Raising A High Energy Child

by Destri on September 17, 2010

We haven’t had one of these posts in awhile, and as readers it seems you either love ‘em or hate ‘em.  So for those of you that enjoy a little editorial, this ones for you.  Especially if you have a high energy kid.  For those of you that like the projects, I have one coming up.  Also we will be announcing the winner to the rock the flop event shortly!  Now onto my ramblings.

Hello, my name is Destri and I have a “high energy child”. I start out this way because sometimes I feel like I need a support group just to raise him. Wanna join?  You know who you are, no riding on the fence here!  At a play date you have no doubt heard “Wow, I bet he sleeps good at night” or “Oh my goodness!  She sure has a lot of energy!”.  Yes, you know who you are.  You are raising a child that can run circles around you and take your heart with him.

I have always worried about my little guy.  Worried that maybe he has early signs of ADHD, or that maybe I let him watch TV to young.  Or maybe allowing myself that one cup of coffee each day while pregnant had a lasting effect on him.  It’s hard not to when you are out with friends and their kids, and your child is literally the tornado ripping through the bunch.  You start to question your parenting, and your ability to raise this child to adulthood while keeping your sanity. At least I do.  I did have a turning point though – a moment I learned to embrace this energy of his and try to work with it rather than fight it.  It was last year at the zoo with friends that I learned to let Hank, be Hank.

As I did in most situations like this, I had my two and half year old and my eleven month old securely strapped into the double stroller.  As we walked I remember watching both of their little boys (about the same age), how they walked beside them only venturing a safe distance before coming back to mom, and being envious.  Finally at some point I reluctantly let Hank out.  We were in the reptile building and it seemed like a place I could contain him.  He scurried off excited to be free, I scrambled behind him telling him “quiet Hank”  “stop running Hank”,  “wait for me Hank”.  All the while I have an eleven month old on my hip.   I am sure I looked like a nervous nelly that just needed to relax.  I can’t say that has really changed.

We head outside and of course he immediately takes off, despite the fact I had just told him to stay by my side.  Embarrassed, I ask my friend to take my baby in the stroller so I can chase after him.  I found him at the monkey cage around the corner.

“Mom, look!  Monkeys!”  He says with more excitement then some display having just won the lottery.

“Hank, I thought I told you to stay by me”  I say with the sternest voice I could muster.  “Why did you run off?”

To which he simply replies “You were going too slow!”

It was in that moment I realized, he is not a bad kid, he is just an energetic one. His curiosity and sense of adventure simply are not content to walk calmly beside me while there was so much to see.  He was not blatantly trying to disobey, his mind works too fast in such an environment to think of ways to be naughty.   It was just honest, genuine excitement, and the harder I fought to contain that, the harder he fought to maintain it.  And why shouldn’t he?  We were at the zoo after all.

We had the “You need to wait for mom so you don’t get lost” talk and then I sat with him and engaged in his excitement over the monkeys.  My friends show up, with their boys by their side, and we head off to the next exhibit.  Off runs Hank down the hill.  Instead of running after him with threats of sitting in the car I make sure he stays within eye shot.  Part of me felt like I was giving into him but my better instincts told me to let him go.  He ran to the elephants, looked back at me with sheer excitement and wonder in his eyes.  Those were elephants in front of him, and boy were they big, and he had no problem showing his enthusiasm for it.  I had no choice but to admire him.  The rest of the day went a lot like that.  Hank running off and me fighting the urge to contain him.  I had to learn to let him go a little, or I was just going to chase him off.

That night I went home and wrote in my journal.  I wrote how I needed to find a way to embrace these qualities of his – that is what they are after all – not some disorder or result of my coffee habit.  To not fight them, or try to change him.  I had to remember to not strip him of this natural love of life he had.  I wrote how I needed to learn how to point all that energy in the right direction, because one day it would accomplish great things if given a chance.  I even wrote that he would probably be the one to teach me how to do that.

So instead of having just a hyper child, I like to think I have a passionate, persistent, energetic child who will live every day of his life.  And underneath all of that you have a little person that wears his heart on his sleeve – he has no time for pretense – an ever willing cuddler, who has yet to meet an enemy.

Last time I went to the park there was an elderly man watching his grandchildren sitting with me.  He was watching our kids play and mentioned “boy I bet he keeps you busy”.  To which I replied “yep, isn’t it great?”  He said “It sure is.”

