to Be a Safe, Calming Harbor for a Hyperactive Kid
By Dr. Linda Pearson
can be perfectly normal behavior for a toddler or preschooler, particularly
one with a highly active temperament. Simply recognizing this fact,
however, doesn't make dealing with a frenetic child any easier.
In her new book, THE DISCIPLINE MIRACLE, Dr. Linda Pearson offers
strategies for coping with "wilding," while giving your
little mover-and-shaker a sense of security:
your child's overly active behaviors as part of who she is. Don't
allow yourself or others to label him as "bad" because
of his increased energy and short attention span. Your child did
not choose her temperament to annoy you.
an outlet for his extra energy. Schedule active activities into
your child's routine-every day. If you don't, his excess energy
will spill out in negative behaviors. When your energy wanes, remember
the positive side: the more activities you share with your hyperactive
child, the more tightly you will bond with him.
your home well organized. Regular predictable routines are extremely
important to highly active kids. Toddlers and preschoolers are better
able to adjust their energy bursts to what's appropriate when they
know what's coming-in other words, when it's time for their nap,
meals, quiet play, bath, and bed.
fatigue and hunger in your child. When hyperactive little ones become
hungry or exhausted, they tend to lash out in extremely active or
aggressive ways. Keep meals and snacks on schedule. Do not wait
to put your child to bed until she seems or acts tired. In fact,
an overly active kid needs more sleep than other kids his age. Schedule
and stick to bedtime as if your child's health depends on it.
to stretch your child's attention span. You can help your child
learn to sit still and listen by setting aside brief periods each
day to read to her. You can help her learn the social skills of
quieting her twitching muscles by inviting her to play quiet games.
Praise your restless child for her calmness, even when it lasts
for only a little while. If she gets fidgety, take an "active"
break and begin again at a later time. Try to make reading and quiet
games regularly scheduled activities so your child can internally
prepare for them.
Adapted from THE DISCIPLINE MIRACLE: The Clinically Proven System
for Raising Happy, Healthy, and Well-Behaved Kids by Dr. Linda Pearson
(AMACOM Books; November 2005; $14.95 Paperback Original; ISBN: 0-8144-7297-4).
information presented on this site is intended solely as a general
educational aid, and is neither medical nor healthcare advice for
any individual problem, nor a substitute for medical or other professional
advice and services from a qualified healthcare provider familiar
with your unique circumstances. Always seek the advice of your physician
or other qualified healthcare professional regarding any medical
condition and before starting any new treatment.