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Parenting a High Energy Child

by Ronald A. Rowe | February 5th, 2010 | Preschool

I’ve had my hand in helping to raise dozens of children over the years. I’ve learned as much as I’ve taught through the experiences. As the actual, biological, full-time father of two of the boys, I’ve had a chance to put much of what I’ve learned into practice and learned still more.

So, it is with some authority that I discuss an often misunderstood and mis-categorized youth: the high energy child.  My younger son, soon to turn 4, falls squarely into this category.  It saddens me when some well-meaning but ill-informed people seem to think that “high energy” is a polite way of saying “bad”.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  Kids, in general, have a level of energy and enthusiasm that makes your average adult swoon with envy.  Some kids, like our little Lex, take it to the next level.  If I had a nickel for every time a stranger observed “I wish I could bottle that energy…” I’d have… well, several dollars at least.

Because of their high motor, kids like Lex are hard to keep an eye on.  They don’t do “sit quietly and read” very well.  It is true that it is harder to babysit a child from the high energy category.  It may even be true that they have to be told some things (like “sit still” or “settle down”) more than once before they’ll obey.

But “high energy” isn’t bad.  And it isn’t ADHD or anything else that needs to be medicated or ameliorated.  It’s a character trait that simply needs to be embraced and channeled.  I fully expect Lex to be a track star some day.

HE (maybe if I give it an acronym I can get a government grant to study it) is great.  It’s hours of tireless fun and wonder and adventure.  Just because the rest of us can’t keep up doesn’t make it a bad thing.

So, if you have an HE child in your life, celebrate their boundless energy and harness it into sports or… actually, sports is the only outlet that I’ve found so far for this kind of energy abundance.  But harness it into something and let their high motor shine as an asset instead of a problem.

  1. Linda says:

    I have an HE son…he is 2 going on 3, but he’s been “HE” since he was about 18 months. It’s very tiring…definately needs to be stimulated ALL THE TIME!!! He does enjoy story time, a short story!!! He doesn’t even like to watch t.v….he can’t sit still!! I have recently put him into day care and that has helped me…it will be good for him too…channeling his energy with other kids his own age. I look forward to seeing how his HE levels change…hopefully calmer times ahead!! Thanks for your article.

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