Children with ADHD are often explosively creative, fun, and brimming with energy. The problem arises, however, when they leave their parents huffing and puffing in their wake. So how do we as parents cope with our children’s hyperactivity? How can we teach them to channel their energy into positive activities and to provide them with ways in which to burn it off? And how can we create the proper environment in which our hyperactive children can thrive?
1. Hyperactive children flourish on routine and structure. Wake-up time, meal time, homework time, and bedtime should all take place at the same time every day in order for them to feel secure.
2. Buy a Trampoline. I originally bought ours for our daughter who has sensory integration disorder but our son just loves to burn off some extra energy on it.
3. The boredom box: I read about this idea and I just loved it. Put together a box of coloring sets, modeling clay, puzzles, paints, and any other fun things your child might be interested in. Any time your hyperactive child is bored and has nothing to do he can pull out his boredom box…
4. Got a dog? Have your child take him for his morning jog. It might be nice to allow your child to burn off some energy prior to his having to sit in school.
5. Speaking of school… Talk to your child’s teacher about allowing your child to walk around a bit in back of the room every once in a while. Let him be the one to hand out papers, photo copy sheets and deliver messages to the office.
6. Sign him or her up for an exercise/dance/karate class. My son takes a karate class on Mondays and he loves it. And Mondays is his calmest day of the week!
7. Get a rocking chair. There is nothing more calming than the rhythm of a rocking chair My son loves to sit in ours when he reads.
8. Another way to calm kids down – massage. Give your child a mini-massage. Rub his shoulders, his back, his hair. You’ll feel his body relax.
9. Television breeds hyperactivity. It over stimulates the brain creating a trance like state at first and then a virtual explosion of energy. Try to limit television viewing time and avoid it an hour before bedtime at all costs!
Hyperactivity can be challenging, exhausting, and often frustrating but it’s important to keep in mind that it comes with some very charming qualities as well. Children with the hyperactive type of ADHD are also charismatic, imaginative, and fun to be around. When I think of my son the first characteristics that pop into my head are his compassion for others, his outgoing personality, and his wonderful spontaneity. And I know that in many ways his hyperactivity is responsible for these other unique qualities as well. On those really bad days when you get that phone call from his teacher, or when he has decided to paint his room with his purple crayon, try to keep some of those good qualities that come with hyperactivity in the forefront of your mind.