Why some kids get overexcited

By Kate Kelly

Expert reviewed by Molly Algermissen, PhD

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

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About the author

About the author

Kate Kelly has been writing and editing for more than 20 years, with a focus on parenting.

Reviewed by

Reviewed by

Molly Algermissen, PhD is an associate professor of medical psychology at Columbia University Medical Center and clinical director of PROMISE.