Children and Kids articles catalog


Calming Tips for Hyperactive Children - By Jeannine Virtue

Parents of hyperactive children know the "Would you please just settle down?!" phrase well, and likely use it on a regular basis.

There are a number of tips to help parents settle their hyperactive child down. These quick tips and relaxation techniques take the same amount of time as yelling and scolding but produce incredibly different results in hyperactive children.

Quick Calming Tips:

Try quick tips to calm a hyperactive child down during temper outbursts or unusually rowdy days. These calming tips are not novel to adults by any stretch. How many times have you heard "Take a deep breath and count to 10" or "Calgon, take me away." What works for big people works for little people as well.

_ Deep breathing is one of the simplest ways to calm the body. Teach your children to take deep breaths (in through the nose, out through the mouth) when they begin to feel frustrated and out of control. Parents, you do this too!

_ Draw a warm salt bath or bubble bath to wash away the hyperactive child`s stresses of the day.

_ Take your hyperactive child for a walk or send them around the block on their own if they are old enough. Not only does walking burn off excess energy, the repetitive thump, thump, thump of feet hitting pavement brings the mind back into focus.

_ Give your hyperactive child a mini-massage. Touch is very important to Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder children. Massaging their temples, giving a shoulder rub or lightly running your fingers through their hair can calm children quickly.

_ Put together a "Boredom Box" that provides creative outlets for your hyperactive child. Fill this box or plastic storage bin with paint sets, coloring books, crossword puzzles, modeling clay, jewelry making kits and other artistic areas of interest. Hyperactive children bore easily and their fast spinning minds need extra stimulation. In the absence of nothing better to do, hyperactive children will lean on their own devises and you don`t want them doing that. Better that they draw than set the cat on fire

The quick-fix calming techniques work to sooth the hyperactive child after they already became too stressed or active. There are also techniques that parents can teach their hyperactive children to help them get the "stuff" out before it builds up and explodes.

Create a calming home environment:

Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder children have difficulty remaining calm in a hectic environment. Clearing the clutter and taking a "less is more" approach to decorating can reduce the sensory overload on Attention Deficit and hyperactive children.

The Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder child`s bedroom especially should be free of clutter. Use plastic bins to organize and store all those precious little plastic treasures (that we adults commonly refer to as "junk") and small toys. Open the curtains to provide natural lighting. Keep posters and wall hangings to a minimum. Paint the child`s bedroom in calming muted colors instead of bright primary colors.

Follow a Routine:

All children thrive in homes that provide routines, consistency and structure. Attention Deficit and hyperactive children especially need structure and schedules to feel secure in their surroundings. For these children, a more "military" approach to routines works better. Waking up, eating meals, doing homework, and bed times should all occur at about the same time every day, with few surprises to upset the Attention Deficit or hyperactive child.

A Place to Relax:

If at all possible, find a space in the house to designate as a relaxation space. It does not have to be a large space but it does need to be away from high activity areas. This little corner (or even a portion of a walk-in closet) can have a beanbag chair and a few books, coloring books or other quiet time activities.

Encourage your child to go to this space when they become angry or out of control, but never make this a place of punishment. This special spot in the house is a positive place where they can go to settle down, sort things out or just hang out when they need to be alone.


For the child who is old enough to write, journaling is an excellent way to untangle frazzled minds and get things off their chest. This technique allows hyperactive children to spill their internal stresses outside themselves and onto paper.

Develop a daily habit of having your child write a page or two, depending on their age, about anything that comes to mind. They can write "I hate school, the dog just drooled, the baby`s crying is driving me crazy " - whatever comes to mind. Eventually, they will get to the guts of what is going on inside them. Then rumple or tear the paper up and throw it away.

These private internal thoughts are not for you or anyone else to read, ever. Please respect their privacy and let them know they can write anything down without fear of reprimand.

Taking a mini-vacation with Guided Imagery:

Guided imagery is a powerful relaxation tool for hyperactive children that pulls their focus to positive thoughts, all the while encouraging creativity in your child. You can check out books on this technique at your local library if you want further information on the subject.

Last, but certainly not least, diet:

Some parents find that reducing or eliminating sugar from the diet goes a long way in calming the hyperactive child. If your child is a finicky eater, you will need to supplement the diet to make sure your Attention Deficit or hyperactive child has the fuels needed for his body to function well.

Starting the day out with a healthy breakfast balanced with proteins, fats and carbs is important. An egg sandwich, peanut butter toast and fresh fruit, protein shakes and fresh fruit smoothies are great ways to start the day for Attention Deficit and hyperactive children.

Sugar cereals are quick and convenient but should not be used as a breakfast mainstay. Fruit juices are high in calories and sugar and not recommended for children, especially those with Attention Deficit or hyperactivity. Instead of juice or sodas, get in the habit of offering plain old H2O. With plenty of bottled waters that offer fruit flavors and vitamin enhancements, getting your children hydrated is easier now than ever before.

