By now, you already know 7 ways to get noisy kids to quiet down. In that same vein, here are some instant ways to get your hyper kids to settle down. This is great for when you need to transition from something busy to something calm.
“Ahhh aaaahhhh, bang, bang, scrape, gotcha!!!”
My 4 oldest (5, 4, 3, and 1 years of age) ran around the house playing a game only children understand. 3 of them were – for some reason – fully naked, and the other was trying to remove his diaper with little success.
They were running from room to room trying to see how many beds they could jump on before they were forced to End Game.
Chickens Without Heads.
That pretty much describes my kids a lot of the time. And I’m cool with that. I like when they’re outside running around screaming like lions, tigers, and bears. Oh my. I even let them do it inside on occasion.
They are, after all, children.
I think it’s good for kids to get their energy and wiggles out in healthy ways. We’re past the days of “children should be seen and not heard.” That said, sometimes the hyper kids gotta settle down.
Sometimes they need to be Quiet and Peaceful. Sometimes they need to access their growing stores of self-control and calm right down.
Here are some ways I make that happen.
Quick and Effective Ways to Get Your Wild Ones Under Control
Before we get into the tricks, let’s assume a few things:
- If need be, you’ve gotten down on their level and made eye contact to ensure your kids are listening.
- You are speaking in an authoritative (not angry) voice.
- You expect your kids to obey and, if not, you have a consequence.
- You have a few minutes to remain with them where they are.
“Everyone come sit down on the floor.”
This is my favorite because it requires no pre-planning and can be done anywhere but a mud puddle. In fact, it can be done even in a mud puddle if you don’t mind laundry.
When the kids need enforced Heart-rate Settling, I’ll instruct them to sit down.
I’ll often say, “You’re not in trouble, but we have to calm down.” This is followed by the Why Why Why chorus, which I address.
While they’re sitting and sometimes wallowing, I’ll ask them questions or attempt to engage them in conversation. After a few minutes everyone is more calm and ready to transition to the next thing.
“Grab a book and get in a chair.”
This is one of my absolute favorite calm down tricks. It really works wonders because books are natural pulls for my children.
If the kids are insane and I need 20 minutes of silence, I’ll instruct them to get a pile of books and pick a seat in the living room. This is usually met immediately with whining – which I ignore – and then they dive in.
If they don’t want to read they have to sit still. Reading usually wins out. Plus, this is also a great way to increase your small ones’ reading stamina. By being forced to sit for longer they don’t give up on the activity instantly.
Read: The Calm Down Trick That Works Wonders
“Play time in your room.”
If things have gotten really out of hand – or if the kids are fighting amongst themselves more than normal – I’ll institute an impromptu independent play time. Each child goes into their own room (or a separate area of the house) and has their own toys to play with.
This helps build self-control, brings quiet, and gives them a chance to play their own games without their toys being stolen by siblings. After the initial hurdle, kids begin to love independent play time.
Read: How to Teach Kids To Play On Their Own
The kids love this. I love it too and often find out interesting tidbits I hadn’t known previously.
I’ll ask the kids to sit in a chair so we can take turns. I’ll go from one child to the next asking a certain question. Each child picks the question then they take turns answering it.
It may be as simple as, “What’s your favorite color?” or “What’s your favorite cartoon?” It might be more complicated or even completely random, but it gives everyone a chance to express themselves. Because they are paying attention to the conversation, the noise levels immediately drop.
Read: How to Get Kids Used to Answering Questions
“Chore time then more fun.”
We’ve discussed before how South Africans have a parenting trick we could all learn from. Transitions are hard. When you go from one thing to the next, it’s often wise to have a bridge activity.
If you need to get chores done, and know your children will likely fight it, put chore time in front of another activity they love. It may be chore time before screen time or chore time before outside time.
Give them an incentive to push through chores and you’ll be surprised how fast they work. Now, the key is to focus on the activity that’ll happen after chores are completed. “Right now we’re going to do chores, after that we’re going for a swim!”
And let’s remember…
Kids get hyper.
They love to get excited.
And that’s good. Because play is good.
And anyway one day they’ll be gone and this is what we’ll be thinking…
Silence is so freaking loud! S. Dessen
Love the interview idea! I use shake the wiggles out to get all the boys to sit down and talk about our day.
Rachel, I am loving your content! My kids are 6-11, and I am finding your articles so helpful. What I enjoyed most about this one was the consistent message of “yes, there will be whining”, lol. So many of the weary moms (and I’m not entirely excluded, haha) I try to encourage throw up their hands with a “but they just whine!” Or “it’s not worth the tears and pushback!” It is so good to be reminded that its normal , and so worth it. I will definitely be recommending this and other posts!
Jodi tallmon says
Thank you. These are wonderful ideas for grandmas to use too!
This post was super helpful and included tips I had never thought of. I am posting these on my fridge!
Although i can appreciate the fact that, yes “there just children”, i cant accept as a father that is the way of it? And i can imagine being a neighbour of a person like you? oh wow? All the property damage, my mental health, or slipping mental health from screaming, yelling, and hearing items bounce off my house or cars………oh no, and thank goodness i don’t have to deal with that. Yes i do disapline my children for ” being too loud”. And i expect others to do the same, we are not animals and we should NOT be able to act like them!?
Rachel Norman says
Gus, not sure how you think I let my kids act like animals or damage property… I don’t. I’m glad you don’ either! :)
Wow!!!! After reading this comment, I REALLY hope you’re not a father of children!! Usually hyper children run around, play tag, chase each other and do many other child-like things of play, They don’t decide to damage property at the age of 3 or 4, and also Not every child is the same, if you have mental health problems they can’t be blamed on ANY child for being child like, Wow. Just wow. I can’t even believe you’re a human being. In my personal opinion, if you used your extra time to focus more on your absolutely, horrifyingly, horrible horrible grammar, instead of your children making noise and being normal kids, then MAYBE you’d be good at something. Because you sure sound like you suck not only at grammar and writing, but also at being a decent person and father.
I wish your children all the luck in the world to not having extreme mental issues because of you. (Also it seems like you’re projecting your unresolved childhood problems onto your own offspring) maybe you need professional help. Good luck in life, my good sir.