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Hyper 3 year old

post #1 of 9
Thread Starter 
My daughter just turned 3. She is very very hyper. All my family members say she needs to be on medication.
She is very smart (sometimes too smart) she gets bored very easily and cant stay doing one thing for very long.
She gets mad easily and when she is mad she gets a look on her face that is scary. She hits kicks screams,etc.
She will run around the house or the store (she climbs out of the cart,etc and takes off) she does dangerous strunts ( trying to jump off the swingset,etc)
she hardly sleeps. She is up until midnight or so and up early. No naps
I'm at my witts end with her. When she is good she is good but when she acts up its like she is another child.
post #2 of 9

How much activity does she get? I know that if I didn't take my son out to play for at least an hour every day that he'd be pretty insane. People might think he had ADHD if he didn't get regular exercise. And the exercise helps with naps too. If he gets a good solid hour of play or 20 minutes of swimming or bike riding in the AM then he is much more likely to nap in the PM. If there's no exercise in the AM, there's no chance of nap in the PM.


About bedtime - do you have a routine? Bath, story, song, lights out... that sort of thing? Same time each night. A consistent bedtime routine can work wonders for anyone, any age. A bedtime routine is proven to improve sleep. And good sleep begets better behavior during the day too :)

post #3 of 9
My 16 year old son was very much like this at 3. Same advice - a good solid hour of exercise daily made a world of difference. He still doesn't sleep much; yesterday he had school, personal training, went to the midnight showing of a new movie getting home at 2 am.... But he has learned to calm his own brain ;-). He is also very bright and gets bored easily.
post #4 of 9

I would definitely recommend Raising Your Spirited Child as a starting point.  Lots of info on temperament (traits like intensity, persistence, high energy, etc.) and how to work with your kid instead of fighting them.  My 18 mo. old DS sounds ALOT like your child (very bright, high energy, fights sleep, intense moods).  I found it to be a lifesaver.  She also has another book on sleep called Sleepless in America that was great.


The advice others mentioned about activity is helpful, IMO.  Getting out in the morning can also help set their body clock toward sleeping in the evening.  Keeping a careful watch to see what sets her off helps you identify her triggers - whether it's overstimulation (from noise, light, crowds, busy schedule, irritating clothes) or food or missing nap or whatever.  Finding ways to let her experiment with creativity and control may also help with anger issues (art projects, letting her pick her own clothes or snacks, etc.).  These have helped us.  Also, transitions of any kind are hard on DS - I find he does much better if we give him the play by play of what the day will bring, and remind him as we go (also give him a good heads up before leaving somewhere, etc.).




eta - I just wanted to add, if she's not getting enough sleep, that could easily make her EXTRA wired and silly and less able to focus or calm her mind/body. 

post #5 of 9

Diet will help, too.  My 3 year old has ADHD, and what he eats makes a huge difference in his behaviour.  No processed, no sugar, etc.  It will make the difference from out of control and angry, to hyper and happy.  I wear him out! Lots of outside time.

post #6 of 9

My 3 yo DD is very similar. We've grown accustomed to her level of activity, but I was watching some video clips from a party with her peers that we recently attended and it's startling to see just how jumpy and constant her motion is compared to the other kids. Like pickle18 said, she might get wired when she's overly tired, as my kid is like that. We live a mile from daycare and make her walk there and back every day, which has helped. She's pretty verbal for her age and has started to articulate that it's hard for her to control her own body. I know she gets frustrated because I've seen her slap at her legs and arms when she's trying to calm down and can't.


As a special education teacher, ADHD is on my radar, but I personally think 3 is a bit early to start medication. I'm really glad to hear from some mamas with older kids that they learned ways to calm down.


I try to walk at least 1-2 miles with her a day, plus a trip to the playground (she goes to daycare most days during the week, and they do lots of gross motor activities, so that helps too). For the stuff that we have to get done (bath, bedtime, etc.), we have a little checklist that she marks off.  

post #7 of 9
Originally Posted by MamaBookworm View Post

She's pretty verbal for her age and has started to articulate that it's hard for her to control her own body. I know she gets frustrated because I've seen her slap at her legs and arms when she's trying to calm down and can't.


I can easily see DS saying this as he gets older.  He gets really upset and frustrated - he seems like he's just hyper and having fun one minute, but he literally CAN'T calm himself, and I think that makes him panic - especially when we're asking him to wind down for bed.  Making sure I keep an eye out for his nap and bedtime windows (when he starts stumbling or eye rubbing) is helping - but they are often really short, and if I'm not ready, it can be a challenge later, because his adrenaline kicks in.


For the stuff that we have to get done (bath, bedtime, etc.), we have a little checklist that she marks off.  


I think this is a great idea, and something I've been meaning to implement (as a chart with pictures or a booklet).  What we did do was watch what worked for him AFTER he got out of bed screaming (but before he was able to sleep) - we added water play to his bedtime routine (and made sure we did some during the day), a bedtime snack, and other elements (quiet truck play) that seemed to help him out.  I think they need help finding outlets during the day and tools at night.


eta - I totally feel you on the daredevil stunts, OP - that is a CONSTANT around here! dizzy.gif

post #8 of 9

And I know some Mothering people will gasp in horror at this, but watching a half an hour of tv in the evening seems to really mellow DD out. We have netflix streaming so there are hundreds of kids and nature programs available.


Pickle - my checklist is just written on a piece of paper that I slid inside a plastic sheet protector. I cut some pictures out of a magazine to go with each item.  A dry erase marker is what we use to check each thing off and then you can just wipe it down and reuse it the next day. 

post #9 of 9

have you talked to peditrician i took my son to his 3 yr old physical and his doctor said he is very very hyper and i try and have him run around and get in sensory things. becuase he also has sensory issues. what about having her ride tricycle  outside before it time to have dinner.? or run around in yard and play ball or catch? trying to think of things she can do to get out some energy.

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