Hyperactivity and constant fidgeting can cause challenges at home and school for the child, parents and teachers. It is important to support the hyperactive child in the most positive and sensitive way possible to help control hyperactive motor activity and reduce anxiety.
Helping to manage hyperactivity
Whether you are a teacher or a parent, there are many ways to support a child with hyperactivity. The below tips are a good guide to start with, however, it is essential to try different techniques to see what works best.
- Set clear rules and expectations
Children with hyperactivity require regular reminders of rules and expectations in the classroom to consolidate them as part of the every school day. It is also important to praise the child who puts in effort to follow the rules.
- Don’t overload them
It can be very helpful to reduce workloads by breaking it down into smaller sections. This makes it easier for children to focus and feel that they can complete certain tasks.
- Offer corrective feedback
Give constructive feedback immediately after any negative behaviour is noticed. While doing this, it is key to stay calm at all times.
- Follow strategic praise
Positive attention is powerful. Children that struggle with hyperactivity deserve praise for achieving seemingly simple tasks, such as putting up their hand before speaking.
- Give them a break
Children are naturally energetic and always ready to move. Kids with hyperactivity may struggle even more with sitting still for long periods. Therefore, it’s essential to offer them regular breaks to get up and move.
- Declutter workspaces
Children who tend to get distracted by playing with objects typically behave better when their workspace is uncluttered. Remove any items that the child does not need for work assignments but might be tempted to play with.
Hyperactive children tend to have very high energy levels and can be behaviourally distracting. As a parent or teacher of a child who is hyperactive or impulsive, you should keep in mind that the child is very often completely unaware that their behaviour is distracting. So, it is important to stay calm at all time, approach the child with sensitivity and to always focus on positive reinforcement.