What is childhood hyperactivity?

“In every little child there are two hundred grams of explosives, or even half a kilo”? They often say about such a child that he has a small motor built in somewhere, they call him a nimble and fidget. It is difficult for such a child to sit still, he wants to run, grab, jump, knock, beat. And the mother of such a baby, after a whole day of empty running around and trying to calm an excessively mobile child, feels like the heroine of a cartoon about little monkeys. And then one of the acquaintances or teachers in kindergarten tells the parents that this activity is not at all the norm for a small person, that there is a medical term “hyperactivity” and that children with increased arousal are called hyperactive.

To figure out which child should be recorded as hyperactive, and which one should simply be called mobile and inquisitive, how to make the atmosphere in the house for the baby comfortable, cozy and, most importantly, how to establish communication with a small but already independent person, Gomel Vedomosti invited a practicing child psychologist Tatyana MOROZOVA.

– Tatyana, first I would like to understand who a hyperactive child is and should parents be afraid of this diagnosis, what does it entail?

– Issues related to hyperactivity are actually quite relevant. Parents often call and ask: “I have a hyperactive child, what should I do?” I immediately ask the question: “How did you understand this?” They say that it is difficult for a child to sit still, it is easier for him to run than to walk at a calm pace, he is inattentive, distracted, and may not respond to questions when he is addressed. But hyperactivity is a medical term listed in the ICD-10 (International Classification of Diseases), the so-called minimal brain dysfunction, this diagnosis is made by a neurologist in a clinic. At the philistine level, “by eye” it is impossible to determine hyperactivity. You can, of course, ask a psychologist in kindergarten to conduct a test, but relying on questionnaires is not serious. This diagnosis can only be made from the age of 4, when from the list of symptoms of hyperactivity (and there are 9 of them), 6 or more appear in the child for six months. And even in this situation, you should not be scared and think that your child is sick with something.

Hyperactivity is, if it’s quite simple, features of brain development, a minimal deviation from the norm. Because certain areas of the brain have their own functions and they develop in different ways. Some are too fast, some are normal, and some are late. At a certain moment, the brain cannot cope, but if you pay attention to it in time, make corrections, take this into account in the educational and educational process, then everything will even out. In adolescence, a child can already enter without hyperactivity. But here the important point is stimulation from the outside. Because if you do not work with the child, then there will be no results. In half of the children, by adolescence, the symptoms of hyperactivity are smoothed out, there is compensation due to strong-willed qualities, defense mechanisms begin to work, and so on. And some children continue to grow up with a set of qualities of increased activity and excitability, hyperactive adults grow out of hyperactive children.

– What conditions need to be created for the child so that he does not develop hyperactivity? Does the atmosphere in the house, at school, the nature of communication with an active baby influence its occurrence?

– There are a huge number of causes of hyperactivity, ranging from the prenatal period (mother’s pregnancy) – stress, illness, hormonal changes, natal – birth trauma, starvation, ending with the first years of a child’s life. To prevent hyperactivity, it is worth taking a more careful and serious attitude to both pregnancy and motherhood. But you can’t insure yourself from everything, so you need to build the right behavior with your child. At home, an atmosphere of goodwill, love and warmth should reign.

It is often said about hyperactive children that it is impossible to communicate with them: they constantly climb somewhere, break something, make noise. They complain about such babies and ask psychologists how to deal with it? So, you don’t need to fight them and you shouldn’t demand the impossible from them either. The fact that a child has hyperactivity is not his fault, but his problem. When parents come for a consultation with a psychologist about hyperactivity, then, first of all, it is necessary to carry out information work: to explain to adults what minimal brain dysfunction is. As soon as a parent understands this issue, he immediately begins to have a different attitude towards activity and increased arousal, it is easier for him to accept his baby and interact with him.

It is desirable to include in the diet of a hyperactive child vitamins of group B, foods that stimulate brain activity – nuts, honey. Limit his stay at the computer, watching TV. Mandatory timetable and schedule. In general, for the upbringing of any kid it is good when there are rules in the house by which each member of the family lives. It is desirable that these rules are somehow graphically represented, visually. Try to scold your child less, praise him more. Hyperactive children already get from others, so support will not hurt them.

It may be difficult for such a baby to concentrate or be attentive all the time. Instead of repeating some instructions to him a hundred times, like a parrot, repeat two or three times, and on the fourth just say: “You yourself know how to do it right, so do it.” This will not only give your baby such necessary independence, but will also develop him, allow you to control the situation and not be angry once again. The parent should not try to take on the role of controller, it’s hard. Your task, ideally, is to create such a situation that the child does not need your help.

NOT a hyperactive child:

– The child is full of energy, which sometimes overflows.

– If mom chatted with her friend, and the baby starts to get angry, cannot stand still, sit at the table – this is normal. Tire children and long journeys.

Every child has moments of anger.

– Almost all children begin to “roam” in bed when it’s time to sleep, or play pranks in the store. The fact that the child becomes like clockwork, giving vent to boredom, is not at all a sign of hyperactivity.

– A noisy child – a prankster or a baby who wakes up neither light nor dawn, full of strength and energy – this is a joy, not a cause for concern.

Hyperactive child:

– Not able to concentrate on the subject, the details of the subject for a long time, makes careless mistakes.

– Does not follow direct instructions or cannot complete them.

– Has difficulty organizing his activities, often switches from one activity to another.

– Avoids or dislikes tasks that require prolonged mental effort.

– Often loses things he needs.

– Easily distracted by background noise.

– When excited, makes intense movements with arms or legs.

– Tends to get up quickly and overrun.

– Has difficulty participating in quiet leisure activities.

– Acts as if “wound up” and so on.

– If you observe excessive activity and excitability of your child, then it is better to consult a specialist for advice: a psychologist or a neurologist.

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