zig
0

Notifications

  • You're all caught up!

Hyperactive Behavior in a Three Year Old

by
author image Matthew C. Canaday
Matthew C. Canaday currently works helping children, adolescents and families in individual, group and support therapy. Canaday owned and operated a national printing business for nine years. He holds a Master of Social Work degree from Brigham Young University.
Hyperactive Behavior in a Three Year Old
Engaging with hyperactive 3 year olds can be an exhausting task for parents and caregivers. Photo Credit playful child image by Mat Hayward from Fotolia.com

Watch the whirling blur of a hyperactive 3 year old and you wonder what drives that kind of energy. According to Laura Knouse, Ph.D., some considerations for hyperactivity are cognitive development, foods and family factors. The gene DRD4 has also been examined as a possible contributor. A hyperactive 3 year old is usually inattentive, careless, distracted and impulsive. It is difficult for him to refrain from continually fidgeting and squirming or moving fingers and hands. Precautions are needed to ensure the energy release of the hyperactive 3-year-old risk taker is done in a healthy, safe, imaginative way. Demand for constant monitoring and engaging exhausts caregivers but is often rewarded with many smiles.

Development

Hyperactive Behavior in a Three Year Old
Hyperactivity is linked to learning delays. Photo Credit alphabet charakter image by pershing from Fotolia.com

In a study done by Julie L. Friedman, Ph.D. at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, teachers tracked hyperactive 3 year olds and reported that even at this young age, children with symptoms of hyperactivity, inattention and aggression showed delayed cognitive development and appeared to be on track for a struggle with academic skills. The study did not find any difference in outcomes based on race, although girls, not boys, were mostly at risk.

You Might Also Like

Genetics

Hyperactive Behavior in a Three Year Old
The DRD4 gene has been found in hyperactive children Photo Credit people image by jeancliclac from Fotolia.com

Over a decade ago, University of Toronto psychiatrist James Kennedy was one of the first researchers to discover information on hyperactivity as related to genes. Kennedy found that the gene called DRD4 and its variant protein 7R appeared in half of the children he studied who had hyperactivity and attention deficit disorder, commonly called ADHD. This gene is known for causing thrill-seeking behavior among humans. This study has been followed up by other supporting studies, such as the one published in May 1999 in the "American Journal of Psychiatry." This research, along with James Kennedy's earlier studies, points to some understanding when considering why a hyperactive 3 year old would take careless risks and exhibit impulsive behavior. Definite conclusions are not yet formulated about how this gene variant impacts hyperactivity and passes from parent to child.

Diet

Hyperactive Behavior in a Three Year Old
Food coloring agent and a preservative can increase hyperactivity. Photo Credit red wine image by Maria Brzostowska from Fotolia.com

A six-week blind test involving primary-age children who drank food coloring elements and the preservative sodium benzoate added to beverages was conducted at Southampton University by Professor Jim Stevenson and published in September 2007. Part of the study involved 153 3 year olds from the general population. Parents, teachers and observers reported increased hyperactivity levels in the children after they had ingested the chemical drink. To allow for accurate data reporting, neither the children nor the parents, teachers and observers reporting knew which drinks contained the chemicals.

Family Factor

Hyperactive Behavior in a Three Year Old
Which comes first, the stressful parents or hyperactive 3 year old? Photo Credit sad egg ! image by Warren Millar from Fotolia.com

Similiar to the question of which comes first the chicken or the egg, a study published by Laura Knouse, Ph.D. entitled "Behavior Problem Subtypes in 3-Year-Olds: Validity, Family Factors, Stress, and Parenting" suggests is not easy to tell at the age of 3 which comes first--the stressful parents or the hyperactive 3 year old. It is certain child hyperactivity has a tendency to build stress in the family structure.This stress pressurizes the parents or caregiver, which has negative affects on parenting behaviors. Remember, when dealing with a hyperactive 3 year old, it is best to take a few deep breaths and keep a good sense of humor handy.

Warning

Hyperactive Behavior in a Three Year Old
Hyperactive 3 year olds should be in supervised play areas Photo Credit jouets extérieurs image by fotogisèle from Fotolia.com

According to Kathleen S. Berger, Ph.D., an author and teacher of child development, at age 3, a child has self-centered thoughts and acts on those impulsively. Unfortunately, these self-centered thoughts coupled with a hyperactive child's inattentiveness, distraction, and carelessness can put the hyperactive 3 year old at high risk for injury. Compound this risk with non-logical reasoning typical to 3-year-old play and the risk becomes even higher. High-speed running, fearless jumping and climbing are just a few of these contributing danger factors. It is best to contain the child in safe, properly supervised play areas.

Related Searches

LiveStrong Calorie Tracker
THE LIVESTRONG.COM MyPlate Nutrition, Workouts & Tips
GOAL
  • Gain 2 pounds per week
  • Gain 1.5 pounds per week
  • Gain 1 pound per week
  • Gain 0.5 pound per week
  • Maintain my current weight
  • Lose 0.5 pound per week
  • Lose 1 pound per week
  • Lose 1.5 pounds per week
  • Lose 2 pounds per week
GENDER
  • Female
  • Male
lbs.
ft. in.

References

  • “U.S. News & World Report;” The Gene That Wouldn’t Sit Still; E. Sohn; Aug. 19, 2002
  • “The ADHD Report;” Behavior Problem Subtypes in 3-Year-Olds: Validity, Family Factors, Stress, and Parenting; Knouse, L.; October 2007
  • “The Developing Person Through the Life Span;” Kathleen Stassen Berger; January 2007
  • “The ADHD Report;” Predicting Pre-Academic Skills in 3-Year-Olds; Knouse, L.; August 2008
  • “The ADHD Report;” Food Additives Associated with Increased Hyperactivity; L. Knouse; Jun. 1, 2008
Demand Media