Tips for Helping Your ADHD Child Calm Down

Hyperactivity is Both Physical and Mental

For many children with ADHD, sitting still is a near impossible task. Their constant physical activity can be frustrating for parents and difficult for teachers when a child’s hyperactivity disrupts a class. But, as Eileen Bailey at explains:

“… for children with hyperactivity, physical activity is not the only aspect. Their minds often don’t shut down. Thoughts go a million miles an hour and in many different directions. To help a child learn to manage or reduce hyperactivity includes strategies to help lower physical activity levels and to calm thoughts.”

Calming Suggestions

So what is a parent to do in these situations? She offers these tips to help parents keep their ADHD kids calm.

Yoga or meditation – It is important to teach your child methods for self-regulation. Some examples include: deep breathing exercises, yoga, tai chi or meditation. These can all help a child learn to slow down their thoughts and their bodies.

Daily exercise – Adding at least 20 minutes of exercise each day to your child’s routine can help reduce depression, anxiety and other ADHD symptoms. A short walk can be an excellent way to help your child calm down during periods of high activity. On days when outdoor exercise is difficult, try using video games that incorporate exercise to help your child keep moving and entertained.

Music – Soothing music, such as classical music, can help some children calm down. You can try out different kinds of music to find out what works best for your child. Use music in the background for times when activity levels should be low, such as homework time, dinner time or before bedtime.

Boredom boxes and fidget alternatives – When boredom sets in, your child may become especially hyperactive.. Create a box of activities which contains art supplies, Legos, models or whatever activity tends to hold your child’s interest. Switch items once in awhile to keep the activities novel and interesting. For children who are continually restless or must fidget whenever they are trying to sit still, provide a stress ball or other object they ca manipulate to help them release energy and keep moving without disturbing others.

Structure – Kids with ADHD thrive in a structured environment where there are rules and routines, and they know what to expect. Establishing regular, daily routines can help them to stay calm.

Finally, she recommends that you stay calm yourself. She says,

“Children react to your reaction. If you get upset, frustrated or angry, their hyperactivity levels may increase. Take a few deep breaths, go into the other room, and take a short break if you need one. Staying calm and reacting with a neutral voice will help your child remain calm..”

Other tips for helping ADHD kids calm down at home and in the classroom can be found at You may also find it helpful to engage a specially trained ADHD coach to help your child learn to stay calm and focused.

Help! How to Deal With ADHD Meltdowns

Hyperactivity has Positive Aspects

Hyperactivity can be the source of inappropriate behavior in some situations. However, many adults with ADHD appreciate their endless energy and feel they are able to accomplish much more than those without hyperactivity. You can turn hyperactivity into a positive trait, by helping your children learn to harness their excess energy and use it to help them accomplish their goals.

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3 Responses

  1. Penny Doherty

    I have 4 grandchildren with an Attention Deficit and one who also has Autism and AD. They are all bright, amazing and wonderful kids…lots of energy at our home on the holidays.

    We have” Nanny’s box” which is a small colorful gift box I purchased at the Dollar Store. In it, I have a full set of dominoes, 2 handfuls of Lego pieces of all sizes and about 6 small blocks….that’s it. It sits on a lower shelf on the bookcase so a child of any age can reach in and pick it up. They have been using it for 13 years…the top has now disappeared. When any of the children get busy or upset, one of the older kids will grab the box, give it to the child who is getting cranky and that child usually dumps everything in the middle of the living room floor. Within seconds, the five children are on the floor each making something. It is like a miracle to watch. It cost less than $5.00 to assemble but the joy and peace it has brought for 13 years is priceless. When they are finished playing, they all know the drill. Every piece has to be returned to the box….everybody has to help….and the box has to be returned to the book shelf.

    I really don’t know who has more fun with this…the kids creating something from almost nothing…or me…watching in amazement at my wonderful, brilliant grandchildren who some call disabled!!!!! Penny Doherty

  2. Jennifer Gundrum

    That’s what I need for my niece she is on medicine but she still has problems on it so i told my sister we need to try something else because the meds to me are not helping cause she cries a lot when she is on it so what activities can i do with her when she is with me.

  3. Ivy Baker

    This is some really good information about helping a child with ADHD learn and stay calm. I liked that you pointed out that getting something for them fidget with can be super helpful. I liked the suggestion of legos because they are really small and easy to manage.