Sitting Still is Highly Over-rated

DOne of mine was all over the room when I would read,turning somesaults, making faces at the baby, dangling upside in her chair and making cat’s cradles with her hair.

Yet when I asked her a question, she always was able to answer it. She appeared to be paying no attention at all, yet was actually listening and hearing every word.

Her older sister would sit up straight and still and stare intently at me the entire time I read, seemingly hanging on every word, yet sometimes was unable to tell me a single thing about the reading.

Instead of trying to get my wiggler to sit still so she could pay attention, since she obviously could pay attention without ever looking at me, I addressed it as a courtesy issue. I explained that all that wriggling, climbing, flipping, and fiddling is destracting to the speaker. My little tumbler might have been able to pay attention and follow the narrative without ever sitting still, but the speaker (in this instance, me) might not be able to do that.

She gets it from the Headmaster. He paces when he preaches, he paces when he talks on the phone, he wiggles, jiggles, and bounces on his toes while others talk to him, he wrestles with the children while I talk to him, and he used to let the baby climb all over his head while we played cards wtih another couple. He’s a confirmed fidgeter, and he has performed perfectly well in both of his Air Force careers, one as an aircraft mechanic and the other in ‘sales’ (recruiting). He now does quite well at his new job in management.

I have an older relative by marriage who tells the story of how she struggled with her first child to get him to sit still during church. She had to take him out, as usual, and said something about her frustration at not getting him to sit still to an older woman. That lady said, “Well, honey, why should he be able to sit still when
his mother can’t do it?”

If this describes your child, try to harness that energy rather than squelch it. One method seems to me to be working _with_ nature, the other against it. We get out puzzles, crayons, leggoes, and handwork or laundry to fold when I’m reading aloud. And at our house, there’s always laundry to fold!

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