There are still many days I forget all of this and we have our battles.  It will be nice to have this written here for those days I need reminding.  Yet I have managed to find a way to work with him most of time.  Little tactics and techniques that speak to him in a way that yelling at him never will.  Watching my sister, mom and friends with him has been great.  People sometimes deal with your kids better don’t you think?  Much to be learned from that.  If you’re interested I could share, and you could share yours.  This is a support group after all.

And for those of you with the calm, “stay by moms side” kind of child, please do not think I am discounting them and their qualities.  I have one of those too, thank goodness.  But that is an entirely different post.

So tell me, do you have a high energy child?

**Thanks for all your emails and the heads up on the 404!  I fixed it, so now you can leave a comment!

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{ 325 comments… read them below or add one }

Proud Mommy August 18, 2013 at 10:58 am

I’m so glad that I found this website. My 5 year old son is starting kindergarten this week. Perhaps I should first say that I am a much older first time single by choice mom. I worked hard with modern science for him and it took many years, so he truly is my miracle. He is so different from me, but I think that is very good. He is a social butterfly, a football tackler, and someone with the kindest heart I know. Both of our visits to school did not go good, but so different. The one to public school, we were both yelled at about his behavior and told I would have to get it under control. The second one, at a private school, the teacher was calm and caring. Even though it will be difficult financially, I chose the private school because I want him to have a chance in a loving and encouraging situation. Please think of us. We will be going to a family situation soon, and even the closest people to me say he has too much energy for one person. The other comments are not nearly as nice, so we seldom attend family functions either. He is usually much better when I’m not with him, so I only get to hear, not see, his “good” behavior. He does not want to hold my hand, but will run off, so we rarely go anywhere. As he is tall and very solid, so weighs more, he pulls too hard on me to “force” him to hold my hold and I can no longer pick him up and carry him. I don’t believe he wants to hurt anyone, he just doesn’t realize how strong he is or how hard he hits at times. I wouldn’t want to change the situation for anything, but sometimes it is very lonely as there is no one else to watch him. My near friends are either even older than me or prefer their grandparent roles. I’m glad to hear that it isn’t necessarily my age that I get worn out from him, as I try to over compensate and play with him. Also, glad to hear that I’m not the most horrible mom in the world. I thank God for hm everyday. Again, thank you for this page and any and all comments and for letting me write all of this. Sorry so long..

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Beka August 20, 2013 at 10:53 am

Oh wow … this made me all weepy and was exactly what I needed to read this morning! My sweet, bright, beautiful little girl is four and a half and I could have written this story about my experience raising her, pretty much word for word! She has been a bundle of barely contained energy since the day she was born. The nurse in the maternity ward told me she was the LOUDEST baby they’d ever had. LOL! Most parents typically say, “Oh yeah … my kids get wound up sometimes too,” or “Oh sure, all kids seem to have endless energy.” But they really don’t get it. ;) It’s been extremely difficult for me not to get discouraged when I see other kids following rules, staying close, being cautious, sitting quietly, entertaining themselves etc. My daughter will follow rules and listen to instructions … but only if she fully comprehends and understands the reasons for WHY. I’m constantly terrified that she’s going to injure herself and I often feel like other parents must judge me for lack of discipline or not having good boundaries. It’s hard not to feel like I’m failing sometimes, especially when I’m dealing with a total meltdown in front of company, for example. She absolutely will NOT take rules at face value, because for her, life is full of thrilling possibilities and endless adventures. On the other hand, she’s up for anything! She has very few phobias or fears! She is outgoing, smart, vivacious and absolutely everyone is her new best friend! Such GREAT qualities! She is completely unfazed by peer pressure, does her own thing and LOVES LIFE. I would never want to take that from her. Not in a million years. It’s so encouraging to read such a great story and so many comments from people who understand!

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Laura May 1, 2014 at 10:41 pm

Thank you for your post! My sweet and loving almost 4 year old has been called everything from a wind-up toy to a firecracker. Louder, more energetic with a wonderful imagination and playful sense of humor, she is my wonderful girl. She will run to me to tell me a secret which she whispers (yep, even that is loud) that she loves me. She will melt your heart and is the princess/dancer/cat/mermaid depending on the day.

