At a Glance
It’s typical for young kids to get overexcited.
Some kids take longer than others to develop self-control.
Kids who get too excited or enthusiastic might be picked on or left out by other kids.
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 that behavior at a 10-year-old’s party. But there are kids who have trouble containing their excitement even at that age.
They may talk loudly or insist everyone play a specific game because it’s really fun with a group. Sometimes the other kids accept that behavior. Often they don’t.
If your child gets overexcited and you wonder why, find out more.
What Causes Kids to Get Overexcited
Kids need self-control to keep their excitement in check. They don’t all develop this skill at the same rate, however. So there can be a big difference in ability in the early years.
Some kids are naturally excitable, which isn’t necessarily a bad thing. They’re often curious, energetic, optimistic, and fun. Other kids like being around them.
But only to a point. If they become overexcited and say or do things that are over the top, it can have the opposite effect. Other kids might think they’re “annoying” or “embarrassing” to be around. So they may be left out. They may be bullied or teased because their behavior is different.
Being overexcited can lead kids to be over the top. That plays out differently in different situations. Here are some examples:
A trip for ice cream is “the best thing that’s ever happened,” and they talk way too loudly about the different flavors while waiting to order.
In school, they can’t wait to be called on to let the teacher know they have the right answer. They keep waving their hand and calling out the teacher’s name, even when another kid is speaking.
They get so caught up a in game of tag that they start roughhousing with other kids, even after being told to stop.
Kids who get overexcited may:
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 events that are both good and bad
There are a few reasons kids have trouble containing their excitement. For some kids, it’s simply their nature.
How to Help Your Child Manage Excitement
No matter what’s causing your child to be overexcited, there are ways you can help.
Start by celebrating all the strengths behind your child’s overexcitement, like enthusiasm and energy. They’re part of what makes your child great.
Next, work on strategies to help your child keep excitement under control. First, watch for triggers and take notes on when your child gets overexcited. Once you know, you can help your child prepare for those situations. Role-playing is a great way to do that.
Then agree on a secret gesture or word that you can use to let your child know when it’s time to calm down and switch gears. For instance, you can use it to remind your child to switch from an outdoor voice to an indoor voice.
Some kids are naturally excitable but need help learning to manage it.
Use strategies, like role-playing, to help your child keep excitement under control.
Remind your child of the positive side of overexcitement, like energy and enthusiasm.