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My child won't sit still at circle time. What should I do?

My child won't sit still at circle time. What should I do?


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You may not have to do anything. Lots of parents ask about this. But it's not necessarily the best thing to require preschoolers, kindergartners, and first graders to sit still at specific times. Many preschoolers in particular just can't do it. You might want to talk to the teacher about your child's being particularly active and explore ways she might deal with his restlessness during quiet periods. If the teacher punishes or disapproves of children who are too active, then you will want to intervene and advocate for your child. But try not to approach the teacher as an adversary. Start by mentioning the things you think she does well, and tell her how much you appreciate the work she does. Then bring up the issue of sitting still.

Children vary tremendously in the amount of activity they seek, and if you have a child who needs to be going all the time, then you have a special job at home in helping your child be ready for school. Play with your child, every day if possible, in an active, physical way that includes lots of laughter. Try roughhousing, romping, wrestling, or just rolling around together. You may worry that this will wind up an already energetic child, but it's really a release. Children need this kind of contact, and active children need to interact with an adult who is just as active and playful and creative as they are to help expend that energy. If they don't, these children get more and more antsy, restless, and scared.

Physical play fills up a child's reassurance tank, that place deep inside that makes him feel safe and loved. It's a large tank that needs to be refilled often. So roughhousing, horsie rides, chase games, hide and seek — any game in which the child is the guaranteed winner — all help a child feel as if the world is a safe and wonderful place. It seems paradoxical because you're hoping your child will relax and be quiet in school, and what helps that happen is playing hard, in a way that gives your child freedom to experiment — to leap off the couch, jump on the bed, run around the house, make noise. The harder and more physically you can play at home, the more relaxed and less antsy your child will be in school. Teachers have to look after so many students, they can't provide all the reassurance and physical contact that children need. This is your job as a parent, and it's great fun to be close in that playful way.


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Comments:

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