How to calm an overactive toddler

In our music classes, there are times when I see that moment when the children become more and more excitable, working themselves to a point where they could trip over from running around so fast, or cause mishap to the other children present.

Here are a few small tricks you can count on to calm your over- excited child:

  1. Remove your child from the stimulant.  It is difficult to calm a child when there is loud noise around, or lots of toys or fast-moving distractions, so try to take your child to a quiet or dim corner before speaking to them. Or if there is loud TV or music blaring, turn these off first before speaking to your child.
  2. When speaking to your toddler, crouch down to their level (so you look less threatening), and address them using a slow, low and calm voice. Try and use actions to accompany your words, e.g., the AUSLAN sign language for ‘STOP’ is one palm open flat in front of you, and with the other open palm strike downwards to the middle of the flat palm.
  3. If they are still wanting to charge around animatedly, re-direct this energy by joining them in ‘heavy-duty’ activities, like, stomping around the room in big heavy steps, or pulling a heavy ‘delivery van’  (a bag full of books) around the room, so you can drop them off at different spots.
  4. Any activity that allows the left and right hemisphere of the brain to connect will ‘balance’ out both sides of the brain and bring about calmness after a few minutes.  Crawling on the ground is a perfect example of increased left/right hemisphere connections.
  5. MUSIC ! – just as much as we want to hear loud thumping music at a dance party, playing calm music sets a calmer quieter mood in the room. Children are a lot more sensitive to music than adults are. Soft, calm music will, invariably,  help regulate their mood and emotion.

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