4 Must-Try Activities For Hyperactive Kids
For those of you who have hyperactive kids, I have two words for you: blessing and curse. While hyperactive kids are young (under age 10), the hyperactivity can feel like a curse for parents who manage kids who constantly need something to do. These kids seek stimulation above all else, and quiet, focused activities often feel like torture to them. But the blessing of hyperactive kids – especially as they get older – is that they are prone to action, and they can achieve so much. While their more calm and focused peers may be cautious or content to set a simple goal and reach it, kids who are hyperactive can achieve amazing goals once they learn to channel that energy. (Self-disclosure alert: I was one of those hyperactive kids who later channeled that hyperactivity into getting my doctorate.)
Organized sports teams are a total must.
Yes, sitting still in school is hard for hyperactive kids, but this is the very reason why parents must put their kids on sports teams throughout the year. Sports are a terrific way to allow the child to get exercise and utilize a great outlet for aggressive impulses, but sports also teach kids rules. Rules, of course, are something everyone needs to learn to respect and follow. I have found that kids who play on organized sports teams are more organized, have higher self-esteem, and feel more hopeful about the future. On the other hand, I have found that kids who don’t play on sports teams – especially teenagers – are far more prone to getting into trouble.
Weekend trips to the park are necessary if your hyperactive child doesn’t have a huge yard.
The truth about parenting hyperactive kids is that it requires more work from the parents, but taking your hyperactive child to the park every weekend can make your life a lot easier. These children have so much energy that you essentially need to wear them out, and there is no better place to do that than the park. If the park isn’t a workable option, take ten minutes and do jumping jacks, dance, or run around the house or apartment with your child and get rid of some of that energy. Kids ages ten and younger will almost always play any game with you as long as you play it with them and make it look like a celebration.
Set your child up with an active activity when you notice him or her getting antsy at home.
Hyperactive kids aren’t like other kids who will find an activity – say, making art or working on a Lego project – and do that for hours. Hyperactive kids need a lot more guidance from parents. If your child is hyperactive, you would make your life easiest by having a written list of ten or so activities you can suggest for your child when he or she gets too high energy. Examples for younger kids: playing with clay, finger paints, play dough, or blocks; arts and crafts projects; or a kids’ dance or exercise video. Examples for older kids: painting projects; cooking projects; or exercise such as boxing, dance, or sit-ups.
Chores will also keep unoccupied kids busy.
When your child’s hyperactivity starts bordering on aggressive or annoying behavior, give that child a chore: unload the dishwasher, put away clothes, organize their room, clean out their closet, or sweep or vacuum the floor. Kids don’t like to do chores, so after they finish theirs, they will usually work harder to stay under control so they don’t get another chore assigned to them.
Hyperactive kids can be very stressful for parents, but parents need to remember two things: these kids are more manageable once they are given appropriate activities, and they will also often grow up to be successful, high-energy adults. Remember that this stage is temporary and that these kids will grow up, so remind yourself that your frustration and exhaustion aren’t permanent.