How To Help A Child Who Has Trouble Sitting Still In Pre-K

Posted on: 2 August 2016


Little kids like to move around a lot, so the transition to sitting still during preschool can be a tough one. Most teachers help ease children into this by only having them sit still for short periods of time during the first few weeks of school. Still, some students struggle more than others. If your child's preschool teacher has advised you that he or she is having trouble sitting still, there are a few things you can do to work on this issue at home.

Talk to your child about the importance of sitting still.

Some children don't sit still simply because they don't quite understand why it's expected and necessary. Sit down with your little one and have a chat about how certain activities are okay for moving around, and certain activities are better for sitting still. Explain how when the teacher is reading a book, your child won't be able to enjoy it if they're moving around and playing about. That's what recess, gym time, and other active playtimes are for! Also, explain that by moving around, your child is making it harder for other kids to enjoy the book or other quiet activity. Don't approach this as a lecture or suggest that your child has been bad – just establish a conversation so you can be sure they actually understand what's expected.

Have sitting time and playtime at home.

Start dividing your child's at-home time into sitting time and active time, too. Make your child sit still until the end of a meal instead of letting them get up and play halfway through. When you're reading a book, make sure they sit still and pay attention rather than playing with action figures at the same time. Allow your child to be active and move around – but not when other sit-still activities are going on.

Ensure your child is getting plenty of sleep.

You might think a child would sit still better when he or she is exhausted, but being tired shortens many kids' attention spans, which makes it harder for them to sit still and remain focused. Experts have found that preschoolers need 10 to 13 hours of sleep per night, so if your child is not hitting these numbers, putting them to bed a bit earlier may make it easier for them to sit still.

Above all else, remember to be patient. Some children just take longer to adapt to the preschool environment than others. Your child will catch on in due time. Click here to read more.