Sitting still doesn’t exactly come naturally to children. They can learn a lot by moving around, and we encourage boys especially to be as active as they can. But everyone needs to learn to sit and be quiet eventually so that they can survive school and the world of work. And sometimes, you just need the kids to sit and be quiet for a bit so you can get things done. If you want them to sit and engage with something, you need to give them an incentive. They won’t want to sit still if they’re bored, but they might if you give them a good reason to.
Engage Them in Storytime
Listening to a story or reading a book on their own is something a lot of kids are already used to. Storytime is often reserved for before bed, perfect for helping little ones to drift off to sleep. But reading books doesn’t have to wait until the evening, and it’s good for kids of all ages to both listen to and read stories. You can also make storytime more engaging by using fun voices or making sure you choose a book with plenty of pictures. Interactive toys like Leapfrog’s book devices are fun too. If you’re busy doing something else, an audiobook is a great option.
Get Them Interested in Arts and Crafts
Everyone loves something they can do that gives them something to keep at the end. Making things helps kids to get creative and gives them a sense of pride in what they create. There are all kinds of fun things you can do that could keep the kids engaged for hours. Keep a box of arts and crafts materials so you can get them out whenever you want. Just make sure you watch them when they’re using some tools. If you buy something from Glue Guns Direct, you need to handle the hot glue gun. But kids can do many things on their own, and all you need to worry about is the mess.
Don’t Completely Dismiss Screen Time
Most parents don’t want their kids staring at screens all the time. You don’t want to strain their eyes or for them to rely on TV or video games for entertainment all the time. But sometimes it seems like there’s nothing that gets them to sit still as well as the TV or playing on a tablet does. Even though you don’t want them to stare at screens all the time, they do have some benefit. You can especially get value from educational videos and games, or interactive things. Then they won’t just be sitting there passively consuming something.
If you’re not a fan of computer games, there are other games that are just as fun. Getting kids involved in playing a game is good not just for learning to sit still but also dealing with winning and losing. Being a gracious loser, as well as a humble winner, is important to learn as part of their social skills. There are lots of great games to play that are fun and can teach various skills too. They can help with memory, strategy, counting, language skills, and lots more.
Sit Still at Mealtimes
Meals are the times when you probably most want your kids to sit still for a while. You don’t want them standing on their chairs or wandering around when everyone is trying to eat. And that goes double for when you’re eating out, and you have to be aware of other diners. Encouraging kids to sit and eat doesn’t have to mean giving them a game to play with at the table. You can engage them in their food and in conversation. Some parents like to use games, but it’s better if they’re conversation-based and don’t involve having to handle anything distracting.
Rewards for Sitting Still
If sitting still is a struggle for your kids, even with an activity to engage them, it might help to offer rewards. This can especially help if you need them to sit still in public for a while. You might even set up a competition to see who can sit still for the longest time. Rewards for sitting still could include some time running around or maybe a treat. You don’t necessarily have to give them something every time they sit still for a while. They could get a sticker, and when they have a certain amount, they can get a bigger reward.
Don’t expect too much from your kids when it comes to sitting still. Remember that they’re still children, and it’s not always easy for them.