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Surviving the Chaos: 7 Tips for Parents Dealing with High-Energy Kids

Do you have a child that has more energy than you know what to do with? If your child is like our high-energy child, you probably struggle to keep them entertained and maintain your parenting sanity! Dealing with active kids can make life feel so chaotic!

Parenting a lively kid is a team effort. We will share both a father’s and mother’s perspective and seven tips to help you not just deal with your high-energy child, but enjoy them!

Estimated reading time: 7 minutes

A young family cuddling with a new infant.Heartmanity is proud to partner with outstanding companies that we wholeheartedly recommend so this post may contain affiliate links. You can read our full disclosure here.

Together, we can find enjoyment in the stresses of parenting our energetic kids! Let us lend you a hand.

Key Takeaways

  • Understand and embrace the energy
  • Channel the chaos
  • Create a routine but be flexible
  • Take time to play with your child
  • Do routine family stress inventories
  • Read with your child regularly
  • Create a designated place for your child to calm down

7 Tips to Successfully Deal with High-Energy Children

As a father and mother of a high-energy child, we’ve learned some helpful strategies to survive the chaos—and thrive—with our little ball of energy! 

HRT_Blog_BulletHearts_Template_2023_FINAL_GreenUnderstand and Embrace the Energy

The first tip is to understand why your child has such high energy, and then embrace it! 

It can become overwhelming when it feels that they never run out of steam. Stay positive and realize that their enthusiasm is contagious! Remember the days when you could run around for hours without breaking a sweat? Well, now you've got a live-in workout buddy.

Embrace the energy, and you'll find the silver lining in all that liveliness.

study showed that prepubescent kids (typically kids under 11 years old) have more energy than endurance athletes! It's no wonder they always seem to be bouncing off the walls with too much energy!

Mother playing hide-and-seek with her son outdoors.

Common Reasons Children Are So Energetic

Kids tend to have more energy for several reasons. Below are six of the most common ones we have found.

Everything in the world around a child is new!
There is so much to explore, learn, and do. Children with excessive energy tend to be very curious and want to explore the world around them. Their growing brains crave new experiences.

Adults are not the only ones that experience stress, kids do too! Think about your energy and emotions when you are under stress. You are on high alert. Kids can sense the stress of their parents which often leads to increased stress for themselves. This stress can manifest as intense energy and activity in a child.


Short attention span. Kids can have very short attention spans, especially younger children, and their minds have not yet developed the ability to focus on a task for long periods. This is one reason why kids, especially those with high energy, seem to jump from one activity to the next all day long!

Too much structure. Although structure is healthy for kids, there is also a point where too much structure can be detrimental. When parents are too rigid in setting limits with their kids, it can result in kids having bottled-up energy that seems to burst out unexpectedly.

Lack of quality time with parents. When children feel they are not receiving the quality time they need from their parents, they tend to get overly energetic and emotions fly! Simply giving your kids routine quality time can help curb the chaos of your kids' high energy.

Children's unique temperament.
Sometimes the intense energy levels can boil down to your's child's temperament. Some kids are just wired differently and the genetics they received from mom or dad can contribute to their high energy.

From a Father's Perspective:

The last thing you want as a father when coming home from work tired is to be your kids' jungle gym. Yet, they're excited to see you so taking time to wrestle with them can be SO beneficial.

Mentally prepare yourself and just play! Embrace the energy and be grateful you got a workout.

Realize that your spirited child may one day be a successful businessman or woman! With a little change in perspective, you may be wishing your colleagues had the same enthusiasm and zeal your child does.

From a Mother's Perspective:

Paying attention to what triggers your child’s energy can help provide more patience and understanding, especially when the high energy is overwhelming. Armed with this knowledge, you will better understand your very active child. Embrace their enthusiasm!

Mothers can have a high need to implement structure if they spend the majority of time at home with the children. Try loosening the strictness and spend more time in your child’s world. Create a lasting memory instead of a power struggle.

It is easy for a mother to get caught up in the day-to-day tasks such as cleaning, laundry, and meal prep. Once preoccupied, you may unintentionally push aside the child’s need for connection with you.

