How to Tackle Your High Energy Toddler
Children have high energy driven by a great sense of curiosity. They are inquisitive by nature and are born explorers. Some are a little more intense, energetic and persistent than others. This can be really challenging at times. They keep you on your toes all the time. And most of the time it is just too dramatic and exhausting.
A high energy child may have problems in paying attention and sitting still in their seats. They can be impulsive and end up doing things without thinking about the results. They find it difficult to stick to a certain activity for long and tend to jump from one thing to another all the time.
When my little one used to run around running, jumping, bouncing, wiggling and screaming at the top of her voice while visiting our friends, I would feel totally embarrassed. I didn’t want my daughter to lose her energy and enthusiasm by persistently asking her to stop, stay quiet, sit still, don’t move etc. I didn’t want her to be a crazy nutcase as well. I knew she wasn’t doing all this deliberately. It was her free-flowing energy that had to be channelized in a proper direction, helping her to be her true self without completely draining myself.
DISCIPLINE YOUR TODDLER
Discipline is a necessary and critical part of parenting, but incessantly nagging her to stop this or that would have meant crushing her spirit and killing her curiosity over time. Each child is different. And each one needs a different strategy. But these tips had helped me to accept her spirited personality without becoming overwhelmed. The idea is to channel their energy and getting them to burn as much as possible in a positive and productive manner.
Give them little responsibilities and show them that you trust them with those. I used to make her water the plants, help me hang clothes to dry, fold the dry laundry, keep the kitchen utensils in their respective places, feeding the fishes etc. She felt excited about these and also proud of being an important part of the family.
COMPLIMENT AND REWARD
Keep your promises. Acknowledge their efforts and initiatives. Compliment them well. Reward them appropriately for tasks undertaken and successfully completed. Who doesn’t get motivated and inspired by a compliment or two!
LIMIT SCREEN TIME
Gadgets, mobile phones, television and video games. These help in nothing but making the child a couch potato. Their physical and mental development gets affected by too much screen time. Apart from these, it isn’t safe to expose them to the world of internet at such young ages. I often argue with parents when they leave their mobile phones with young children without any parental controls or guidance. It can be damaging to their overall personality development.
I have observed that children with high energy are the most creative ones. Give them stuff that helps them design and create things by themselves. Colours, crayons, clay, sticker books, DIY kits etc. This helps boost their confidence, develop their motor skills and keeps them creative.
PLAY AND EXERCISE
Assign time for taking them out for a long walk or to the park, or jogging together. It helps burn their calories/energy along with their overall mental and physical development. Stick to a routine for outdoor activities.
Give them the freedom to choose by offering choices. It makes them feel important and boosts their self-confidence. So even when all the options are provided by you, the child gets a sense of having taken independent decisions.
This was one of our favourite activities. Role plays from stories that we read together. It helped in memorising, focussing and learning better.
Having decided to have a child, it is the responsibility of both the parents to find time to spend some quality time with the child. Hug them. Kiss them. Talk to them looking into their eyes. It makes them feel comfortable, loved and protected. It helps build their trust in you.
Because they work hard all the time running from this corner to that corner, or jumping from this table to that bed, they need enough rest too. Sleep is absolutely important for toddlers. Most of the growing toddlers do is while they are asleep. It directly impacts their mental and physical development. Children are able to make sense of their day, as well as lock in new skills and memories while they are asleep.
SET CLEAR LIMITS
When setting limits, take the time to look into their eyes and help them focus on your request. Make sure they repeat back to you what they understood to reduce disagreements. Hyperactive children tend to be too sensitive. Yelling and shaming them will work adversely. Raising a high energy child can take a lot of energy and patience.
So, while I was told that my hyperactive daughter needed a special school for the kind of energy that she showed and the behavioral issues she had, today the girl is proud to be a scholar badge holder…three times in a row. Time flies. Hold them tight. Pamper them with love. One day, you will miss these times!