29 answers

2 1/2 Year Old Is Extremely Hyper - Need Advice

This may just be part of being a boy, but my 2 1/2 year old is extremely hyper. Does anyone know if TV or what contributes to ADHD/ hyperactive behavior.

I want to try to make some changes so maybe he will calm down a bit. Not sure if maybe he is watching too much TV or if it is what I feed him or what. I try not to give him too much sugar, but sometimes I do. Also what snacks should I give him (besides fruit & yogurt). He loves candy and I have tried to give him the sugarless kind- but I think he still acts hyper with that. [My mom mentioned that sometimes the artificial colors can make kids hyper like yellow & red #5]

Need advice!
Thanks,
D. S

What can I do next?

So What Happened?™

I think my son is mostly hyperactive (not necessarily ADHD). He has a short attention span but can play and concentrate for awhile if he wants. I just want to make sure I am not doing things to contribute to his hyperactivity.

I think after all the comments I am going to shut off the TV more. It is hard to get things done sometimes so I use the TV to entertain him, but this isn't good (I don't mean to do this but sometimes I need a break - so I think occasionally is the key and a time limit on TV each day). So I think I will start doing a bit of more structured activities like some of you suggested. I had been trying to bring him outside every day even before I wrote this post and I do notice he does a bit better with that (we live in a town home with out an actual yard, so there is not that much room to run around and I can't always take him to the park.)

I think the Sugar has got to go. I also told my mom who watches him, not much sugar (I think he gets a sugar buffet when he visits her home - fortunately it is only once or twice a week - but that can still screw him up for creating healthier habits). [so maybe chips or something from the health stores]

I know some one also suggested a quieter environment (surroundings) and I think they are right. Anyway, thank you for your advice, this helps.

I think he is mostly "all boy" and if I make a few changes then he might have a better outlet for his energy. It is just hard to keep up with him. But it is good to know that other moms have dealt with this and it is mostly normal boy behavior- of course not all boys but some/ most of them.

Thank you again!
-D.

Featured Answers

D.,
Diet is huge in this issue. White sugar is bad!!! Artificial sugar even worse. Do you notice his behavior is worse with certain foods? The Artificial colorants are cuprits as well. Write down his diet for 3 days and email it to me.
P. ;-)

For my kids...only one has a clincal diagnosis of add; the problems I have found so far are high fructose corn syrup, yellow, red, & blue dyes, nutrasweet (grandma actually gave one of them a diet soda and WHOA!) and foods that they are individually senstive to. I liked that detox page that one of the other mom's recommended.

I actually have to tell you that the video games and the televsion is one of the only things that has slowed my boy down. I do recommend that you see about possibly getting an Occupational Therapy evaluation or read this book "The Out of Sync Child" by Carol Stock Kranowitz. See if that gives you any help.

ADHD can technically be diagnosed to a child over the age of 8 or 9 because the symptoms so closely mirror toddlerhood. Good Luck!
C.

Boys will be boys! My son was/and is the same way. He is 6 now. I have talked to my pediatrician about it and he has been in a study w/ Children's Memorial for the last three years and they look for ADHD and other related disorders. No ADHD and my pediatrician has told me there is nothing to worry about with him as well. She has never told me to limit TV (he doesn't watch a lot anyway, too busy! and even if he has it on, he is usually doing something else as well) and he doesn't get a ton of sugar either. I have heard that sugar really has little impact on kids hyperness, it is caffeine that has an impact and there is caffeine in things like chocolate. I have heard that dyes can have an impact and although I have not tried to take it out of his diet, I know someone who has w/ some success, but I don't know if research has proved or disproved this yet.
I think the best thing you can do is try to keep him as active as possible and come to the realization that some boys are just a bit more 'excitable' than others. I know plenty of them!

More Answers

There are several factors that can contribute to a hyper child. Is it normal high energy for a boy that age, or is there an underlying factor? You need to observe and record what you see in your child in different places and situations. Can the child focus, is he unfocused and hyper in all situations? My son was mis-diagnosed with ADHD. People are quick to label ADHD... I am not one to jump and put my child on medication as most doctors suggest. Food dyes and allergies can contribute to hyperactivity. Sugar, on the other hand, is not a contributor in being hyper like we have assumed in the past. Check out the following article. http://www.cnn.com/HEALTH/children/9911/22/diet.sugar.myt... Chemical imbalances in the body are another contributing factor. I have looked into and have gotten great results from the HRI (Health and Research Institute) Pfeiffer Treatment Center. People come from all over the world to get treatment, including famous athletes. They are located in Warrenville, Illinois and their website is http://www.hriptc.org. It could be a biochemical imbalance that your child has. They will do a blood test, hair strand test and urine test to test for metals, etc... in your system and their levels. Certain metals can contribute to hyper-activity and behavior issues. Then if it is needed, as it was in my son, your child will be put on a vitamin program. They are vitamins in their purest forms that will help balance out their system. We got great results with our son...but every child is different. My insurance covered the majority of the visits, tests, and vitamins. Look into the website - if it interests you it is worth a shot!

