Parents of hyperactive children know the “Would you please just settle down?!” phrase well, and likely use it on a regular basis.
There are a number of tips to help parents settle their hyperactive child down. These quick tips and relaxation techniques take the same amount of time as yelling and scolding but produce incredibly different results in hyperactive children.
Quick Calming Tips:
Try quick tips to calm a hyperactive child down during temper outbursts or unusually rowdy days. These calming tips are not novel to adults by any stretch. How many times have you heard “Take a deep breath and count to 10” or “Calgon, take me away.” What works for big people works for little people as well.
The quick-fix calming techniques work to sooth the hyperactive child after they already became too stressed or active. There are also techniques that parents can teach their hyperactive children to help them get the “stuff” out before it builds up and explodes.
Create a calming home environment:
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder children have difficulty remaining calm in a hectic environment. Clearing the clutter and taking a “less is more” approach to decorating can reduce the sensory overload on Attention Deficit and hyperactive children.
The Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder child’s bedroom especially should be free of clutter. Use plastic bins to organize and store all those precious little plastic treasures (that we adults commonly refer to as “junk”) and small toys. Open the curtains to provide natural lighting. Keep posters and wall hangings to a minimum. Paint the child’s bedroom in calming muted colors instead of bright primary colors.
Follow a Routine:
All children thrive in homes that provide routines, consistency and structure. Attention Deficit and hyperactive children especially need structure and schedules to feel secure in their surroundings. For these children, a more “military” approach to routines works better. Waking up, eating meals, doing homework, and bed times should all occur at about the same time every day, with few surprises to upset the Attention Deficit or hyperactive child.
A Place to Relax:
If at all possible, find a space in the house to designate as a relaxation space. It does not have to be a large space but it does need to be away from high activity areas. This little corner (or even a portion of a walk-in closet) can have a beanbag chair and a few books, coloring books or other quiet time activities.
Encourage your child to go to this space when they become angry or out of control, but never make this a place of punishment. This special spot in the house is a positive place where they can go to settle down, sort things out or just hang out when they need to be alone.