Being wiggly is a normal state of being for most children and though some are more wiggly and struggle more than others with sitting and maintaining focus, all children need to move. Here are some tips on how to help your child sit and focus for longer.
Get the wiggles out before you ask them to sit still. Have them run around outside or jump on the trampoline. If it's too cold out, turn on some music and dance! Teachers should never keep a wiggly student in from recess, that will only make things worse. Letting them run and play will actually help the child be able to sit still for longer when they are back in the classroom.
When it's time to sit still, use a timer so they know how long they have to sit and focus on a task. Start with an amount of time you know they can sit so they experience success. If your child is young, use a visual timer, like an old fashioned egg timer, so they can see how much time is left. Slowly increase the time as they get used to sitting and focusing.
Remember, studies show that adults can only learn and focus for about 15-20 minutes at a time, so don't expect your child to do more than that! To figure out an appropriate amount of time your child should be able to sit, take their age and add 2 minutes. Although some children may be able to sit and focus longer than that, many struggle to even sit that long.
Make sure to have more wiggle time scheduled for afterward. Remember that sitting and focusing is really hard for them. Be sure to praise them and acknowledge that they've made an effort and you appreciate it and are proud of them for trying. Let them know that after they sit for the allotted amount of time, they get to do something wiggly and fun.
You might want to even join them in their wiggle time. It's a great way for you to stay fit and healthy, not to mention quality fun time with your child!