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Dealing with your high-energy child

Maxine du Plessis

When trying to keep up with ones’ energetic children, it can easily exhaust you. When your kids hop and run around like the battery bunny add on the television, one can easily argue that while kids are active, they are healthy, which makes it easier to deal with. But a lot of parents make the energetic ways of a child out as ADHD and demand treatment from a healthcare practitioner.

It is perfectly normal for your kids to have high energy. “At 4, a child has gained control over her body,” says Ken Haller, M.D., an assistant professor of paediatrics. “This gives her a feeling of independence, and it naturally leads to more active behaviour.”

While it can be exhausting keeping up with your child’s high energy, reigning them in isn’t the answer. “These drugs are being used as a quick fix,” says David Webster, treasurer of the Association of Educational Psychologists (AEP) who has lobbied the Department of Health about the over-prescription. “There is evidence that it is being prescribed to children as young as three and that it’s being administered to children with mild to moderate ADHD, as opposed to severe as the NICE guidelines state.”

Instead, find positive ways to redirect their spirit and eliminate things that might hype them up further. We have a few tips that will help you deal with high-energy kids better.

Find means to vent their energy and calm their minds. Children need to run around and play a lot.

Talk to your child in a simple manner. Give them your complete attention and lend an ear to their concerns, interests, and apprehensions. Help them deal with their feelings, tell them what is good and what is bad.

Make them relax – Minimize distractions and screen time. Take them out to green surroundings. Just be patient, take a deep breath, be determined to calm him/her, and put his/her high energy levels to good use.

Behaviour therapy – Reward them for good manners, listening to you, sticking to a routine, encourage them to establish order, and let them know what is expected of them.

TV and video games do little to channel energy and are a major distraction, overstimulate them, making it more difficult for your pre-schooler to sit still. The recommended time is two hours total screen time per day.

Enrol your child in outdoor activities or sports available that your child might enjoy; pre-schoolers should have at least 30 minutes of free play and offer no more than 20 minutes of instruction.

Play together.  Watch her diet. Monitor sugar intake, cut out caffeine, which is a stimulant.

Reward good behaviour, set limits and always follow through on promises made as a reward for good behaviour.

Information from Telegraph.co.uk

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