We see a lot of kids these days, who are very hyper about a lot of things. They throw tantrums if they are not heard or paid attention to. The best way to deal with such a situation is to correct and discipline the child. You can’t always give in to your child’s demands. Throwing tantrums a few times is fine, but it shouldn’t become a habit. Of course, being aggressive with the child is not the answer. You have to find a middle ground on how to discipline your child by talking to him/her and explaining that the behaviour is not acceptable and it is wrong. Reason it out with your child in a way s/he understands.
Using punishment as a means to discipline the child is not always right. I understand as a parent you might get agitated and frustrated when your child is not listening to you. At some point, you end up resorting to raising a hand on your child. However, aggression often ruins relationships and worsens situations. You don’t want to let things go out of hand when you are trying to pacify your child.
Children are like blank slates. They learn what adults teach them and also what adults around them do. They ape and imbibe everything in their surroundings. Getting aggressive with the child might make the child angrier. If the parent is aggressive, the child will automatically show aggression. The aggression may be directed towards you, other people, children or even things. Hence, you need to find a better way and a different way of expression while disciplining your child.
To establish order, talk to your child, reason it out, and don’t show aggression. Be patient with your child. It may take some time, but slowly you will see the result. Your child will understand that throwing tantrums is not getting them anywhere.
You can probably use positive rewards if the child listens to you. For example, extra playtime on weekends, late bedtime, etc. Encourage them to channel their hyperactive behaviour in a positive manner rather than being naughty or jumping all over the place.
A hyperactive child has trouble sitting idle or in one place. In that case, providing an outlet to channelise that excessive energy is the way out. This could be through sports or outdoor activities. Motivate them to take up a hobby and give their hyperactive behaviour a creative outlet. Let them engage in activities that help them be constructive. It helps with their overall growth.
My daughter was a very hyper child. I didn’t know what to do. This was the only way that helped her and me through the phase. She started playing sports and doing a lot of digital art, and different activities that she enjoyed. It all turned into hobbies as time progressed.
You can also teach your child to be calm through meditation or yoga. Today, several schools have yoga and encourage children to practice it at home as well.
Other than that, I feel spending time with your child and engaging in activities that both of you like doing will help. You can make it into family time or parent-child bonding time. Parents need to be hands-on and help their children with their hyperactive tendencies.
I know working parents have a tough time striking a balance between work and home responsibilities. In such a scenario, leave professional commitments at the doorstep and spend time with the child. Give the child attention. Many times, children do things just to get a reaction from their parents - be it throwing tantrums or causing havoc in the house.
At the end of the day, children are children, hyperactive or not. Every child needs tender loving care, whatever your parenting method might be.
(Riddhima Kapoor Sahni is a fashion and jewellery designer, and daughter of veteran actors Rishi Kapoor and Neetu Kapoor)