Why Does My Child Jump All the Time?


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Children do strange things sometimes. They will sometimes jump up and down when they are excited or talking about something they are passionate about. This has many parents asking, why does my child jump all the time?

Here’s what I’ve seen in having 3 kids and working with hundreds:

While excessive jumping can be a sign of ADHD, in many cases, it is simply a sign of a high-energy child who is in need of a greater amount of physical stimulation.

But I would caution about rushing to a diagnosis.

Talk to your doctor about your concerns, and in conjunction with them, make an educated decision. Plenty of kids with a lot of energy can learn to channel and balance that energy when they get engaged in the right extracurricular activities.

So in this article, we’ll dive deeper into how to know if it’s really a problem, and, aside from talking to your doctor, we’ll also look at some other good channels for them to direct their energy into.

Let’s get started.

Is it normal for toddlers to jump excitedly?

For toddlers and children in early elementary age, jumping excitedly and getting super-excited is totally normal behavior. But it can become a problem if they become unresponsive to you while doing it or if they become a danger to themselves or others.

So yes. It is completely normal for toddlers to jump excitedly. 

Kids are often naturally excitable. They are curious, energetic, and fun. Other kids love being around the happy, bouncy kids. 

But as they get older, if they don’t have any self-control to keep their excitement in check, they could get overexcited. If this happens, they may be over the top or be considered annoying or embarrassing to be around. 

They may be left out or even bullied because they are different. 

While jumping can be normal for a toddler, it could be a sign of something else in older kids. It could be that they are sensory-seeking and just like the sensation of jumping. 

Jumping, coupled with other behaviors, could even be signs of ADHD or autism. But it could also just mean your child is gifted. (source)

To be VERY clear, jumping – whether on its own or coupled with something else, does not necessarily mean your child has ADHD or autism or any other diagnosis. 

We all have sensory needs on one level or another. It’s how we express those needs and whether they are met that makes the difference.

Why does my child jump up and down?

Kids jump for lots of reasons. They may simply have a lot of energy and no place to direct it, but it could be a sensory processing issue, ADHD, or autism.

Sometimes, if kids are excited or passionate about something, they may jump or shake their arms without realizing it. That’s completely normal.

If it seems atypical, like jumping for no real reason or jumping compulsively, then you should at least mention it to your child’s pediatrician.

If jumping or flapping is the only “abnormal” thing your child does, there probably isn’t any cause for concern. Your child is just an excitable child.

But if you find that your child is also easily distracted, very routine driven, and impulsive, there may be something more going on.

Kids with ADHD will not only be easily distracted, but they may try to take over conversations, will have trouble managing emotions, and have difficulty remembering things. (source)

Many of these signs and symptoms could also be displayed in autistic kids.

If you’re concerned that your child is displaying these symptoms, you might want to consider having your child evaluated by a professional. 

Why does my child never sit still?

Not getting enough quality sleep, poor nutrition, hearing or vision problems, or an over-packed schedule can all cause a child to fidget, be distracted, and have poor self-control. 

If your child seems to always be on the move, unable to sit still, pay attention, or is displaying behavioral problems, don’t reach for the ADHD label just yet.

To diagnose ADHD, children must present problems in more than one setting. So, if they are acting out at home but are showing self-control at school, there may be something else going on.

Sometimes the solution could be to improve your routine at home, so your child gets more sleep and has time for breakfast.

Lack of sleep is a large contributor to behavioral problems that look like ADHD. (source)

Poor nutrition and inadequate sleep both interfere with the ability to stay focused and alert at school. It can also cause them to be overactive and grumpy.

Red dyes in foods have been repeatedly linked to ADHD.

So, eliminate or reduce the number of dyes your child ingests and then see if, over a few weeks, you notice a difference in the behavior. (source)

Your child could also be overactive because they are bored and under-challenged. Alternatively, they may struggle with a learning disability.

If your child is overactive, you may have fallen into the habit of allowing them unlimited screen time. If that works for you, that’s okay!

But if you try reducing screen time, you may find that there are many benefits to consider. 

For one, it can be really hard to monitor what your kids are watching. It can also disrupt sleep and cause kids to be sedentary. 

To read more about the benefits of limiting your kids’ screen time, check out this recent article

Just click the link to read it on my site. 

Is excessive jumping a sign of autism?

Excessive Jumping can be one way that autistic kids self-stimulate. They may also flap their hands, spin, seek pressure, or do a variety of other activities involving the senses.

(source)

But it is important to have that diagnosed by a professional.

Every autistic person experiences autism differently, but there are some things that many autistic people have in common.

They have very strong interests in things that other people may not be interested in.

And they will want to tell you all about it. If your child is sensitive to noises or lights or unable to control how loud their voice is, it could be a sign of autism.

Autistic traits can sometimes overlap with or even look like ADHD traits. Autistic kids may have a hard time regulating emotions, rely heavily on routines, and have a hard time starting or finishing tasks.

Autism is not uncommon, either. In the US., the rate of autism is 1 in 59, which ranks as #16 worldwide. At 1 child for every 3,333, Poland has the lowest autism rates.

To read more about autism rates by country, check out this recent article.

I also talk about how gastrointestinal conditions may accompany autism and possible treatment options that can improve the symptoms. 

Just click the link to read it on my site. 

What are the signs of ADHD in a child?

Children with ADHD often have trouble focusing, are impulsive, have trouble regulating emotions, and have difficulty remembering information. They also tend to jump from one thing to another without finishing the 1st task.

They may even have a hard time starting tasks. ADHD may also present differently in boys than it does in girls.

Boys are more than twice as likely as girls to be diagnosed with ADHD. 

It’s not because they don’t have it. It’s just that they are more likely to be overlooked because of the way their symptoms present. 

Girls tend to have less trouble with impulse control and often daydream. (source)

It’s important to understand that ADHD is caused by brain differences. It’s not caused by bad parenting. It’s not simply a behavioral problem. It is a real medical condition.

Kids with ADHD need immediate feedback. ADHD kids can sit and play video games all day because they are getting immediate, tiny hits of dopamine, which is highly rewarding.

Environmental accommodations along with medication and behavior therapy offer the best results when it comes to treating ADHD.

However, I understand wanting to avoid medication if possible. Many families have found relief in treating ADHD naturally. 

In this recent article, I review all the top ways of treating ADHD naturally, including dietary changes, herbal supplements, and vitamins with proven track records of making a real difference.

Just click the link to read it on my site. 

Did I answer everything you wanted to know about why your child jumps all the time?

We are all sensory-seeking on some level or another. Jumping could just be one way that your child is meeting their needs.

It is important to make sure all of your child’s needs are being met. They should be getting enough sleep and eating nutritious food.

If you suspect that your child is autistic or has ADHD, they should be thoroughly evaluated by a professional.

 


Jeff Campbell

Jeff Campbell is a husband, father, martial artist, budget-master, Disney-addict, musician, and recovering foodie having spent over 2 decades as a leader for Whole Foods Market. Click to learn more about me

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