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Tammy August 20, 2013 at 3:32 pm

My 7 yr old son has the energy bug. From the moment he could walk, I ran. Always comments from others about his busy nature and a handful of annoyed parents who gave me the “your a bad parent” look. In our case, it is ADHD handed down from his Dad. He struggles in school, not from the academics as he is very intelligent but from expectations of staying still in his seat, waiting his turn and keeping his hands to himself. Am I worried, not in the least. As my MIL says, he’s a spittin image of his father and his father is now very successful in his career and will continue to achieve. It’s all about supporting them, finding what works and communicating. I look forward to the man he will be someday…just like his Daddy.

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Kim August 25, 2013 at 1:21 am

This was very helpful. I have the same feelings at times. I am learning to let my son be himself. He sometimes looks to me for approval and I need to be more reassuring as he explores life. Thank you so much for your article. I appreciate it

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veena August 27, 2013 at 9:32 am

Hi,

Thank you!! This article is just written for my lil one. He is 2.5 and oh boy he keeps me on my toes… my husband lets him be but I was always the one following him everywhere and was always worried but now I think I can rrlax let him be and just enjoy these moments.

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Mrs. LIAYF August 27, 2013 at 11:39 pm

Our son Lukas has ALWAYS been like this. We had to learn quickly to adapt to his enthusiasm for life and his energetic personality. He never crawled, he just rolled on the floor for a few months, then stood up and started walking when he was 10 months old. He wouldn’t walk if he could run. He refused to sit in stroller, so we got him a balance bike when he was 2 and he was riding a 2-wheeler without training wheels by the time he was 3 (he would wear a little backpack with extra snacks). He started talking in complete sentences just before he turned 2 and hasn’t stopped since.

He doesn’t have ADHD, he’s just very, very intense. We had to work to find a pre-school, then a grade school, that encouraged hands-on learing, including movement and talking in the classroom. Project-based learning with lots of building, thinking and collaborating. And, plenty of time to run around outside. He sometimes wears us out (we are older parents – 41 and 46), but I am always so grateful for his bright light! He’s excited about life and the world and everyone and everything and it is such a joy!!

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Mother of Diversity September 1, 2013 at 4:22 am

I so needed to read your post! My son Lucas has so much energy! It is hard to find ways for him to let off steam, as we live in Arizona and it is soooo hot here. I need ideas to help him active as he gets bored easily, is highly creative, and really enjoys electronics. I did buy him a pair of roller skates that he uses in the house daily on the hardwood…
Just knowing that there are others out there is needed.
Thanks!

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TN Lizzie January 12, 2014 at 1:50 am

I don’t know if this would work in January, but you could give your son a cup of Top Secret Invisible Paint (Water) and a sponge. His mission: try to make your car, part of the house, a tree trunk, etc. disappear! Who knows, it might work someday! ;o)

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Kelly February 8, 2014 at 9:00 am

That idea is pure genius!! Thank you for sharing :D

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Proud Mommy September 6, 2013 at 7:45 am

It is so good to read all of these posts over and over. The first few weeks of kindergarten have gone pretty good for my son. I am curious though what kind of grade school you found that encouraged hands-on learning? I try and let him run and have unstructured fun at home. We stay home most of the time so he can be himself and not “be like the other kids”. He is very creative, logical, and always thinking. I believe he will be able to go far and have much confidence. He amazes me and so glad to hear from others too!

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Mrs. LIAYF September 6, 2013 at 1:56 pm

We found a new public school that has a “project-based” learning approach. It means the kids learn by working on projects, most of them hands-on where they can touch and build, and encourages collaboration between small student groups. It’s also a STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Math) school, where the kids do a lot of science and engineering projects.

For some reason, the project-based learning approach, and the STEM curriculum, attracts intense, high-energy students. So, the teachers are used to the high energy in the classroom. The principal once commented to me that the kind of students that come to this school, the “STEMy” students, seem to need a lot of time to move in the classroom, stand at tables rather than sitting, and talk, talk, talk. So, the classrooms are designed to incorporate their need to move and talk for all students.

I would encourage you to look at schools that might have project based learning – look at the elementary classrooms and see if they have desks all lined up, or if the students are moving around and working within the classroom without having to sit still all day. And, look for a school that has smaller recesses throughout the day (3 is very nice) so the kids can work.

