"My child is wild"
How to tame a wild child.

Every child has a side to them that parents might often find overbearing or unmanageable. Short attention spans, moody behaviours and general restlessness are all typical characteristics of young children, particularly in the toddler years.

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But perhaps you’ve been blessed with a high-spirited child with a bit of a wild side that goes slightly beyond the realms of regular energetic behaviour and parenting is far more of a challenge than it seems to be for other parents.

If you have a wild child on your hands you probably find yourself battling to keep up and often wondering how on earth to tame him/her. Children with high energy levels are constantly testing their parent’s patience, making it harder to embrace the nature of the child.

Not all bad

Their activities aren’t necessarily always bad, but they do require a huge amount of tolerance and an equal amount of energy from the parent.

They’re usually the ones sliding down the slide head first or jumping off high places into something they've built out of your lounge suite. You could climb Everest with him and he’ll still be asking “where to next?” once you’re back down the mountain. You’d swear he’s got Red Bull running through his veins.

Some parents obsess and worry so much over their child's loud, messy and free-spirited nature that they end up over-parenting and in some cases the child ends up feeling unsure, insecure and unable to express what they're really feeling. By giving your child the right tools, you can guide them and enable them to make the most of their nature. 

How to tame a wild child

  • Boundaries play a fundamental role when it comes to parenting a wild child. In Andalene Salvesen’s book, A brand new child in 5 easy steps, she describes the importance of setting boundaries and mentions that “parents without boundaries pass on similar weaknesses”. Without boundaries, parenting becomes near impossible and if you’re dealing with a high-spirited child who seems out of control you’ll need to be sure about which boundaries you implement and how you go about it.
  • Let them run wild. Exercise and sport can offer a number of behavioural benefits. Turn your child’s hyperactivity into productivity by giving them as much time for physical activity and outdoor play as possible.
  • Cut down screen-time. Digital overload can impair your child’s stimulation, not to mention influence certain behaviours. Nowadays, children are watching TV long before they begin their school years, an important time for brain development. TV in moderation is okay, but if you want to make sure everyone gets to sleep at bedtime, try and limit TV time to twenty minutes a day and use spare time for more engaging and interactive activities.
  • Keep your cool. We know it’s tough when your tolerance levels are continuously being tested, but it’s so important not to get angered and lash out at your wild child unless this sort of discipline is really warranted.
  • Let their imaginations fun wild. We’ve all heard child experts who promote the inspiration of creative, healthy imaginations in children. Story-telling, arts and crafts, role playing and exploring new places are all great ways to stimulate an over-active mind. 

What do you do to manage your child's wild-side? Send us your comment to chatback@parent24.com.

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