keep them level.
A Car Ride
Parents of newborns often take their baby out for a drive to calm them down and get them off to sleep, but this can also work to calm down a hyperactive child. Ask them to help you with an errand- this gives them a sense of purpose and redirects their attention.
You could drive to the grocery store and ask them to help you choose some cereal, or pop to a garden center and get them to pick a small potted plant for the garden, or take some items from the garage to a recycling center.
Make sure they feel included in the activity so it takes up their attention and they don’t feel as if they are being dragged along against their will.
The change of scenery, the journey in the car, and having a task to complete will occupy them in a productive way and by the time they get home they should be feeling much calmer than when you left.
In this article we have discussed the tried and tested methods on how to calm down a hyper child in various settings and situations.
We hope that this guide will help you navigate these challenges and turn them into positive instances.