C. T.

1 mom found this helpful

Yes, absolutely TV and sugar and/or artificial colors make a HUGE difference. Studies have shown that attention spans aren't as good when children watch TV. No more than 1/2 hour a day I think. Basically enough to take a shower is how I look at it. He also might have a lot of energy and needs to get outside more and be a little more active.
TURN OFF THE TV!!! IT'S SUMMER. GO OUTSIDE!!!

1 mom found this helpful

My boys were the same way. I have three and when they were that age, the tv and the video games added to the hyperness. My stepson who is 14 has adhd was tame though. The tv and vidio games did not effect him...but the food did. There is a book out about food and special kids. I have it, I just don't know the name off hand. I will write to you when I find it. But, no sugar. Feed him good stuff. Veggies are best. Fruit has natural sugar in it and can contribute to hyperactivity. So, give him a carrott or something that will be less filled with sugars.

hi D.,

I did not read all the other posts. Having raised a child with ADHD, my opinion is that diet and t.v. really won't make much difference IF that is what he has - if that is what he has, he is going to have it regardless.

Please be careful not to put that label on him (or let other people) unless you have had a complete and thorough exam and diagnosis. A proper ADHD diagnosis involves multiple visits to a professional and many hours of observation before diagnosing. Please don't let your family doctor just put him on medication to see if he improves - get a professional diagnosis first. I would hold off until he is at least four before pursuing that if at all possible - he is still pretty young.

One thing you can try is - get him involved in some very strenuous physical activity - go to the park and play tag or get some other kids around to run and play as hard as possible, get him in a kiddie pool or bike riding. Is he tired and more calm after that - or still hyper? If he is still hyper then you want to start cutting out certain foods one by one to see if there is any change.

Certainly sugar and artificial coloring will make some kids get hyper - but it should only last a short period of time.

For my son, too much t.v. and video games caused him to be 'attention selective' - he could focus on that and ONLY that for very long periods of time if I didn't cut him off.

Even with ADHD, each of them are very different and unique.

Good luck to you - you might just have a very energetic normal 2 1/2 yr old boy who needs more outlets for his energy! :-) if only we could put it in a bottle, right?

W.

D.,
Diet is huge in this issue. White sugar is bad!!! Artificial sugar even worse. Do you notice his behavior is worse with certain foods? The Artificial colorants are cuprits as well. Write down his diet for 3 days and email it to me.
P. ;-)

Since he is only 21/2 you may be able to change to Enjoy Life brand foods for cookies and even chocolate chips for candy. These may taste a little different but they take out all of the allergens, preservatives and colors. Boy if I knew now what I did not know then. : ) I thought skittles was a treat. What was I thinking???? He would get so powered up...
Health food stores are filled with great choices of non process, non preserved, non lets make a child hyper foods and filled with the right foods to grow with. Give your son the right foods and enjoy him.

Your child is too young really for much TV. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends no TV until after age 2 and even then very very little. Children need 3-D rather than 2-D stimulation. given that it is summer, I would take him to the park/garden and let him run around and play on the swings etc. And I wouldn't let him have any candy. Snacks such as fruit are much more nutritious. He probably just needs to be more active. Do you have a local pool? Or other fun run around activities eg. My Gym for toddlers, Wonderworks etc.

Boys will be boys! My son was/and is the same way. He is 6 now. I have talked to my pediatrician about it and he has been in a study w/ Children's Memorial for the last three years and they look for ADHD and other related disorders. No ADHD and my pediatrician has told me there is nothing to worry about with him as well. She has never told me to limit TV (he doesn't watch a lot anyway, too busy! and even if he has it on, he is usually doing something else as well) and he doesn't get a ton of sugar either. I have heard that sugar really has little impact on kids hyperness, it is caffeine that has an impact and there is caffeine in things like chocolate. I have heard that dyes can have an impact and although I have not tried to take it out of his diet, I know someone who has w/ some success, but I don't know if research has proved or disproved this yet.
I think the best thing you can do is try to keep him as active as possible and come to the realization that some boys are just a bit more 'excitable' than others. I know plenty of them!

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