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Why some kids get overexcited

By Kate Kelly

If you’ve ever been to a 4-year-old’s birthday party, you know that getting super-excited is something young kids do. They race around, shout, and push because they just can’t help themselves. You don’t usually see much of that behavior at a 10-year-old’s party. Still, there are kids who have trouble containing their excitement even at that age.

Some kids are naturally excitable, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They’re curious, energetic, optimistic, and fun. Other kids may like being around them. 

Once kids get overexcited, though, it can have the opposite effect. They may say or do things that are over the top. Other kids might think they’re “annoying” or “embarrassing” to be around. They may be left out or bullied and teased  because they’re different.

Kids need  self-control  to keep their excitement in check. They don’t all develop this skill at the same rate, though. So there can be a big difference in ability in the early years.

Many kids with ADHD struggle with self-control. They can also have trouble switching gears from one situation to the next.

Sensory processing issues can also lead kids to getting overexcited. They get overwhelmed by input that comes in through their senses, which can make them overexcited.

Dive deeper

Signs of overexcitement

Overexcitement looks different in different situations. For example, in school, some kids can’t wait to be called on. They keep waving their hand and calling out, even when others are speaking. Kids who get overexcited may also:

  • Gush over things

  • Take over conversations

  • Talk about something endlessly

  • Interrupt people and speak out of turn

  • Get too physical

  • Be overly confident and optimistic

  • Be unrealistic about their talents and abilities

  • Overreact to both bad events and good ones

These behaviors can be signs of ADHD. Learn more about signs of ADHD at different ages and the connection between ADHD and sensory overload .

Next steps

No matter what’s making kids overexcited, there are ways to help. Start by celebrating all the strengths behind kids’ overexcitement, like enthusiasm and energy. That’s part of what makes kids great. Then work on strategies to help kids keep excitement under control.

You can also learn about apps to help  younger and  older kids build self-control.

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