Is My Child Hyperactive or High Energy?
Has your toddler turned into a little tornado? Are you worried that your bouncing baby is hyperactive? Before you jump to that conclusion, be assured that toddlers ARE high energy, and when evaluated, only about 1 in 20 is actually diagnosed as having ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
Those who are evaluated with the disorder have had other symptoms that surfaced in infancy such as sensitivity to sounds and other stimuli and constant crying and fussing. Since this is hard to diagnose at an early age, be sure to check with your doctor if you suspect that your child could possibly have this problem.
Be reassured that many of the youngsters who have been identified with ADHD and other variations of it, will actually begin to calm down as they reach the age of puberty. Some experts are now considering the possibility that these children are just on the high end of the energy scale and learn how to handle it as they mature.
Whether you have a little “energizer bunny” or you child is hyperactive; you need to find healthy ways to provide physical and mental activities for him.
Indoors, let your toddler hit a punching bag or pillow. Give him a wooden spoon to pound a pan, find hammering toys, or a toy drum set if you can tolerate the noise! Show him how to set up wood or foam blocks and then knock them down.
Running and jumping are what toddlers do; so put on some fun songs and do aerobic activities together. Dancing, jumping and running in place are good for both of you!
Put your toddler in the bathtub with water toys and watch him splash and squeal. You will have fun showing him how to push boats, and pour water in and out of cups and buckets.
Search for a tumbling activity or toddler play group where they do dancing, circle games and action songs. Your little one will love it!
Outdoors is a great place to burn off energy. If you have a nearby park, and can walk to it, let your child walk! When you get there, take advantage of the slides, swings, climbing gym and other equipment that engage the child. Balls are good for kicking, throwing, and rolling. In season, splashing in the wading pool is great fun.
There are many riding and push toys on the market and your toddler will enjoy anything that moves! Remember that the more action needed, the more energy will be drained.
Your child should also be mentally challenged. Toddlers love repetition so he will be engrossed when you give him objects to put in and out of a container. Use foam or wood blocks, tennis balls, or even an assortment of unsorted socks! Counting the items as they are put into a container and then dumped out to do it again will keep him entertained for awhile. Another good coordination and mental activity is to find things that can be sorted by color.
Once you have your little dynamo tired out, you may be able to settle him down for a short nap. You will need the rest to be ready for the next round of “toddler time”!