October 20, 2017
NOTES FOR PARENTS OF ACTIVE KIDS
Most young children are very active. Parents may think their child is hyperactive or something is wrong with them, but most of the time being highly active is normal.
Parents can help active children by giving them an early bedtime. Children may act like they are not tired, running around at full speed, but they really are tired. Children need twelve to thirteen hours of sleep every night.
Highly active kids may need help calming themselves down. Having a routine at bedtime really helps with this process. Give kids a warm, relaxing bath, have them brush their teeth, darken the bedroom, play relaxing music. And the best part of the bedtime routine is to cuddle together and read a story. One of the things I usually asked my daughter at bedtime was, “What was the best thing that happened today or what did you have fun doing today?” It was a good way to end the day on a positive note.
Active children need outside play every day. Even if it is raining or snowing, they will love to play in the elements if dressed suitably. Kids need a place where it is okay to run, use loud voices, and get dirty. Put your child in old clothes so you won’t worry about ruining good ones.
Children need a chance to explore and try new things each day. If it is an art project let them try out their own ideas. In the end it might not look like a grown-up’s work but that does not matter. Give active children lots of fun and inexpensive things to create art such as fuzzy pipe cleaners, cotton balls, smooth stones, and allow them to use them in a place where they can be messy.
Music is important to use with all children especially active ones. They need to feel the beat, find a rhythm, use cross-over motions (side-to-side, front-to-back, up-and-down), and jump and sway. This encourages brain development and helps burn off excess energy. It is a great way to get started in the morning---to move to the music.
Children with lots of energy don’t plan to misbehave they just need to be shown a constructive way to use their energy.
Source: Better Kid Care, Penn State Extension