Jeannine Virtue is a freelance journalist and mother of an Attention Deficit son. Visit the Attention Deficit Disorder Help Center at for information about treating Attention Deficit Disorder without the use of Ritalin or other ADHD medications.

Preventing Learning Disabilities in Children - by Martyn Carruthers


Martyn Carruthers

When I am asked about pressing social problems, I think of parenting. This article presents some observations about co-dependent relationships between mothers and their sons, gained while coaching people to clarify their relationships using the techniques of Soul Centred Changework. This article summarises a typical pattern of an adult male child who is co-dependent with his mother. (Note: Father-daughter co-dependency is equally common and equally predictable.)

The Hand That Rocks the Cradle

A man who is bonded to his mother will rarely request coaching on that issue. He will typically be convinced that HE does not need it. He may ask for help in handling his emotions, or for pain-control to relieve some symptom that he says is NOT psychosomatic. He is unlikely to recognise the consequences of his relationship with his mother, nor the benefits of emotional independence.

To understand the life pattern of such a man, first consider a pregnant woman. This woman is creating human life and will support a child through the most vulnerable stages of life. While pregnant, she may receive a lot of attention and be constantly acknowledged for her femininity. She often experiences a sense of purpose and strong female emotions; and she may feel the fullness of femininity.

After her baby is born, attention usually shifts from the Mother to Baby. Mother may feel empty and powerless, often part of postpartum depression, and may deal with these unpleasant feelings by becoming a "Super-Mother". Mother may overwhelm Baby with love.

Father may feel rejected by Mother, particularly if Father is friendless and depends on his wife for his sense of being. Baby may seem to usurp his place. Father may feel that Baby is a rival for his wife?s love, particularly if Baby is a boy and the first child.

As Son grows older, Mother may demand that Son make a special contribution to the world (that Mother cannot or will not make herself). Mother`s expectations are often inversely proportional to the depth of her partnership. For Mother to feel special, Son must be very special. Mother may sacrifice her life for Son. Such a sacrifice is often a ?family tradition?, and other family members may applaud. Mother is again appreciated ? but for her Son.

The Son may agree, disagree or suffer conflict:

Agree: "YES - I`ll be the special child-man that you need!"

Disagree: "NO - I am a child - I will not do this. I withdraw or rebel until you accept me as I am!"

Conflict: "Sometimes I will withdraw and sometimes I will be the special child-man that you want"

Mother may demand that Son fulfil her expectations. The real boy is neither accepted nor known. Mother compensates for her decreasing intimacy with her partner by forming a ?substitute partnership? with Son. Mother uses Son to fulfil HER need for intimacy, and to relieve HER emptiness. Mother pressures Son to accomplish what the she can`t or won`t.

Son may fear the failure of fulfilling Mother`s expectations. He may fear that she will replace her love with anger or rejection. Son may become a model "good boy" to please and try to heal his Mother, or he may withdraw into an often-friendless depression to avoid Mother?s demands.

As this co-dependency increases, Mother and Son may increasingly reject Father. As the parental partnership worsens, Mother bonds to Son more than to Father. Son may be expected and encouraged to fill (usually asexually) the parental partnership void. (In many families this is normal behaviour.)

On reaching puberty - Son may want to move toward other women but is still a ?partner? to Mother. Son represses his conflicting and unpleasant emotions and may try to live hyper-rationally to avoid them, or he may suffer long-term depression. The Son will likely have self-esteem issues. Is he an adult-boy? Is he a child-man? Is he Mother?s partner? Which ?self? can he esteem?

Some of Son`s Hidden Emotions

He feels sadness about his "lost childhood".

He feels anger about pressure by women

He feels fear of being controlled by women

He feels fear of being rejected by women

He feels guilt for abandoning a partner.

Part of Son`s Relationship Cycle

He meets a potential partner, who accepts him as he is.

He honours her specialness.

She wants an intimate relationship with a Man.

But he has not left his first ?partnership? with Mother.

She wants to know his feelings, but he cannot express them.

She becomes increasingly demanding, just like Mother.

She seems to be always sad or angry ? just like Mother.

He may become a "good boy" ? just like with Mother, and/or

He may withdraw from his unpleasant feelings ? just like with Mother.

She feels angry and rejects his ?false? goodness and his withdrawal.

He feels angry and rejects her demands.

One or both feel trapped and may seek distractions, or other partners.

They may end their partnership to seek new partners, and/or

They may create an addict-helper relationship, and/or

They may create a Baby in an attempt to re-create intimacy.

Questions for Study Groups

1. What may happen if such couples stay together?

2. What may happen if such couples separate or divorce?

3. What may happen if such couples try to re-create intimacy by having children?

4. What may happen if such couples dissolve their co-dependency bonds?

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