At a glance
Some grade-schoolers get overexcited more often than others.
When kids get overexcited, it can make other people uncomfortable.
You can help your grade-schooler get better at managing overexcitement.
It’s great when grade-schoolers are enthusiastic, whether it’s over a friend’s birthday party or the school talent show. But if they get too excited, they can make people around them uncomfortable.
When kids get overexcited, they can have a hard time calming down. If that happens a lot, there are things you can do to help your child gain control.
One strategy both you and your child can use is the three R’s. Recognize when your child is getting overexcited. Read what your child’s cues were. Respond in a way that helps your child take control.
Here’s an example of how it works:
Recognize: Your child is playing a video game with friends and is really into it. Too into it. Your child hogs the controller and won’t give anyone else a turn. The friends get annoyed and want to leave, and your child’s excitement turns to anger.
Read possible cues:
- Increased volume: Your child gets really worked up and yells at the game while playing.
- Tense body language: Your child leans toward the screen and doesn’t look up.
- Not seeing what’s going on: Your child doesn’t notice that the friends are acting restless.
Respond: Ask your child to come with you for a minute. Out of the room your child can calm down. Say, “I know you’re really into the game. But your friends are feeling left out and bossed around. Can you let go of the game so they’ll want to stay?”
You can also come up with a plan for next time. Set ground rules for video games. Maybe everyone only gets to spend 10 minutes playing at a time. If you’re able to anticipate when your child will get too excited, you can brainstorm strategies in advance.
Using some form of the 3 R’s can help your child learn how to take it down a notch so other people aren’t turned off. The goal is to notice the behavior and be able to change it.
It may take some time for both you and your grade-schooler to know what works for you. Learn more about how to respond if your child gets fixated on something. Help your child learn how to recognize social cues.
You and your child can learn to recognize the signs of overexcitement.
Noticing the behavior is the first step toward changing it.
Anticipating when your child will get overexcited lets you plan in advance.
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About the author
About the author
Amanda Morin is the director of thought leadership at Understood and author of “The Everything Parent’s Guide to Special Education.” She worked as a classroom teacher and early intervention specialist for more than a decade.
Mark J. Griffin, PhD was the founding headmaster of Eagle Hill School, a school for children with specific learning disabilities.