When my first child was a toddler, I combed through as many parenting books and blogs as I could to find tips on how to deal with high energy kids. Active children keep a mother very busy, and boy was that challenging!
As a first-time mother, I had previously read the standard child-discipline recommendations. When it came to obeying directions and sleeping at night, the positive discipline and positive parenting techniques worked wonders for us, though were never actually recommended by family and friends.
My high energy level son listened (pretty well), had really good intentions, appeared to have a good grasp of other children’s differences, and wanted to succeed in all the things he tried.
Here are the things I learned on high energy toddlers (now that I’ve had 3) and how to calm them down and reduce those power struggles with them too.
How To Help You High Energy Toddler Calm Down
Set Clear Limits
Take the time to make eye contact with your child while setting limitations to assist them to focus on your request when your child is displaying tons of energy.
It is beneficial for your child to be able to follow your expectations if you take the time to slow down and explain properly if they have lots of energy in your young kids.
You Can Try This Limit Setting Action Plan
- Make sure you’re close enough to your child for them to hear you.
- Say exactly what you mean and exactly what you mean.
- To avoid misunderstandings, encourage your child to repeat back to you what they have learned.
- Stay quiet: Because high-energy kids are sensitive, shouting at them to settle down will only make things worse.
- Stay close by or ask your child to check in with you when they’re finished to help them achieve your expectations.
Teach Calm Down Skills (Self- Regulation)
A great thing to teach calm down skills, a glitter jar, rice bottle, wheel of choice, or personal favorite breathing exercises can all be used.
Practice calming skills with your child until he or she can do it on their own.
While your child is ready to learn, not when they are spinning out or having a power struggle, you should teach them calming practices using positive guidance, and utilizing a calm down corner.
It is definitely worth the time and effort to teach soothing techniques to your child because these are abilities that they will be able to utilize as they develop their prefrontal cortex.
Every child thrives on praise and the idea that they have accomplished something worthwhile.
Focus on your children’s accomplishments and encourage them further by offering positive observations.
- “I saw you arranged the table; thank you for your assistance!”
- “I see you remember to put your shoes away, which I much appreciate.”
- “I notice your shoes are still at the door; I’m sure you know where they go, right?” Come back and inform me when you’ve finished putting them away. Thanks!”
Redirect His Spirit
It might be hard to keep up with a high-energy child. However, restraining him isn’t the solution. Find constructive methods and high energy toddler activities to redirect his spirit instead, and get rid of anything that could agitate him even more. Here are six strategies to consider.
- Introduce her to a sport. Joining a peewee soccer league or starting a gymnastics, dancing, karate, or swimming class at this age is a fantastic idea, and it helps hone in those gross motor skills. Any of these exercises can help your children’s coordination and concentration. Allow her to pick her own programme, but make sure it isn’t excessively structured: Preschool programmes, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), should include at least 30 minutes of free play and no more than 20 minutes of teaching.
- Play with friends. Bring roller skates or a kite for her to fly the next time you go to the park. At home, use a brush and a pail of water to pretend to “paint” the side of your house, or blow bubbles for your child to chase. We love to play with water tables to encourage independent play with our busy toddler. When the weather isn’t cooperating and you’re stuck indoors, play a game that will get her moving.
- Turn off the television. Do you think your high-energy child can be calmed by watching television? Quite the contrary is true. Action-adventure shows and video games might overstimulate your preschooler, making it more difficult for him to sit still. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends limiting total screen time to 45 minutes per day, including TV, video games, and internet usage, and avoiding all three before bedtime.
Connect on a Daily Basis
Hug, read together and ask your child to choose a (distraction-free) activity to engage with you for at least 10-15 minutes each day.
This extra attention and quality time might help your child feel better and put them in the right brain state so they behave better.
The more pleasant connections your child experiences, the healthier and more developed your younger toddlers brain will be.
Remember That Behaviour Is Communication
Communication is behavior. A child ( whether you have toddlers or older kids ) is always communicating with you, regardless of how he or she acts.