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Effie November 3, 2013 at 6:04 am

Thank you so much for posting this I have spent the last week
Reading adhd symptoms as my 5 year old is live wire and in my heart – although challenging I believe he is just very excited, really happy and mountain of energy – your description is my son to a t we are also 42 and 46 and although exhausting watching his lust for life and although with a fair share of meltdowns he has this amazing ability to light up
Every day :-)

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Malusi Nduzi August 29, 2013 at 9:17 am

I have a 4,5 year old you will swear she is on drugs. When every other child is sleeping mine jumps up and down through the good part of the night, please help

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Tracey August 29, 2013 at 7:27 pm

Too true! My 2 year old can RUN like a marathon runner. He can outrun everyone in our family. It gets a bit frustrating in the grocery and the mall because well meaning people think he’s going to get hurt, some even think that he will get kidnapped…ok, he’s never out of eye site. I try to take him on a “run” everyday outside. This helps a lot. I let him pick the direction of our run and the duration. I push an empty stroller and carry 2 sippie cups of ice water and a towel. Sometimes he runs til he is exhausted, then climbs into the stroller for the return trip. Others he runs both ways without breaking a sweat. But it’s important that he chose the route and the distance. We have really bonded over this. I love my hi energy little man! Some advice, mom doesn’t get to wear heels…stick with running shoes!

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Ali'smommy November 10, 2013 at 8:43 pm

Thank you for this post!! I’m going to try this with my 3 1/2 year old daughter. She is a ball of energy and can wear my patience down. I’m glad to see that I’m not the only one. People often judge me and say that I do not discipline her enough. Thanks again!

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Merbear September 2, 2013 at 2:44 am

You nailed it, as new moms we put the pressure on ourselves! My 7 yr old daughter is the same way, has been since she was two. She’s starting grade two, smart as a
Whip, so curious, but we are Still still dealing with self-regulation issues. She talks nonstop and sometimes I get frustrated but we don’t want to squash that either. My daughter also Never crawled and rolled on the floor and has been running ever since. My daughter was done with naps by the time she was to two and wouldn’t sit in her stroller. She was born a month early and only weighed 5pds, had a traumatic birth, emergency c-section and I always wondered if that had something to do with it.

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Sarah September 6, 2013 at 12:43 pm

I have 3! of these high-energy kids. They run and run until they can’t run anymore every day. My 3 year-old son is constantly climbing, escaping, and trying to do everything on his own ahead of me. I don’t know what it might be like to have a child who would just stand next to me, even for a moment. We get a lot of comments about how when one kid is so busy that another one “usually balances it out,” but it is amazing how mine don’t. It is tough to deal with them. Life feels like mass chaos so much of the days when we are all home. Even at bedtime, it takes physical contact to get them to lay still and pause long enough to sleep. Without some help going to sleep this way, they can be up until nearly 10:00. I am certain that these traits will carry forward into something wonderful as they grow up (now at 6 mo, 3, and 6), but for now – whew!!!

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Kelly September 6, 2013 at 10:41 pm

As I did a search on google for “extremely active 2 year old boy” your post appeared in the first few links. As I read your story of letting Hank be Hank I quickly realized my Eli is a lot like Hank and full of life and love for everything around him. He knows no boundaries only because his direction is just moving forward and seeing it for himself. I’m learning to embrace these moment and not try to harness them. Learning to fight the battles that develop his character and not the ones that take away his zest. Blessed to have read this merely because it confirmed a truth I had already known about my son. Thanks Destri :)

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Mummy's girl September 8, 2013 at 4:16 pm

Thank you for this I don’t feel crazy and so alone anymore lol.
Our 3 year old daughter has been high energy from day one and 3 years on there are no signs of respite, she has such a lust for life and I just love seeing things through her eyes.
She is so intelligent and yet is so hard to teach, I worry but I know I don’t need to she will do great things with the right encouragement from us. I have learnt a lot of lessons over the past 3 years. One being so called friends who I have had to walk away from to save my own sanity. People can be so cruel and not to offend anyone, but new mums especially who’s baby sleeps and eats better than my 3 years old. No one said it would be easy but they didn’t say it would be this hard this long either but I wouldn’t change it for the world x

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Daphnie September 11, 2013 at 3:32 pm

My son has always been like this. I live in NYC and everyday on our way to gis daycare he throws a fit on the train. And everyday he throws one coming home. Hes wants to be everywhere at once. He wants to sit in his stroller, sit next to me, and look out the window all while holding on to a poll. People on the train have told me “boy you nust really work gard witb that one” because we will literally be wrestling so he can sit down and not fall while the train is moving. Bad enough, not even his daycare can handle him. He goes to a very giod daycare where all the teachers have bachelors degrees highereverydaythere complaining that he didnt want to leave the park jthrowing fits i have to put a little more effort. I have to stop using the stroller.

