How to Help Active Little Kids Sit Still


Parents can struggle when they have active children who need to sit still. It can feel embarrassing, or like your child isn't doing what other kids seem to handle easily.

Here are six things to consider when you want your child to sit still.

Listen here:

A listener wrote in with this question:

My son is 2 1/2. When we go to the library in our area for story time, all the other kids seem to sit still. Not my son! He is running around and making noise. I feel like other parents give me the eye. He doesn't sit still at home either. What can I do?

Here are six tips for parents of young wigglers.

1. Have realistic expectations

Young children need movement.

Make sure that you are asking them to sit for only short periods of time.

Don't expect a toddler to be able to be still for long.

2. Give Brain Breaks

If kids need to sit still, find opportunities to move.

Take breaks from sitting to get some energy out.

3. Movement is training for sitting still

For kids to be able to sit still and pay attention, they need to develop proprioception and vestibular sense.

Proprioception is understanding where your body parts are by feel, without having to look at it.

Vestibular sense lets you know where your body is in relation to its surroundings.

When vestibular sense is not developed, kids struggle in all areas of learning and listening.

4. Practice

Practice sitting skills by reading together with your child.

Let your child know that you like it when they sit and listen.

5. Help Your Child Understand what is Expected

Talk to them about the need to sit still.

Before they get into a situation where they need to sit still, have a conversation about what is expected.

6. Can your Child Act Appropriately without Sitting Still?

Sometimes we can allow our children to move in a controlled way that is still appropriate for the environment.

Allow kids to be kids and move whenever possible!

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