Teaching Kids How to Sit Still

Sitting still can be a challenge for some kids, especially if they have a lot of energy or difficulty focusing. Here are some strategies that may help with teaching kids how to sit still:

sitting still for kids

Set Clear Expectations

Clearly communicate your expectations for sitting still. Explain why it’s important in certain situations, such as during school or while attending a performance. Help them understand the benefits of being able to focus and concentrate.

Provide Structure

Establish a routine or structure that includes designated periods for sitting still. This can help children understand when it’s appropriate to be calm and focused.

Provide Breaks

Allow kids to take breaks during activities that require them to sit still. For example, if they are doing homework, they can take a 5-minute break every 20-30 minutes to stretch, get a drink of water, or walk around.

Offer a Fidget Toy

Some children may benefit from having a small object to fidget with while sitting still. This can help them focus and stay engaged in the activity. Fidget toys can be anything from stress balls to squishy toys.

Use a Timer

Set a timer for the amount of time the child needs to sit still and encourage them to remain seated until the timer goes off. This can help them develop a sense of time and responsibility.

how to teach kids how to sit still

Use Visual Cues

Visual cues can be helpful reminders for children to sit still. You can use pictures, symbols, or charts to illustrate what it means to sit still in different settings.

Provide a Comfortable Seating Option

Kids may be more willing to sit still if they are comfortable. Provide a chair or cushion that supports their body and allows them to sit comfortably.

Break Activities into Smaller Segments

For activities that require sitting still for a longer period, break them into smaller segments with short breaks in between. This allows children to release some energy and regain focus before continuing.

Engage their Interests

Choose activities that align with the child’s interests to increase their motivation to sit still. For example, if they enjoy drawing or coloring, provide them with art supplies and encourage them to spend some time sitting still while creating something.

Offer Incentives

Provide a reward or incentive for sitting still during an activity. This can motivate them to stay focused and engaged.

Allow Movement Breaks

Incorporate movement breaks into activities that require sitting still. For example, during a long car ride, stop at a rest area and let the child run around for a few minutes.

Consider Sensory Needs

Some children may benefit from sensory input to help them sit still. This can include things like a weighted blanket or sensory toys that provide tactile feedback.

Teach Relaxation Techniques

Teach children simple relaxation techniques like deep breathing or progressive muscle relaxation. These techniques can help them calm their bodies and minds, making it easier to sit still.

Model and Practice

Children learn by observing, so be a role model and demonstrate how to sit still. Engage in activities that require focus and calmness, and encourage the child to join you. Practice sitting still together and gradually increase the duration over time.

Encourage Physical Activity

Regular physical activity is crucial for children to release energy and maintain overall well-being. Ensure they have active play and exercise opportunities, which can help reduce restlessness when it’s time to sit still.

Seek Professional Guidance

If you find that your child consistently struggles with sitting still and it significantly affects their daily life or learning, consider consulting with a pediatrician or behavioral specialist. They can provide additional guidance and support tailored to your child’s specific needs.

Remember that every child is different, and what works for one child may not work for another. Try different strategies and see what works best for your child.

Teaching Kids How to Sit Still

What other tips do you have on teaching kids how to sit still?

18 thoughts on “Teaching Kids How to Sit Still”

  1. I’ve found that offering fidge toys, being consistant with increasing the time they sit, and keeping them engaged in something has been our bigggest helpers.

  2. I normally give them something that can calm them or focus their attention to that thing. I really like this article

  3. I loved my son’s teacher last year who didn’t care if the kids moved around the room while completing their assignments. Rather than just staying in 1 spot the whole time. They were able to be still because they could move to a spot that they chose.

  4. Mine always struggled with sitting still. Fidget toys can really help keep them focus. We have a great collection of these now.

  5. Thanks for these tips… While sitting still was easier for my son, my daughter found it harder (and still does, unless she is on her phone!!)..

  6. Your comprehensive guide on teaching kids to sit still is a treasure trove of practical tips! The strategies, from setting clear expectations to incorporating movement breaks, are well-presented and adaptable. Your insights will undoubtedly aid parents and educators in nurturing focus and self-regulation in children. A valuable resource! 🧡👦👧🪑

  7. I don’t remember if my kids ever sat still. They were always on the move for something. These are amazing tips you shared. Thanks for sharing this with us

  8. I’ve always explained to my kids the good things that happens when one does something, and what happens when they don’t – a time for everything (even for sitting and moving). Great tips, will certainly help parents…


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