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Daphnie September 11, 2013 at 3:35 pm

I continue to use the stroller because he likes to run in to the street when he gets upset. Sometimes i feel like ive done a horrible job because he listens to everyone but me. Yesterday some lady helped me on the train when he three a huge tantrum and told me i have to ignore everyone else and just do what i have to do to take care of the situation. If he cries he cries and i shouldnt care what others think. But even when i do that, sometimes its just to overwhelming ..

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Jennifer October 11, 2013 at 10:31 pm

This sounds oh too familiar. But, with my son leaving places – huge fit and total embarrassment on my side. My sister has a boy like this too and she told me to set expectations before I get out of the car or leave the house. I tell him , ” we have three rules to play at the beach (or whatever they like to do ) 1. No pushing, 2. No throwing sand, 3. Whatever he’s had a hard time with” if he doesn’t follow the rules we leave – kicking and screaming – immediately. This happened twice and he has yet to push another kid or throw sand in four months. If I don’t set the expectation first (and totally follow though) he acts like I’m speaking another language. Don’t know if this helps – but just remember – breath, you are a wonderful mother:)

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Marisol Kaag September 12, 2013 at 7:25 am

Thank you so much for this article. I have a very energetic 2.5 yr old too. People constantly make the same remarks and are amazed how energetic he is. I am constantly questioning my ability as a parent because he doesn’t stay by my side or stay seated in a chair for a meal. It is comforting to know that some children are naturally more energetic. Thank you!!!

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Cindy September 16, 2013 at 7:13 am

I have a 2yr old son, he has so much energy no words can describe. His cousins are so terrified of him because he gets too excited at times. And people do give you the evil eye but i couldn’t be bothered. I would not change his personality for anything and would not dream of subduing him either. I can tell some stories that will make some of you laugh, but i’ll just tell the latest one…he got excited by my brother’s wedding yesterday and he knocked a vase over and it broke, the owner was highly upset (embarrasing hey!)

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Erin September 25, 2013 at 8:43 pm

I can totally relate to this story. My 6 year old girl will stay right by me and comply with my every request. My 4 year old boy is a ball of energy. It is only recently that I have come to the same conclusion as you. He is just full of life! I have to parent him differently, not try to control him (he won’t be controlled anyways:)). Glad to see I am not alone!

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Ashley September 27, 2013 at 12:09 am

I have to say, it is very reassuring to read this post. My son Johnny is 21 months old, and he is constantly going. I will admit, the past few months have been extremely discouraging for me. I feel like I spend my entire day chasing Johnny around trying to prevent him from getting hurt. Most of the time, he doesn’t listen to what I say, and I spend at least 1-2hours trying to get him down for a nap, or bedtime. (Every time). I am truly struggling to find a happy medium. It is nice to know that I am not the only parent who is dealing with this, but I am curious if anyone has some advice for different tools to work with him on this.

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Destri October 1, 2013 at 9:14 am

Ashley, I have been there!!

The only book I have found to help was the Sleep Easy Solution. It talks about how for some kids, going to sleep on their own is a learned skill, not a natural one. It makes sense – how many adults still need to read or watch TV to help them?

If you follow their steps to a T, you will see great results! It is really really hard at first, but after a week, they start to find their own ways of soothing them selves. My boy now never fights bed time, and falls right to sleep – and i feel like I have given him a life skill :)

I have some videos coming up to start a little group for us, and this subject will be perfect!

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Amanda September 27, 2013 at 4:39 am

Oh man I totally hear this! My son is always go, go, go all day long!! You are absolutely right and I love this article. Maybe I need to embrace his energy rather than making it a constant battle. So nice to know there are other moms out there with some energetic little ones who we are destined to chase down for life. Gotta love those terrible 2′s! Hang in there ladies!

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Sophie September 28, 2013 at 1:16 pm

Thanks for your post. I just got back from a birthday party with babies all born within a month of each other. My son is also high energy and always has been. He will bowl into children trying to hug them, knock them flying, cause them to cry then try and comfort them (usually which knocks them over again!) He is just 1 but when I go to these kind of events it makes me realise how much energy he has and I have to admit today it worried me – perhaps I should reign him in. Your article reminded me that it is just him and I love these aspects of him for so many reasons, it is mad to want to contain him just because of how other parents see him. So here is to letting my whirlwind of crazyness run free!