We have found that when we consistently give our son undivided attention daily, his energy seems to be more controlled and the atmosphere in our home is more peaceful.


HRT_Blog_BulletHearts_Template_2023_FINAL_Green2Intentionally Channel the Chaos Productively

Now that you've embraced the energy, the next step is figuring out how to channel it positively. One trick that worked wonders for us was introducing structured activities.

Think of it like creating a roadmap for their boundless energy. Whether it's a game of hide-and-seek, a mini-obstacle course in the backyard, or even a dance party in the living room, giving your child’s energy a purpose can make a world of difference.

Physical play is a vital part of channeling the chaos of high-energy children. Strong sensory input through physical play can help to regulate your child’s emotions and high energy levels.

Deep Dive: Get the Positive Parenting Online Course to learn helpful parenting skills. Turn power struggles into ease and respond to that high-energy child with love!

Father playing guitar while his high-energy son bangs the pots and pans joyfully.

Some of these activities may include:

  • Playing music inside
  • Outdoor play or projects
  • Climbing on a jungle gym or trees
  • Jumping on a trampoline
  • Playing sports
  • Swimming
  • Digging in the dirt

Another way for your child to utilize their energy would be to encourage them to be creative and use their imagination. Children can play dress up and run around as a superhero or jump into a bean bag. Playing outside and encouraging your child to play sports is another great idea to exhaust extra energy.

Helpful ideas and reading:How to Create a Montessori Method at Home.”

From a Father's Perspective:

I have found that our oldest (who is our high-energy child) is so much like me. With this in mind, it is helpful to consider ways in which I channel my energy and my need to always be busy!

You may find it helpful to consider how your child’s personality is similar to yours. That way you can draw upon your tactics to teach your child how to channel their energy.

Finding activities to keep your child engaged will help immensely! As a father, that may look like working side-by-side with your child in the yard or as a handyman around the house.

We recently put some landscape rock in our yard and I had my son help me move the rock. He was very focused and loved being able to help Dad! It gave him a sense of accomplishment and helped him feel significant. I took all that energy of his and channeled it into manual labor! It was a win for both of us.

From a Mother's Perspective:

Cleaning, laundry, shopping, and meal prep are never-ending tasks, so why not utilize your child’s energy to get things done?

Make cleaning into a game. Be creative by “dressing up” these tasks with fun. The more exciting and enjoyable, the more likely your child will want to help. It will take ingenuity on your part since children may become bored with repeated tasks.

Provide opportunities to help your child exhaust their energy through hard physical tasks such as transferring heavy, wet laundry out of the washer and into the dryer, pushing a vacuum, and carrying groceries from the car into the house. Not only will your child feel valued, it gives them a sense of belonging.


Create a Routine, But Be Flexible

High-energy kids thrive on routine, but let's be real—life is unpredictable. Instead of a rigid schedule, try to establish a flexible routine and sculpted around their natural rhythms.

As we mentioned earlier, with too rigid of a structure, your child may feel less control over their own lives. Finding the balance may take some trial and error.

Try including your child in the process of developing a routine. This small shift can transform routine to be more effective and enjoyable. Your child will feel more ownership for their responsibilities and often show a greater desire to be consistent with their tasks.

Having a general flow to the day provides a sense of stability, but it also allows room for spontaneity. Be prepared to go with the flow when the unexpected happens—which, with high-energy kids, is pretty much all the time!

From a Father's Perspective:

As a father, it is important to make sure you are actively participating in your child’s day! Routines are not just mom’s job. When you are with the kids, be consistently present and in the moment. Your high-energy kids will appreciate that you are a part of the routines they know and love.

It is important to work as a team with your partner. As an example, in our home, nightly routines include dad getting the kids bathed, teeth brushed, and pajamas put on. As the kids hop into bed, mom then reads them a book and sings them a song.

We have found that sharing the responsibilities of the bedtime routine makes it so much easier to emotionally, mentally, and physically deal with our kids' high energy. And if you’re a single parent, a consistent routine will be your friend.

