Kids are bundles of energy. But you only really understand the extent of their activity levels when you have one of your own. They never seem to stop – and it can drive you crazy.
What’s going on here?
The main reason has to do with energy levels in their cells. When kids are young, they have an abundance of something called NAD+. This chemical plays an integral part in cellular energy generation, similar to ATP, which you might have learned about in your school biology lessons. NAD+ is what scientists call a cofactor, meaning that the body uses it to assist metabolism.
When NAD+ levels are high, people have loads of energy and feel like they can take on the world. When they’re low, they feel sluggish and unable to do all the things that they used to do. In general, adults have substantially lower levels of NAD+ than their kids, which is why moms aren’t bouncing off the ceiling all day long. Mostly, they’re conserving energy instead of expending it wantonly.
Parents should know that high levels of activity are perfectly normal in young children. Their bodies prime them for abundant energy, allowing them to learn about their environment and explore it as much as possible. Evolution has baked it into them so that they can grow up fast and master the world around them.
Parents, however, should note that hyperactivity can sometimes be a sign of dysfunction. Most children can concentrate on conversations with you or their work at school for at least ten minutes before going off and doing something else.
Some kids, however, struggle with even this and find their minds wandering all over the place. They’re unable to focus on the words you’re saying, and act impulsively. In this case, your child might have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, and you may need to schedule virtual ADHD psychiatry appointments.
Getting kids to “settle down” is an instinct that many parents have. However, it’s usually not in their nature to sit compliantly, behaving themselves perfectly. Remember, the whole point of having all this energy is to explore the world and get to grips with it. Suppressing that natural desire goes against their fundamental nature.
As a parent, your job is to determine whether your child’s activity levels are healthy or not. Sometimes, they are. It can be a sign that things are going well for your kid and that they’re happy in themselves. However, it could also be an indicating of a developmental issue you need to address. If you’re concerned, always consult with professionals to get the best possible advice on how to proceed.
Ultimately, parents need to consider the needs of their children in as much detail as possible. When you sign up to become a parent, you accept all the stuff that comes with it. Raising children requires a lot of energy and commitment. But most parents would agree that, in the end, all the effort pays off. Fidgety children are a part of the job.