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Jennifer October 11, 2013 at 10:21 pm

My son did the same thing – the hug take down:) My mom, a resources specialist, told me to start him doing high fives with other kids and adults instead of the bear hug. So, now whenever I know he will be around other kids I offer up the high five suggestion before he gets the itch to do a hug. It gives him the attention and the physical contact he wants. He’s 2 1/2 now and still on occasion busts out with the tackle hug, but it’s only on really close friends or relatives who know how to roll with it. It was some if the best advice I ever got!! Hope it helps:)

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Jennifer October 11, 2013 at 10:15 pm

Thank you for sharing your highs and lows of having such a wonderful child. (As I write that my fun 2 1/2 year old boy just ripped up an ikea catalog and looked at me to say he was a garbage truck.) I, too, have learned to let Caleb just BE Caleb. He is so spirited that i know to just keep some extra water in the car for myself so when we are done doing whatever activity I can strap him in, breath, and take a finally take sip of water:) I also have a seven month old girl who is hot on his tail!! These kids are not for the faint of heart – and I wouldn’t want it any other way!!

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Cameron October 17, 2013 at 5:20 pm

I have high energy twins. A boy and a girl, and both are reluctant to stay by my side when they could be exploring. This gives me hope that I’m not a bad mother who doesn’t discipline her kids well enough. After all no matter what I say or do, their instinct is the same…to wander off and explore because at 2 they don’t understand the consequences of getting lost like I do.

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chin October 20, 2013 at 2:30 am

at last I found you… my 2.5yo son is exactly like the way you describe… very energetic and strong willed. I been receiving few complaints from his sunday school helpers. at the end of it i just change all the Frustration into Admiration n Amusement. . my son is so funny n always crack me up with all unexpected surprises. he just playful. although he may sit still or walking side by side. he always look for me when he wander too far. most important is to keep an eye on him all the time.

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Proud Mommy October 21, 2013 at 7:39 am

I thoroughly understand. My son is 5 and he does pretty good in the Sunday School class we finally found, but then he wants to see the cool rooms afterwards and starts to disrupt church starting.

I have a question for anyone/everyone. Will your high energy child hold almost everyone else’s hand except for yours? My son will and then they look at me like just hold his hand. I’m feeling like I’m failing at this and teacher/parent conferences are this week and I feel like I’m being sent to the principal’s office, though it might go well. My first time for this.

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Aparna Sharma November 18, 2013 at 5:56 am

Tears in my eyes as I read your post. My two year old daughter is very much a high energy child. I’m always running behind her, keeping her out of harm’s way, like you rightly said, embarrassed when friends with silent kids look at me pityingly! My final straw came last night when her pediatrician suggested ADHD evaluation.

After reading your post I realised, with tears in my eyes that my baby is truly special, VERY caring and cuddlesome. I am too slow for her! Damn right I am!

Thank you so very very much!

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nola December 3, 2013 at 4:16 pm

I am a mother of 1 year old boy. He is super active. All my friends and some stragers say so! He is a explorer. He always have asmile on his hace and always on move. Some times I think if he stays still he can think more. Also he can save some energy. He is very lean.

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Steve December 29, 2013 at 6:48 am

Thank you for your post! My 5 year old son is just like Hank. You have given me hope and understanding. Again thank you and I understand how you feel!

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crystal this January 3, 2014 at 11:34 pm

Now I can breathe a little, thank you! I’m a single mother of twins, boy and girl, age four, that are like night and day. My son has more energy than I’ve ever seem, and at times it terrifies me, I feel so guilty fir not having the energy to keep up, or that I may not be active enough with him but it seems like the more activities I do to ware him down the more he can go! Then I feel guilty for the attention my girl needs because I’m chasing after him down:( and then there come the question do I have enough patients! So he started headstart I feel like he’s treated different because of his energy! I need ideas for activities to try because I’m running out! He is so tender hearted but yet hyper! This is just on my heart, and I’m glad to know I’m not the only line continuously saying no, stop, wait! Thanks

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Des January 5, 2014 at 2:18 am

This article gave me a new perspective. Just this morning I started questioning my parenting again. Then I found your story when I was searching for help. Thank you for sharing.