Every undesirable behavior is generally the result of an unfulfilled need.
There was a reason my son was bouncing off the walls, even though he wasn’t misbehaving or making terrible decisions, he simply had a lot of energy.
On the surface, a children’s behavior is like the tip of an iceberg sticking out of the sea. It’s what’s going on under the surface that reveals where the behavior is coming from.
My high-energy toddler had (and still has) sensory sensitivities. I’m still learning about the proprioceptive system and sensory output vs. input, but I do know that certain children have difficulty responding to information received through their senses.
He was driven by a need for physical activities and physical touch. It’s referred to as sensory seeking. Now that he is 8 years old, a great way for him to get his energy out is to go on a bike ride, or use a simple toy like a pop it fidget toy like this. ( I secretly thought these were ridiculous waste of money before I got one…now I see what a difference it has made in my sensory seeking little guy with extra energy!)
How To Know If You Have A high Energy Toddler
There are two things you should know about high-energy children:
- ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) isn’t present in every child with boundless energy and high sensory needs.
- With a positive approach to parenting and discipline, there are numerous methods to help high-energy young children.
So, what’s the best approach to deal with an enthusiastic toddler, and irritating behaviors in a good way?
It’s not simple to raise high energy kids, especially if the parent has the opposite temperament.
While it’s vital to encourage your toddler’s curiosity and allow him space to explore, it’s also crucial to educate him that he needs to calm down now and then.
- When you’re out and about, does it feel like your child has to touch everything?
- Is your child always chatting or asking 1,000 questions each day?
- Is it difficult for your child to sit still for long periods of time?
- Would you say your child is inquisitive, daring, or fearless?
- Do you ever get annoyed with your children’s excessive energy?
- Are you concerned that your child is becoming too hyperactive?
- Do you ever wonder if your child has ADHD or ADD?
- Have you checked up the signs and symptoms of ADHD and seen that your child fits some, if not all, of the descriptions?
My child is a high-energy individual. To be honest, I like his high energy. His enthusiasm of life and energy are admirable. Others may mistakenly interpret that excitement and strong energy level as irritation. Yes, I get frustrated when all that excess energy manifests itself in “in your face, over-wounded behaviors.”
When high-energy children’s are embraced and given good supervision, they may grow and thrive.
Your Child’s Energy Is Not About You
Everyone has their own distinct personality and fashion sense. Some people are born with a high level of energy and enthusiasm. Others are more laid-back and reserved.
Accept your child for who they are; just accepting them for who they are can help you realize that their actions are frequently just an expression of who they are and how they approach the world, rather than something done to irritate you. I have a high energy child and a low energy child as well, and they are both so special in their own way.
What to Do If Your Toddler Is High Energy Bottom Line
Here’s a quick rundown of what I could have done differently and what I ultimately changed as my little dude grew older. Knowledge is a powerful tool!
- Connect with your child on his or her level and create a safe space
- Provide avenues for your energetic child to let out his or her wiggles with obstacle courses and a ride on their favorite balance bike or sensory swing! Don’t put a stop to the movement! Use sensory toys, go outside and play, run and jump, sleep with a weighted blanket, and practice joint compressions at night.
- Reframe your expectations of how your active toddler should behave. Examine his or her brain wiring, hobbies, and developmental milestones in comparison to your child alone, not with other children.
- Connect before you correct with energetic toddlers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why does my toddler have so much energy?
It’s possible that your youngster is bored or that he or she needs more time to play outside or be engaged in a higher activity level overall. Investigate when and why your child appears to be overly energetic, then devise a strategy for making a good adjustment.
How can I help my toddler with high energy?
Don’t put too much emphasis on your high energy toddler. Rather, recognise your child’s emotions (“I know you feel angry that we have to end a playdate”). Then relocate her to a different area or shift her focus to something else.
What does it mean when your toddler is very active?
Because they aren’t getting enough sleep, some toddlers become hyperactive. They may also be hyperactive when their senses are overstimulated.