Sitting still isn’t exactly easy and a natural choice for many children. Even just a few minutes can be a challenge. But in school, kindergarten or organised programs they are expected to do it for much longer periods of time. Fidgeting, squirming, getting up and walking around, are all pretty normal behaviours for children.
Not all children develop new skills at the same rate or time but there are typical ages when children are able to sit still for certain amounts of time:
- 3-4 year-olds: 5–10 minutes
- 5-6 year-olds: 15-20 minutes
- 7-9 year-olds: 20-25 minutes
- 10-year-olds: 40-45 minutes (Source – adapted)
So, what do we do to help children with challenges staying in one location for different periods of time?
Here are 8 ways to help children with challenges staying within specific areas for different periods of time:
- Provide clear feedback about good choices and poor choices. Describe what they should and should not be doing in the assigned area for the allotted period of time.
- Create very clear rules, review and reinforce them. For example, on task behaviour, stay seated, work quietly, hands up for questions.
- When applying consequences for incorrect behaviour maintain high levels of consistency. i.e., negative behaviour receives a negative consequence and positive behaviour receives commendation and reinforcement.
- Creat a schedule of organised activities in specific areas for children to particpate during set times. For example, before and after school, as well as lunch times.
- Ensure the child is actively engaged in activities through close supervision, clear accountabilities, appropriate choices and expectations.
- Use a timer to help the child monitor success and progress for the period of time allocated to the activity.
- Ensure supervision is dilligent and supportive, then gradually adjust as success and progress is achieved.
- If the child spends time away from the task and activities, make this up during recreation time, breaks or recess.
Senior Managing Partner and Education Expert Shanna Parry
Combining her passions for teaching, training and travel, Shanna Parry has since worked throughout the USA, Middle East, India and China serving as a director (Higher Education), headmaster (Secondary School) and consultant (K-12). Shanna brings a wealth of experience in a variety of critical areas.
In 2018 and 2019 Shanna was identified as top 30 in the Education category for Global Gurus among some of the worlds leading Education experts. Shanna continues to travel extensively to meet the demands for her consulting expertise in administrative and teacher development.
In her role as Senior Managing Partner of GSE she plays a key role in the day-to-day operations as well as pioneering creative models for international schools and providing groundbreaking training methods for directors, administrators, teachers, and students.
Global Services in Education set up and operate schools in all parts of the world. Governed by a philosophy of global citizenship, every member of the GSE team shares a passion to help shape international education and student achievement through inspiration and collaboration.
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