Calming Tips for Hyperactive Children

A group of children with different expressions from sad to very happy.

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.

  • Deep breathing is one of the simplest ways to calm the body. Teach your children to take deep breaths (in through the nose, out through the mouth) when they begin to feel frustrated and out of control. Parents, you do this too!
  • Draw a warm salt bath or bubble bath to wash away the hyperactive child’s stresses of the day.
  • Take your hyperactive child for a walk or send them around the block on their own if they are old enough. Not only does walking burn off excess energy, the repetitive thump, thump, thump of feet hitting pavement brings the mind back into focus.
  • Give your hyperactive child a mini-massage. Touch is very important to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder children. Massaging their temples, giving a shoulder rub or lightly running your fingers through their hair can calm children quickly.
  • Put together a “Boredom Box” that provides creative outlets for your hyperactive child. Fill this box or plastic storage bin with paint sets, coloring books, crossword puzzles, modeling clay, jewelry making kits and other artistic areas of interest. Hyperactive children bore easily and their fast spinning minds need extra stimulation. In the absence of nothing better to do, hyperactive children will lean on their own devises and you don’t want them doing that. Better that they draw than set the cat on fire…

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.

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Jeannine Virtue is a freelance writer with a focus on issues relating to Attention Deficit Disorder. For research-based information about Attention Deficit Disorder, practical tips to help parents survive the task of raising Attention Deficit children and information about effective Ritalin alternatives, please visit www.add-adhd-help-center.com or email her at info@add-adhd-help-center.com.
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