Should I worry if my preschooler can't sit still?

Should I worry if my preschooler can't sit still?

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Relax, few preschoolers can sit still for any length of time. They simply need to move. It's unreasonable, then, to expect your preschooler to sit through a feature-length movie, an elaborate meal, or an entire sermon. At this age you can count on about four minutes of sustained, high-quality attention, such as playing with a toy on his own or looking through a book by himself before he wants to take a brief break or do something else. By adult standards a preschooler's endless energy can look like overactivity, but chances are he's just a typical 3- or 4-year-old. So find safe, age-appropriate ways to let him be active. Get him outside so he can run, jump, climb, and ride. If you're housebound, try dancing, kneading dough, pounding toys, or jumping jacks. If he's so wired that what he really needs is a calming activity, try reading, water play, or some other soothing solution. And don't worry, this excess energy tends to subside (more or less) by the time a child turns 5.

If you're concerned that your preschooler's energy contributes to impulsive behavior that's unsafe, then help him develop some self-control. Reasonable limits are probably your best bet. And offer discipline in positive rather than negative ways: "You can run in the park, but you can't run into the street." If your child switches from one activity to the next, find a quiet space at home and encourage him to play with a favorite toy, whether it's a train or a tea set. A movement-minded preschooler won't want to stay put for a subject he finds boring. Encourage him to sit still for gradually increasing lengths of time to play with dough, draw a picture, or do whatever task seems to hold his interest. And keep TV watching to a minimum; this activity, while sometimes calming, does little to encourage active attention.

A small percentage of children who are truly hyperactive may show early signs of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder. ADHD is more common in boys than girls, and about half the children diagnosed with the disorder have behavior problems related to overactivity, impulsiveness, or noncompliance. A child who has ADHD exhibits an age-inappropriate level of inattention, impulsiveness, and activity in more than one setting (not just at home or preschool). So, you'll want to consult with his preschool teacher to see if the teacher shares your observations about your child's behavior. Remember, though, your average preschooler is distractible and busy, and has limited self-control. While some preschoolers can be rash, children with ADHD are impulsive to an extreme degree — frequently striking out at another child without any provocation, touching a hot stove after being repeatedly warned of the danger, or darting into the street. The exact causes of ADHD are unknown, but bad parenting isn't one of them. If, after trying the strategies above, you still have concerns about your child's activity level, or if you're having difficulties dealing with his energy, talk with your pediatrician.

Watch the video: How to get your child to sit still: 4 EASY STEPS to Focus and Learn. (September 2022).


  1. Halley

    What great interlocutors :)

  2. Durr

    the sure-fire answer

  3. Kaherdin

    You were visited with simply magnificent idea

  4. Row

    Granted, this is a great idea

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