My child gets excited and cannot settle down

  1. Supervise your child in order to prevent them from getting too excited to settle down.
  2. Carefully consider your child’s age and development before expecting them to quiet down after getting excited.
  3. Provide your child with quiet, calming activities (e.g. listening to music, sitting/laying on their bed, listening to a story, etc.) in order to help them to quiet down after getting excited.
  4. Give your child a special signal when they are not settling down, (e.g. a secret word, a hand signal, etc.)
  5. Have your child participate in another activity until they can settle down and gain control of their behavior.
  6. When your child cannot calm down, explain exactly what they are doing wrong, what they are supposed to be doing, and why. For example: Your child is playing with his friends at the pool and begins splashing, pushing, and encouraging his friends to behave inappropriately. Go to your child and say “Johnny, you are not following the pool rules. You need to stop splashing, pushing and encouraging your friends to break the pool rules. If you cannot follow the pool rules, we will have to go home.”
  7. Give your child plenty of time to settle down after a stimulating activity (e.g., have your child stop the activity 20 minutes before coming into the house, turn off the TV one hour before bedtime, stop swimming 15 minutes before it’s time to go home, etc.)
  8. Be consistent when expecting your child to settle down after getting excited.Do not allow them to run in the house one day and expect appropriate behavior the next day.
  9. Give your child a schedule of daily activities so they will be aware of when they need to settle down.
  10. Increase supervision when they are involved in activities that tend to overexcite them.
  11. Teach your child some ways to settle down when they get overly excited (e.g. count to 10, say the alphabet, sit in a chair, leave the situation, etc.)
  12. Be consistent when expecting your child to leave the situation when they become overly excited (e.g. send them to their room for 1 minute for each year of age, or make them sit in a chair, etc.)
  13. Make certain that babysitters, grandparents, visitors in your home, teachers, etc. are aware of your child’s tendency to get excited and not settle down.


TIP: Intervene early to keep your child from getting overly excited.