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Helping Your Hyperactive Child Cope with Preschool

Preschools and Kindergartens
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Preschool children tend to be impulsive, inattentive, and easily distracted as a rule, but a hyperactive child takes these behaviors to an extreme. Unfortunately, certain situations and foods only serve to exacerbate the problem in children who have been diagnosed with hyperactivity disorders. However, the right learning environment will help a hyperactive child perform better at home as well as in school.

While it is important for you to consult with a pediatrician or medical professional regarding hyperactivity disorders in your child, here are some tips that may provide your further assistance.

Hands-On Activities for a Hyperactive Child

When working with a hyperactive child, preschool instructors need to give him or her plenty of opportunities to "get the wiggles out." Expecting any child of preschool age to sit still for long periods of time is unrealistic, and a hyperactive child will have even more trouble than usual complying. Try to find a preschool that will provide your child with plenty of interactive hands-on activities, such as art projects that encourage creativity or physical games that use full-body participation. These types of activities will help your hyperactive child stay more focused.

Outdoor Time for a Hyperactive Child

A hyperactive child will positively thrive during outdoor time, as it gives him or her the opportunity to run, jump, climb, and otherwise burn off some of that excess energy. Playing games in a controlled environment will also help a hyperactive child learn how to interact with other children. When your child makes a poor decision, such as doing something dangerous or reacting poorly with his or her peers, you can take the opportunity to discuss the problem. Help your hyperactive child take ownership of his or her bad decisions, and guide him or her in making better choices down the road.

Diffusing a Hyperactive Child's Frustrations

The behavior of a hyperactive child often escalates in direct response to the frustration of his or her caretaker. Yelling only serves to make the situation worse. When a hyperactive child makes a bad choice or misbehaves, you (or the teacher) need to get down on his or her level and explain gently why it was wrong, and help the child come up with better ways to react in the future. If a hyperactive child is too upset to listen to correction, he or she needs to be removed from the situation that's causing distress, and then corrected once he or she has calmed down and is better able to listen.

Your Hyperactive Child's Diet

Certain foods can increase the level of hyperactivity in some children. In particular, processed foods or foods with high amounts of sugar or additives can cause changes in the behavior of a hyperactive child. If you suspect your hyperactive child's behavior may be caused by items in his or her diet, you should consider gradually changing your eating habits to some healthier alternatives. Organic meats and dairy items, whole wheat breads and cereals, and fresh fruits might result in a marked improvement in the behavior of your hyperactive child.

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