All kids seem to be on the move all the time and can’t sit still in the classroom or while doing homework. This is a rather common and widespread concern that most parents are faced with. Parents are worried that such a tendency can negatively affect the ability of children to pay attention to what their teachers are telling them during the lesson. It might also prevent them from playing quiet and appropriate games with other kids and do homework without stirring. Many parents also indicate that the over-activity of their kids greatly interferes during the mealtime. The basic reason why children can’t sit still and are unable to keep their hands in place is because they have low muscle tone and problems with sensory processing. Muscle tone means the quantity of stretch muscles a person has at rest. It cannot be altered, but the good thing is that parents can use certain strategies that might help to enhance children’s ability to sit calmly without moving all the time. Children who have a low muscle tone tend to move around a lot rather than sit quietly. When children are moving, they usually use more muscles so that they do not have to contract them for a long time. At the same time, when they sit still, they are required to contract the muscles for prolonged periods of time. However, they might not have the persistence to do so and instead are trying to move more. This is the basic reason why children cannot sit still both in the classroom and at home.
Let us discuss the over-activity of children in greater detail. It needs to be noted that most of modern children suffer from Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder widely known as ADHD. The prevalence of this disorder among children has risen dramatically in the recent years. The reasons for this are numerous including the awareness of medical workers about the condition, improvement of medical treatment and diagnostics and some others. Over the previous decade, more and more kids have been diagnosed with ADHD due to the changes in their ability to pay attention to the things their teachers are saying during the class. In elementary school, most students have difficulties paying attention to what is being discussed in the classroom. Children nowadays are expected to sit still for excessively long periods of time due to the fact that the quantity of information to be remembered has changed. Elementary school children have to train their memory and attention in the class, and this is hard to accomplish because children have a need to move a lot. Most children are hyper-active and cannot sit still because of an urge to move around the place. This negatively affects the efficiency of the learning process.
In the past, children used to spend time spinning in circles and climbing trees for the purpose of having fun. Nowadays, even such means of entertainment as merry-go-round is not available to little kids because they have to spend most of their time learning new material provided to them at school. This is explained by the increased academic demands. Because of the new requirements of education, children can now play outdoors not as often as in previous years. Their parents fear that their children will not cope with the educational tasks and are trying to make their kids sit still whenever possible. As a result, children have no opportunity to move enough and spend time in nature, which is an essential part of one’s childhood.
Here are a few strategies that are aimed at making children sit still during the class in order to guarantee the efficiency of the learning process:
To conclude, it is quite normal for a child to have a need to move a lot and not sit in one place for long periods of time. The major reason for children’s inability to sit still is not only ADHD discussed above, but also their inherent need to train muscles, which ensures proper development. However, children should be forced to sit still during the class; otherwise, the process of learning will be disrupted. A few effective strategies listed above can be used to force children not to fidget in the classroom.