Calming Tips for Hyperactive Children

Back to Health Articles


by Jeannine Virtue

Parents of hyperactive children know the "Would you
please just settle down?!" phrase well, and likely use
it on a regular basis.

There are a number of tips to help parents settle their
hyperactive child down. These quick tips and relaxation
techniques take the same amount of time as yelling and
scolding but produce incredibly different results in
hyperactive children.

Quick Calming Tips:

Try quick tips to calm a hyperactive child down during
temper outbursts or unusually rowdy days. These calming
tips are not novel to adults by any stretch. How many
times have you heard "Take a deep breath and count to 10"
or "Calgon, take me away." What works for big people works
for little people as well._ Deep breathing is one of the
simplest ways to calm the body. Teach your children to
take deep breaths (in through the nose, out through the
mouth) when they begin to feel frustrated and out of
control. Parents, you do this too!

_ Draw a warm salt bath or bubble bath to wash away the
hyperactive child's stresses of the day.

_ Take your hyperactive child for a walk or send them
around the block on their own if they are old enough. Not
only does walking burn off excess energy, the repetitive
thump, thump, thump of feet hitting pavement brings the
mind back into focus.

_ Give your hyperactive child a mini-massage. Touch is
very important to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder
children. Massaging their temples, giving a shoulder rub
or lightly running your fingers through their hair can
calm children quickly.

_ Put together a "Boredom Box" that provides creative
outlets for your hyperactive child. Fill this box or
plastic storage bin with paint sets, coloring books,
crossword puzzles, modeling clay, jewelry making kits and
other artistic areas of interest. Hyperactive children
bore easily and their fast spinning minds need extra
stimulation. In the absence of nothing better to do,
hyperactive children will lean on their own devises and
you don't want them doing that. Better that they draw than
set the cat on fire...

The quick-fix calming techniques work to sooth the
hyperactive child after they already became too stressed
or active. There are also techniques that parents can
teach their hyperactive children to help them get
the "stuff" out before it builds up and explodes.

Create a calming home environment:

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder children have
difficulty remaining calm in a hectic environment.
Clearing the clutter and taking a "less is more" approach
to decorating can reduce the sensory overload on Attention
Deficit and hyperactive children.

The Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder child's
bedroom especially should be free of clutter. Use plastic
bins to organize and store all those precious little
plastic treasures (that we adults commonly refer to
as "junk") and small toys. Open the curtains to provide
natural lighting. Keep posters and wall hangings to a
minimum. Paint the child's bedroom in calming muted colors
instead of bright primary colors.

If you play music in the house, opt for soft "elevator
music" or classical music instead of rock. Try to avoid
loud clatters and noises when your Attention Deficit
Hyperactivity Disorder child is at home.

Follow a Routine:

All children thrive in homes that provide routines,
consistency and structure. Attention Deficit and
hyperactive children especially need structure and
schedules to feel secure in their surroundings. For these
children, a more "military" approach to routines works
better. Waking up, eating meals, doing homework, and bed
times should all occur at about the same time every day,
with few surprises to upset the Attention Deficit or
hyperactive child.

A Place to Relax:

If at all possible, find a space in the house to designate
as a relaxation space. It does not have to be a large
space but it does need to be away from high activity
areas. This little corner (or even a portion of a walk-in
closet) can have a beanbag chair and a few books, coloring
books or other quiet time activities.

Encourage your child to go to this space when they become
angry or out of control, but never make this a place of
punishment. This special spot in the house is a positive
place where they can go to settle down, sort things out or
just hang out when they need to be alone.


For the child who is old enough to write, journaling is an
excellent way to untangle frazzled minds and get things
off their chest. This technique allows hyperactive
children to spill their internal stresses outside
themselves and onto paper.

Develop a daily habit of having your child write a page or
two, depending on their age, about anything that comes to
mind. They can write "I hate school, the dog just drooled,
the baby's crying is driving me crazy..." - whatever comes
to mind. Eventually, they will get to the guts of what is
going on inside them. Then rumple or tear the paper up and
throw it away.

These private internal thoughts are not for you or anyone
else to read, ever. Please respect their privacy and let
them know they can write anything down without fear of

Taking a mini-vacation with Guided Imagery:

Guided imagery is a powerful relaxation tool for
hyperactive children that pulls their focus to positive
thoughts, all the while encouraging creativity in your
child. You can check out books on this technique at your
local library if you want further information on the

Last, but certainly not least, diet:

Some parents find that reducing or eliminating sugar from
the diet goes a long way in calming the hyperactive child.
If your child is a finicky eater, you will need to
supplement the diet to make sure your Attention Deficit or
hyperactive child has the fuels needed for his body to
function well.

Starting the day out with a healthy breakfast balanced
with proteins, fats and carbs is important. An egg
sandwich, peanut butter toast and fresh fruit, protein
shakes and fresh fruit smoothies are great ways to start
the day for Attention Deficit and hyperactive children.

Sugar cereals are quick and convenient but should not be
used as a breakfast mainstay. Fruit juices are high in
calories and sugar and not recommended for children,
especially those with Attention Deficit or hyperactivity.
Instead of juice or sodas, get in the habit of offering
plain old H2O. With plenty of bottled waters that offer
fruit flavors and vitamin enhancements, getting your
children hydrated is easier now than ever before.

bio: Jeannine Virtue is a freelance journalist and mother
of an Attention Deficit son. Visit the Attention Deficit
Disorder Help Center at http://www.add-adhd-help- for information about treating Attention
Deficit Disorder without the use of Ritalin or other ADHD


This article courtesy of You may freely reprint this article on your website or in your newsletter provided this courtesy notice and the author name and URL remain intact.


NEW! Splenda® Exposed
Detox Program eBook Thumbnail

Read about SweetPoison
Buy SweetPoison

Dr. Janet Starr Hull's Newsletter:


Aspartame Dangers Revealed | Disclaimer | Link to us | Contact read tab | Site Map | Search
© Copyright 2002. All rights reserved