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johnston January 10, 2014 at 3:34 pm

Hi there, I am so pleased you posted this. Feeling like a bad parent today as i am so tired and just can’t keep up with my little one i found some sanity reading this article.
I have two grown up children which were energetic but no more than usual and they could also play together being so close in age. My next bundle of energy came 18 years after our first two and i am always wondering if it is my age and i am slowing down or if this little bundle just has much more energy than my other two???
I’ve been feeling terrible as i have struggled with this one more so, as even from birth ‘Sleep’ hasn’t been high on her agenda and she is now 4 years old. Although she has such energy and tremendous strength and is far from gentle but would rather head butt me or strangle me when cuddling me to the point i have had to shout to get her to listen and stop as she causes me pain. But what really confuses me is she is painfully shy in front of anyone else and comes across as the perfect, polite and very well mannered child?
Am i going mad or over reacting?

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Destri January 22, 2014 at 12:06 pm

Hi there,

You know, my sister always told me that kids will be better for others and show true colors with parents simply because they know it is safe to do so – they know that there is an unconditional love there. As for the energy – think having two together definitely makes a difference on having someone to expend that energy on. It sounds like you are that for your daughter!
I know that is one thing with my boy – he has a little sister that will do anything with him and he just wears her out. I think if he didn’t have her, he would drive me bonkers!

So be kind to yourself, you are a good momma. One book that has really helped me with limits for my son is “1,2,3, magic!” It has been a savior for us!

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Mazvita January 16, 2014 at 5:56 am

This is a wonderful find. I am constantly worrying about my son’s activity. He never seems to walk. He is always running, skipping, walking backwards, anything but the normal. Recently he has started Peter Rabbitting through the house. He runs like a rabbit, on all fours. He never sits still. This is a five year old ready for pre-primary. I was active as a child but not like this. His dad was much calmer and still. Its nice to hear other mummies going through the same. And knowing that its not really a cause for concern. Thanks all.

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Mazvita January 16, 2014 at 5:58 am

Oh i just have to say my son had a stint of watching tv upside down last year. That was a classic but my mom said don’t worry he will grow out of it and i just wondered if she just wanted to make me feel better. He did outgrow it.

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Carly April 24, 2014 at 3:34 am

I have a 3.5 year old boy who at 1.5 who thought he was a puppy. He got on his hands and knees one day after he dumped his snacks out of his bowl and began eating them off the floor. I have to admit his creativity was hilarious and it always got everyone to laugh and smile. But it also scared me too. Thankfully, he did grow out of it and I’ve taken on new challenges with him.

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Yashodhara January 20, 2014 at 8:15 am

OMG!!! My thoughts, my feelings ; your words…
My four year old can drive me up the wall, tire me out and yet nothing is more soothing than his gentle hug. There have been days, I’ve been in tears simply not knowing what to do, how to explain to him things like using his words to express himself rather than hitting or screaming… I’m still struggling to find the patience within me, the strength to bear all those judgmental looks … thank you for putting this out here, shows me that my child is beautiful and a gift and i should just enjoy him.

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Sonya curry January 20, 2014 at 11:26 am

I am reading this as my 3.5 year old is running around the house screaming a song on the top of his lungs. He is constantly excitable! He is always up (I sometimes worry too up) He is happy, he is loud, he is accidentally rough, he is confident. Should I be concerned or proud?
I wouldn’t want him any other way. Even if it sometimes drives me crazy.
Thank you for helping parents of Attention Seeking Disorder kids.

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Holly January 20, 2014 at 12:27 pm

I am so glad I found this post today as I googled “how to deal with a high-energy child”. Your words hit home with me in so many ways. After a major meltdown today (by me), I know that it’s me that needs to change and not my 4 1/2 year old son. He’s amazing, doesn’t know a stranger – just friends we haven’t met yet, big heart, smart, beautiful boy. But as a stay-at-home mom it can be draining. The last 2-3 weeks, I’ve been letting comments about both my boys get me down from “wow, boys are sure different than girls” to “oh my, we are so glad we have girls” or “we hope we don’t have boys”. The question of ADHD are constantly on my mind as he’s always in motion. Your post calmed me today. He’s going to do amazing things!

I am very interested in the STEM and project-based schools. We are in Gilbert, AZ if anyone reads this and knows of schools with these types of features, we would love to hear about them. THANK YOU!