From a Mother's Perspective:

Many children struggle when constantly thrown into unfamiliar situations and atmospheres. Routines provide familiarity and consistency; children know what to expect, making disruptive behaviors less likely.

Give your child frequent breaks in a scheduled routine to allow them the ability to do something they enjoy. This intermission will prevent them from reaching burnout.

Our children know that their morning responsibilities need to be finished before eating breakfast, just as their night responsibilities are finished before cuddling for a bedtime story.

These routines are done every day so there's no surprise. However, they are not accomplished every day in the same time frame or order and that is okay. Occasionally our boys will play for a bit in their rooms when they first wake up or we will throw in a family dance party before bed.


The Power of Play: Give Your Child One-on-One Time

Play isn't just a way for kids to burn off steam; it is a powerful tool for learning and development. Join in the fun with your kid! Whether it's building a fort out of pillows, getting creative with arts and crafts, or diving into imaginative play, these moments not only entertain but also strengthen your bond with your high-energy kiddo. Plus, it's a great excuse to unleash your inner child.

One very powerful tool we have utilized is one-on-one playtime with our kids. We take ten minutes to play with each of our children one-on-one. We call it “special time.”

During special time, all outside distractions are put aside. That means no cell phones, no television, no thinking about your to-do lists. The key is to be present and in the moment! Allow each child to pick an activity that they want to do and then you do it together!

This gives you as the parent an opportunity to get into the world of your child. You will learn more about your child, their personality, and interests. It will also allow your child to feel what renowned philosopher and Psychiatrist Alfred Adler calls belonging and significance.

You will find more peace and calm in your home when you implement this powerful form of play!

From a Father's Perspective:

Father figures are often seen as role models of success, hard work, and discipline. Yet, some of the most fond memories your child will have with you as a father are the times you spend playing with them.

Make sure to take your children on trips as a family as well as one-on-one father-child trips. Having a trip to look forward to for your high-energy kids will help them be more motivated to be helpful and obedient around the home.

Never pass up an opportunity to be silly and have fun with your child. When you take advantage of those simple moments to play, you will start to notice more moments of calm from your child!

From a Mother's Perspective:

Before needing to ask a child for help, jump into their world and play as they would play.

Engaging in a pillow fight provides a great opportunity to release energy before asking your child to make their bed. Embark on a journey of imagination with them before picking up toys in the playroom.

Strategies such as these will contribute to a positive release of energy and yield more focused help from your child when needed. The cherished moments will last a lifetime and children will feel their needs are met without creating power struggles.

When I have taken moments to be silly and laugh with my children, or dress up and play pretend, it fosters a wonderful relationship. An added bonus: my children listen better following those experiences.

Take a Family Stress Inventory

As discussed previously, the energy that your child displays may be influenced by stress in the home.

It is important to be aware of your stress and its impact on your children. Taking time to sit down as a family and share things that are causing stress for each member of the family can help everyone cope.

From a Father's Perspective:

Make sure to leave work at work. Be intentional about not bringing the stresses of work home with you. Your stress will only amplify the intensity of emotions and energy in your children.

It is also important to take the time to listen to your wife and children about what may be causing them stress. Sometimes all it takes is a listening ear or a shoulder to cry on for peace and calm to return.

From a Mother's Perspective:

It is so important children understand that no one is perfect, including their parents. Parents should point out when they are feeling certain emotions and show their children what strategies they use to cope and shift those emotions.

Children learn from example. As children see their parents find ways to control their emotions and self-calm, the child will be more likely to follow suit. When moments are overwhelming as a mother, tell your child what you are feeling and what you need to regain control of your emotions.

It was so fulfilling as a parent when I found our oldest sitting by himself and upon asking if everything was okay, he responded with, “I was getting angry and needed to come here to calm down.” Learning these strategies early will provide a level of emotional maturity that many adults still have yet to learn.


HRT_Blog_BulletHearts_Template_2023_FINAL_Green6Reading Helps Bring Calm

There are times when you will not have the energy to play with your child and you just need a way to get them to chill out! Reading can be a powerful tool in dealing with your active child.

