It takes a lot of love and patience to help a hyperactive child. These tips will also help.
- Watch their diet. Start the day with a healthy breakfast, and give them a balanced meal of protein-fat-carbohydrate. Sugar gives extra energy rush, so cut down on your child's intake of sweets.
- Change the environment. Hyperactive kids will always have difficulty calming themselves if they're in a hurried, cluttered environment. Keep their surroundings neat, especially the areas they frequent, e.g., bedroom, living room, dining room. Bedrooms should be given the most attention. Organize your child's toys in covered plastic bins. Draw aside the curtains to allow natural light to come in. Keep decor to a minimum. Paint the bedroom with subdued colors. And avoid playing loud music that triggers them to be overly active.
- Give them space. Your child needs space, literally and figuratively. Assign a particular nook in the house where he can relax and have some quiet time. Have a nice bean bag, jewelry making kit, coloring book, modeling clay, or crossword puzzle (definitely no electronic or digital toy) in this relaxation corner. These items will help your child "breathe" and sort things out, or settle down when he needs to be alone. For older kids, having a private journal is a big help in letting them vent out their feelings, control their emotions and just unload their stress.
- Set the rules and teach them a routine. Hyperactive kids definitely need some kind of structure in their life. Routines, schedules and a clear set of rules help them to be more organized. Start training them with little things like waking up and eating meals on time, doing their homework before watching TV< and going to bed on an agreed time. Rules should be written and kept in a place where the child sees them often. Eye contact is extremely important in explaining the rules to your child. To be sure the he understands, ask your child to repeat what you have just explained.
- Encourage them to exercise. Exercise burns off excess energy. A good walk around the block or the park will make your child burn off extra steam. Moreover, the repetitive left-right-left-right step pattern will bring your child's mind back to focus. Most importantly, regular exercise helps your child improve mood function.
- Reward them. Positive reinforcement works wonders for all kinds of children, including hyperactive children. If you catch them doing something good, tell them right away that they did a good job. Instead of habitually yelling or screaming at them for the smallest faults, make the extra effort to show them they are loved. Children respond positively to praise, and if they realize they can get your attention by doing something good, they're most likely to behave.