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Val January 23, 2014 at 8:57 pm

Thank you for sharing your experience. As I read your story I was excited to learn that I am not alone! My daughter is three and she wakes up every morning happy, full of life, and ready to take on the day…and she remains this way consistently throughout the day. It’s hard at times but I think I will try to embrace it-like your son she is a great,loving,smart, and never meets a stranger type of girl!

I’m glad I found your page! Thank you so much!

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Andrea January 27, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Thank you for the great read. I as well have a high energetic daughter that I love and thank my lucky stars she is my child!! It is hard some times to let her run as well. But she is the one that keeps me going everyday and is the best child to teach me about life again!! I am glad that I am not the only person!!

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Renee February 11, 2014 at 12:32 pm

I too appreciate coming across this website. From the moment our daughter was born we knew she was going to keep us on our toes. “The first judgements on our daughter were “Boy, does she have a great set of lungs.” One time I read if you take your child to an open field they will only go so far and then turn around. Yea, not my beautiful girl. She kept going and going. LOL. As shes grown older she not as reactive as she used to be. She has the most beautiful soul and is the kindest toddler I have ever met. “Thank you Mommy” “Bless you Mommy” “Are you ok Mommy?” Keep your chins up and BE VERY PROUD of your children no matter personality, abilities, etc.

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Melanie February 20, 2014 at 12:43 pm

Wow! This describes my 2 and a half year old to a T!!

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Ann February 22, 2014 at 8:42 pm

Thank you thank you thank you for this! My 4.5 year old son is an amazingly high energy kid. So smart and funny but so exhausting. I honestly feel like the only parent out there with a child like this. Luckily most people find him very funny so it’s easier to laugh it off in public than at home. I’m glad I’m not the only one and I appreciate all the ideas on how to embrace what all this high energy can accomplish.

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Kaye March 1, 2014 at 4:54 am

The hardest part is dealing with people/teachers who think “all children should fit into a box” and don’t allow for the individuality of each child.

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Lani April 7, 2014 at 8:12 am

I, like everyone else who has commented here, am so grateful to hear I am not alone in raising a high-energy child. However, I do have one other issue that stems from this that I have not seen anyone else address (though I admit I could not read every, single comment so I may have missed it!) which is: I feel sooo awful when my energetic/playful son gets sad that Mommy and Daddy cannot keep up with him! He is an only child, is actually very timid around other children and has prefers to play other games than the one all the other children are playing at the time! It is so frustrating to see him play all by himself while he looks so sad to do so! I have read that we as parents are not responsible to entertain our children and it is great to let them explore their own imagination, but my son does that everyday…by himself. We try to play with him for some part of every day, but like I have said, it wears us out LONG before he’s ready to stop!

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Didi H. April 15, 2014 at 6:09 pm

You said everything to the “T”. I too have a high energy son who’s now 6. It took me time to learn him and come to a happy middle. Especially since my twin daughters [who came before him] are much more milder (more like me) while my son is a duplicate of my husband. Thankfully my husband help me relate to our son to find that healthy balance.

Now that he’s not so young, it’s easier to target his passions and interests and know when he’s bored (because he will let that be know), which is an early warning that we need to change things up before it becomes a challenge. I appreciate my little boy, in addition to learning to juggle his twin sisters, he’s been a great help to loosen me up quite a bit and chill out and let our children be the little people we are designed to be. :)

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Victoria Montgomery April 23, 2014 at 5:22 am

I wish I had found this article years ago when first raising my now teenaged son. That was him to a T! I was a single, teenaged, first time mom, and when prime told me he was ADHD, or I didn’t discipline him enough, I believed them. It took me until my second child was born to realize that Nik was just Nik. There wasn’t something wrong with him or me. Hes just loud, and excitable and passionate and I love him for it. 4 kids later, I’ve had 2 of those. My youngest daughter isn’t quite as extreme as Nik was, but she’s not her mellow siblings, either. And that’s ok. I wish I had half their joy for life and try to learn from it!

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Vanessa June 21, 2014 at 4:18 am

Honestly, there are so many people in this world that we forget our children, are included. Not everyone is a doctor, teacher or nurse. There’s policmen, athletes, stunt men/women, dancers, etc. High energy career jobs. Those high energy kids will most likely choose those career paths. :) my daughter has a different desire than having a desk job. She dances, climbs, plays sports. Knows her alphabet, numbers colors shapes … smart, independent, able to face/ solve problems she faces and knows when to ask for help mom is there. :)

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