How To Handle A Hyperactive Child At Home
Hyperactive children brim with energy. However, as much as you want your kid to be cheerful, they might actually be hyperactive and this will be harmful to them if not managed at this early stage.
It can be very draining trying to cope with a hyperactive child. The hyperactive child is always on the move, swinging from one activity to the other with unreal energy. Sometimes this continues nonstop for the whole day. You struggle to understand where this energy comes from. And unfortunately, you have no clue on how to deal with a hyperactive child at home.
For a parent, it would have been easier to deal with a hyperactive child if it were only about the child's hyperactivity. But it's not. Hyperactivity in children comes with another set of problems either at home or at school. They struggle to keep still and so their attention span is much shorter than that of a normal child. This short attention span leads to behavioural problems and poor grades in school.
Also, another problem of hyperactivity in children is impulsiveness. They tend to act and think later. Plus they struggle to take instructions or follow directions. It can be overwhelming for a parent.
How to deal with a hyperactive child at home
As previously stated, a hyperactive child can be a handful. You might not get it if you haven't been closer to one before. Dealing with their hyperactivity requires a lot of patience. Here are a few ways to deal with a hyperactive child at home.
Establish order at home
If you run a household where there is no established order or rules, you may have to come up with order to deal with your hyperactive child. Hyperactive children possess an innate need for movement, which often results to needless activity. They just want to be doing something. Doesn't matter what it is.
Consequently, establishing order at home will help. Fix a time to go to bed, time to brush and time to bath and get ready for school. They should know what to do at everything. This way when they feel the need for activity, it would be an activity with purpose.
Pick your battles
Whatever you do always remember that your child is only hyperactive and nothing more. It doesn't make the child a bad person in any way. The child may have a psychological disorder known as Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD). It is a disorder that makes it difficult for children to stick to a particular activity. They just want to move from one activity to the next. And as you may have found out by now, yelling doesn't make them stop. Neither does trying to make them see reason. So focus on the more important things you can impact. Things like helping them sit still and eat and get ready for school.
Instruct them in less complex ways
Because of their constant movements, it can be tough for hyperactive children to carry out an instruction. Plus, they can be forgetful. So it would help if you find less complex ways to pass them instruction. And you have to patiently repeat it while having them look you in the eye. Some parents in Nigeria use songs. You can incorporate instruction into a part of the child's favourite song.
Additionally, you can write down the instructions somewhere, preferably on the flat of their palm where it is easy to look.
Reduce the distractions
Hyperactive children already have a short attention span, so you have to try and get rid of anything that might demand their attention. If the child has homework to do, made the atmosphere conducive by keeping an object they fancy on their desk. This makes them find the environment favourably.
However, during a homework session draw the curtains to obscure the view outside. The child might look outside and start to feel restless. Also, switch off the TV even if it's the sitting room. Sounds from the TV can be distracting.
Use positive reinforcement
Where yelling fails positive reinforcement may just be what the child needs to get things done. Finishing a task is something that is hard for hyperactive children, so when they do you have to positively reinforce it. Positive reinforcement is the act of praising or rewarding a child for work done. Positive reinforcement can be in the form of hugs, clapping, or a pat on the back.
Also, as positive reinforcement, you can let the hyperactive child choose their own reward. Maybe then wanted to go and play with the child next door or some cartoon time on TV. Tell your child you'd let them if they complete a task.
Understanding your child and their hyperactivity helps you better deal with them uniquely. Read everything you can on ADHD. Understand how it works and how it drives children. Read informational materials, do your own research.
Lastly, advocate for your child when they interact with strangers or even medical practitioners. Do not put the child down for something that is no fault of theirs.