Your child fidgets. Sure, you get it but too much fidgeting can be distracting for your child and those around him – and can even be harmful. We struggled for a long time when Zoe fidgeted in the car or the school van. She would unbuckle her seat belt, forcing us to pull off to the side of the road time after time. Fidgeting also pulls a child’s focus off what’s important and can contribute to the start of a tantrum, self-injurious behaviors like hand biting or whining.
It’s important to help children with sensory issues, autism and other problems that cause them to fidget sit still enough to focus on what is in front of them – a school lesson, a movie, a live performance. Each of my recommendations may work in a different place: what will work in the car won’t work at the movies, and what works at school may not work at homework time.
5 Ways to Help Your Child Sit Still
1. Use Weighted Objects:
From lap bags to beanbags, a child can feel more comfortable with a heavy object in their lap. These allow your child to focus on what is in front of them, as they are soothed by the weight in their lap. For a pretty penny, you can buy these items or you can create a homemade lap pad or weighted blanket yourself. These are ideal for classrooms, theaters, and homeschooling.
2. Give Her Frequent Breaks:
When your child needs to sit for a long time to learn something, I believe frequent breaks are necessary. Hopefully, you can work with your child’s teacher to make sure your she is getting up and moving around enough with a lap around the hall, a bathroom break or a few minutes outdoors. We work closely with our kids’ school team to ensure the girls have plenty of opportunities to stretch rather than sitting for too long. They set timers for 5-minute intervals. This approach works best in school or at home. In theaters and other sit down venues, if your child is too fidgety for a program or performance, you might want to consider an early exit.
3. Use Electronics & Music:
I highly recommend kid-safe music for your short travels, but longer trips – like driving on vacation or airline trips – require electronic tools like a tablet, a smartphone or a portable gaming machine. While I don’t advocate using these at home too often, they are perfect to protect against the discomfort of distance travel for a child who has a hard time sitting still.
4. Always Carry Extra Clothing:
Kids with sensory issues or who have trouble regulating their body temperature often fidget and get distracted by their clothing, especially if it gets wet or the weather changes. It’s a good idea to keep clothes that are either too tight, are made for working out or are developed specifically for kids with sensory problems on hand at all times. Now that it’s hot, my daughter can’t stand short sleeve shirts. She prefers long sleeves or tank top so we do our best to accommodate those needs with an extensive selection of shirts for her, both with characters she loves and completely unadorned. We always keep a small bag of these clothes on hand in our car, in our carry-ons, and in her schoolbag.
5. Bring a CHEWIGEMUSATM Item With You:
Each of these ideas are great in the right situation, but you may be wondering if there’s a solution that works anywhere. There is: CHEWIGEMUSA creates pendants, bangles, dog tags and other objects out of FDA-approved, food safe silicone and are free of lead, latex, BPA, PVC’s and phthalate. That means they are completely nontoxic for your child to chew – and you know how careful I am about avoiding toxins around my children!
We received the Raindrop Pendant CHEWIGEM in Icicle, which matched Zoe’s Elsa costumer perfectly. When it arrived, she immediately put it on and started chewing. She loved wearing it and playing with it as a pretty necklace – she’s such a girly girl! The only problem we had was that Amelia loved it too – and hid in her purse, lol! She chewed on it in a different way, which made me really like this product because each child used it in the way that suited her best. CHEWIGEMUSA carries sensory chew items that accommodate various chewing styles and are suitable for all ages. We chose the Raindrop, which is better suited for the “nibbler.” It retails at $19.95 and comes in an array of colors. CHEWIGEMUSA is the perfect solution for home, school, car, travel, theaters or wherever you are taking your child. One tip, though? You might want to pick up one or more CHEWIGEMS for each of your kids!
Here are some great Chewigem products, available from my Amazon Affiliate links: