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Children & Excessive Energy

Posted On: 09-23-2016
Children & Excessive Energy
Your child is likely to have more energy than you do, especially during early childhood. However, having trouble keeping up with him does not necessarily indicate a problem as long as his energy output does not cross the line into hyperactivity. Understanding what is expected for your child’s age and how you can provide ways for him to burn off his energy will help you to know if his excessive energy level is a concern or not.

Toddlers and Preschoolers

A high level of energy is common in toddlers and preschoolers, especially since your child needs practice developing her physical and motor skills. In fact, hyperactivity is not typically diagnosed in children until after the preschool years, since excessive energy is expected in the meantime. Constant movement from your toddler is normal, but it could be a sign of hyperactivity if she frequently runs into things or does not sit still for short periods of time to listen to a story.

Middle Childhood

During middle childhood, excessive energy can present a problem for your child while he attends school. It is normal for him to be able to stay active for long periods of time, but he should also be able to balance this with sitting still for learning. If he frequently acts impulsively or causes disruptions, or if his grades suffer due to his energy level, it could be a sign of hyperactivity.

Recommendations

You can provide opportunities for your child to burn off her energy that vary according to her age. Toddlers and preschoolers can exert energy on the playground or through dancing to music, and older children may benefit from an extracurricular activity like a team sport. Limit the amount of time your child spends with television and video games to one to two hours a day in order to give her more opportunities to burn off energy. Although some days it might seem as though your child never runs out of energy, try to keep your expectations realistic according to her development.

Considerations

Keep in mind that your child’s energy level can change based on his environment and circumstances. For example, you might notice that his energy level seems higher on rainy days when he feels stuck inside or in environments where he doesn’t have access to his toys. If you are concerned that her energy level is excessive and disruptive, talk to his doctor. It might help to keep a daily journal of your child’s energy, along with any contributing circumstances. This will help his doctor determine if the excessive energy is a problem that requires further evaluation, or if it is normal for his age and environment.

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