Why Kids Can't Sit Still (page 2)
Matching expectations with children's level of development makes everyone's lives easier by eliminating needless tension. But sometimes parents and teachers forget – or don't realize – that one standard that seems perfectly reasonable is just about impossible for five-year-olds to uphold.
What You Need to Know
Children demonstrate regularly that they are not able to sit still for extended periods of time. They need to move for their physical as well as intellectual development.
- stimulates a process called myelinization that is critical to developing neural pathways, allowing young children to gain control over their muscles, sensory abilities, and cognitive processes
- optimizes brain performance by helping deliver of oxygen and glucose to the brain
- healthier and grow up to be more active, healthy adults
- in a better position to counter the childhood obesity problem our nation faces
- able to enjoy higher self-esteem since strong motor skills boost children's confidence
- able to feel better about themselves and interact with peers since good agility, balance, coordination, power, and speed promote social interaction and peer acceptance
- can be delayed in body and space awareness and get into trouble due to unawareness of whether their bodies are in relation to others
- have greater reading and writing difficulties
How You Can Help
Parents are better off promoting physical activity than trying to keep children still. Be mindful that your child's developmental stage renders sitting still for extended periods just about impossible – do not impose unrealistic standards and expectations.
- If you know your child will need to behave in an environment that involves long sitting periods, such as church, a plays, or a nice dinner, plan several breaks that will allow him to step aside and release some physical energy, whether outdoors or in the restroom.
- See to it that your child is getting the recommended minimum of 60 minutes of physical activity per day. Let your child choose varied activities in the realm of physical fitness to keep it fun – visiting the playground with a playdate, playing baseball in the yard, taking a walk around the neighborhood, or fighting off imaginary dragons in his room.
- Within reason, trust your child's judgment regarding when it is time for the body to rest and be still. Usually, when that time comes, focus on a quiet activity can be so intensive you might thinking you're dealing with a different child altogether.
For more on this topic, see the complete article:
- Coats and Car Seats: A Lethal Combination?
- Kindergarten Sight Words List
- Child Development Theories
- Signs Your Child Might Have Asperger's Syndrome
- 10 Fun Activities for Children with Autism
- Why is Play Important? Social and Emotional Development, Physical Development, Creative Development
- The Homework Debate
- First Grade Sight Words List
- Social Cognitive Theory
- GED Math Practice Test 1