Mindlab International in an article by Reading Rewards states that reading for as little as six minutes a day can reduce stress levels by as much as sixty percent in children!

Reading to your child can be a valuable asset for you as a parent in helping to manage their energy levels and provide calmness. While reading, children tend to be engaged in the story and are much more likely to sit peacefully. Finally, you can get some relief from the chaos!

From a Father's Perspective:

Not only does reading help calm your child but it helps them learn and use their imaginations!

One day while shoveling snow with my oldest son (remember, the high-energy child) told me that snow is made when rain is dropped by clouds into air that is cold enough to freeze it. Coming from a six-year-old, I was impressed by his understanding. Looking back, it was the fun Cat in the Hat weather books that taught him this concept!

Reading will empower your children to be thinkers! It will help your high-energy child’s active mind be channeled for good! As a father, make sure to take time to read to your child every day!

From a Mother's Perspective:

Reading works wonders in helping calm our high-energy child.

Bedtime seems to be one of the hardest times of day, especially if our children still have a lot of energy needing to be released. One of the best ways disruptive energy has been eliminated has been by taking time to read right before going to sleep.

Our children love the Magic Tree House series. The rambunctious and silly behaviors that arise at night become instantly diffused when their minds are captivated by the book's adventures. A sense of calm takes over, turning challenging bedtimes into enjoyable ones.


HRT_Blog_BulletHearts_Template_2023_FINAL_Green7Create a Calming Space for Your Child

Creating a designated space where your child can go to calm down when their energy and emotions are extreme can be a huge help. Invite your child to go their calming corner when they need to calm. This strategy gives both you and your child time to reset.

What you put in the calming corner depends on your child. What are things that will help them relax? Invite your child's input when designing a calming area. Things you may want to include in your calming corner are

  • Sensory toys
  • Music
  • Weighted blanket
  • Charts for breathing exercises
  • Art supplies
  • Books
  • Comfortable chair
From a Father's Perspective:

It is important to recognize when your child is being overstimulated and needs a break! In these moments having a designated place to for your child to calm down and regulate their feelings can be transformational!

Spending the money on creating a calming corner is worth the investment! Your sanity will remain intact when you make sure to use this tool!

Honestly, you may find that having a calming corner for yourself is helpful, too! When your emotions begin to fly and you start to lose it with your child, remove yourself from the situation. Go to your calming corner to let off some steam. Rather than yelling and losing your temper with your child, going to a designated space to calm will allow you to regroup and return to the situation with more clarity.

When your child sees you, it will reinforce self-calming when they need it! Set the example and your home will be much more peaceful. And you will have much more mutual respect! Through modeling, you will teach your kids emotional literacy which will pay dividends in the future!

From a Mother's Perspective:

Providing your child with activities specific to creating balanced emotions is key. We have spent extensive time providing our son with activities to help calm his high energy when it becomes too much. Our son does best when he creates something. It focuses his mind and brings a sense of calm as he concentrates on the task ahead.

Provide a craft drawer filled with anything your child has free rein to is a perfect example. Building with magnets, blocks, or Legos is another great option. Our children also have a kids audio player that captivates their minds with children’s stories and songs.



Knowing how to deal with high-energy children doesn't have to feel impossible. Implementing the tips shared in this article will greatly improve your ability to gracefully cope with your child's energy levels.

Remember to work together with your partner to achieve the greatest success! Understanding each other's perspectives can help provide each other the support you need when dealing with your active children.

The most important thing is to remember how much you love your child. Stay positive and know that you are not alone. The fact that you are reading this shows how much of a dedicated parent you are. Before you know it, your child's energy will be something you can easily handle!

Heartmanity offers one-on-one consultations for parents like you. Whether you have a toddler, teen, or adult children, a little goes a long ways with Heartmanity! Invest in the most important job of all!

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Guest Bloggers: Alex and Jessica MorganGuest Bloggers: Alex and Jessica Morgan
Alex and Jessica are parents to three energetic boys! Together they run a parenting blog and love sharing their unique perspective on raising children.

Posted in Perfectly Imperfect Parenting

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