Children who have trouble staying still for long periods of time might be suffering from hyperactivity.

How to Tell If Your Kids Are Hyper

by Tammy Dray

If Junior is one of those kids who spends the days "bouncing off the walls," then you already know you have a hyper child. In many children, however, being hyper is a bit more subtle or comes only after eating an extra giant serving of ice cream. Learning what constitutes "normal excited" versus non-stop movement will help you understand your child better.

1 Look for constant fidgeting that's not associated with any particular activity. Some over-excitement is normal if you're leaving for Disneyworld or if your child is anxious because there's a doctor's appointment coming up. But if every day feels like you're planning a Disney trip, then you have a problem.

2 Suggest a quiet activity to your child, such as coloring or watching a movie together. A hyper child will have trouble concentrating because it requires staying in the same position for long periods of time. She'll probably need to ask a million questions during a movie or she'll get up to fetch something several times -- expect lots of "I need a blanket," "I'm thirsty" and "I need a second pillow."

3 Ask your child's babysitter about his behavior. Hyper children often have a hard time staying in the same place and might be labeled as disobedient because they can't follow directions or don't seem to be able to listen. This is true even if your child is well educated and respectful.

4 Pay attention when your child plays by herself. Hyper children often have a hard time playing quietly, according to Mayo Clinic. Even when playing alone, they might either talk to themselves, bolt out singing or try talking to you while involved in their own activities. Asking a question often results in non-stop talk, sometimes not even related to what you asked in the first place. That is, if she even gives you the chance to finish your question.

Tip

  • If your child is having trouble listening or relating to others, you might want to talk to a doctor or therapist to see if there's anything you can do to help. Medication or behavior modification therapy might be useful in some cases.

Warning

  • Attention deficit hyperactivity disorder is most commonly associated with learning problems and an inability to listen. However, many children with ADHD are also extremely hyper. Certain central nervous system disorders and emotional disorders can also cause children to be hyper. If you suspect your child to have hyperactivity problems -- rather than just having an active day -- talk to your doctor to get a diagnosis.

About the Author

Aside from writing experience, I also have coaching/teaching experience, both as an writing coach (currently teaching three workshops at www.coffeehouseforwriters.com) and an ESL (English-as-a-Second-Language)teacher abroad. I'm a certified Nutrition Consultant and fitness trainer and a longtime contributor to health/wellness publications, from Self to Marie Claire. I am fluent in Spanish and have worked as a translator and a language instructor. I also have two books forthcoming in 2008.

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