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. 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.
“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.
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.
“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
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