Main Reason Why Kids Can’t Sit Still During the Lesson


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:

  • There is a suggestion that a move and sit cushion might help children to learn not to fidget during the lesson. This cushion represents a disc made from rubber that should be placed on the chair where a child usually sits. The rubber cushion allows a kid to move while sitting. This reduces the need to stand up or move from the seat.
  • It is also advisable to engage a child in various work activities before sitting. This might include erasing the information from the blackboard, moving one’s desk or chair as well as carrying some books to the library. Such activities require much input of the kid’s joints and muscles. And this is what helps them to calm down a bit. It is also beneficial for the nervous system of a child.
  • Another strategy to tackle the problem of fidgeting during the class is to provide the kid with an opportunity to have a break in order to make some movements. This will give children a chance to exert some energy and move around a bit. By allowing a child to have a few frequent breaks during the lesson or while doing homework, they will not fidget and will be able to sit in one place for longer periods of time up until the next brief break.
  • Allow a child to chew a bubble gum or have some candy. This is one of the oral sensory methods to make a child sit still during the lesson. If a child puts something into his/her mouth, it will allow a kid to concentrate more on what he/she is chewing rather than moving around the place. This is also a substitute for the need to move physically. It will help the child to focus on the tasks to be accomplished rather than think of getting outside to play.
  • It is also possible to use a fidget toy. This strategy allows a child to play with a small toy using their hands. It can be a stress ball or some other object that will not divert a child from the learning process. It should be mentioned that such toys are a privilege and must be taken away if such an object disrupts the educational experience of a child.

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.  

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