Gransnet forums


children sitting still (or not)

(47 Posts)
Bordersgirl57 Tue 13-Aug-19 22:11:38

GC are back to school tomorrow (Scotland) and I have been involved in quite a lot of extra childcare over the summer which has mostly been lovely.

Over the last week week we have taken the two different families of children (one family of 3 and one of 2) to quite a few children's show at the Fringe Festival in Edinburgh. My observation is that particularly the under 6's are completely incapable of sitting still! They've always been fidgety at the table but this was just exhausting to watch!

Whether it was having lunch, sitting in the car, watching a show - they just could not sit still. Funnily enough the one that exhibited the most inability to sit still complained that she was tired every time we had to walk a short way.

I think it's just a different generation as I don't remember my boys having too much of a problem sitting still. The funny thing is that all the children go to church so they must have to sit still there.

Anyway, it's been exhausting but lovely but I can't pretend I'm not a wee bit glad it's back to school tomorrow. I take my hat off to those of you who do all the holidays - respect!

MissAdventure Fri 16-Aug-19 20:48:40

Me too.
Apart from if I was reading; then I sniffed constantly.

M0nica Fri 16-Aug-19 20:12:35

I was incapable of sitting still as a child, but I would stay in my seat because I knew I would be in trouble if I left it without permission. But I would wriggle and jiggle while sitting on said chair.

Hetty58 Thu 15-Aug-19 21:49:13

crazyH, no, just a retired technician with a keen sense of humour. He really tried to answer the endless questions (rather than ignoring them).

I've carefully avoided all the major mistakes my parents made - and probably just made different ones of my own. I was so laid back as a parent that they weren't exactly sure that I cared!

crazyH Thu 15-Aug-19 21:36:38

Hetty. clever little brother - is he a Barrister now ?

oodles Thu 15-Aug-19 08:35:00

Our vicar says God out the Wiggles in children they are very welcome,, a other said no problems with them moving around, just take their noisy shoes off.

Hetty58 Thu 15-Aug-19 01:48:24

I remember my mother asking my little brother why he couldn't sit still. His reply 'The chair is flat and my bottom is round!'

Hetty58 Thu 15-Aug-19 01:46:54

Some very bad memories still persist of being made to sit still at school and at the dinner table. It's unnatural for children to remain still (unless asleep).

Education has moved on to being a little more child-friendly now. I never expected my four to sit at the table any longer than they wanted to.

As adults, they don't have the uneasy 'trapped' feelings or claustrophobia that I do.

crazyH Thu 15-Aug-19 00:37:36

Went with whole family to London last weekend. Included were 2 boisterous 4 year olds, a crying almost 2year old and an 8 month old baby. It was nice to have all the family together but it was beyond stressful. They were running around on the train,restaurants. Etc. I certainly don't remember mine ever being as hyper as them.

4allweknow Thu 15-Aug-19 00:00:22

It's a modern thing. Children aren't encouraged/expected to sit still in our society. Anyone asking a child to sit still will almost be seen as committing physical abuse. For goodness sake you will be stifling their creativity and need to be able to express themself. Whatever you do, don't expect them to behave, have manners and respect others, it's too much trouble for parents to bother with. Have a look round a supermarket, they aren't even expected to walk in there.

GagaJo Wed 14-Aug-19 23:20:44

I think it depends on the child. My daughter would sit happily at 18 months drawing / painting. My grandson brings a book to be read to him, and is off again after a page.

In school, my 14 year old students have to be told, firmly, several times NOT to walk around the classroom until they grasp that I'll punish them if they continue to do so. And yet, they're strangely unable to put their hands up, to get the very vital thing they needed to get out of their chair to get!

seadragon Wed 14-Aug-19 22:51:46

My grandma used to say I had 'ants in my pants' as I could never 'bide at peace'.....

Magrithea Wed 14-Aug-19 18:33:33

Our 5 year old (almost) DGS cannot sit still!! We've taken him and his sister to panto the last two years and took them to see 'Toy Story 4' last week and he wriggled and fidgeted all through it all! He sits still in the car but otherwise is very active. It's an age thing I think grin

trendygran Wed 14-Aug-19 18:26:53

My 5 year old granddaughter also finds it very hard to sit still for long.Just wondering how she will manage on an 8 hour flight to Canada this weekend! Thankfully,much as I would love to visit Canada again after 15 years, that will be the problem for my DD and SIL.!

Saggi Wed 14-Aug-19 18:09:15

My grandson 12 is more than capable of sitting still as long as he has a book ( yes a book not tech) in his hands.My 7 year old granddaughter in the other hand has what we’ve always called ‘a rootle bum’.... she is so full of energy she seems incapable. They do seem to grow out of fidgeting...eventually!

sarahanew Wed 14-Aug-19 17:11:43

My GC fail to sit still through a whole meal. When asked say they've finished, go off and find something else to do, then come back hungry when it's cleared away and end up snacking. When I was little and with my own children, you sat at the table untul everyone had finished. You rarely snacked as you'd eat a good meal

granny4hugs Wed 14-Aug-19 17:09:44

Funny - I think the problem with most children is that they sit still far too much. The issue is concentration which is a different thing all together.
Shows and lunches for the under 6s? Nah. Parks. Woods. Seaside. THen when they are good and worn out - lots of books and not much TV.

quizqueen Wed 14-Aug-19 16:31:30

I find that rewarding those who make the effort to sit still and behave with ice creams or the like, while the ones who ran off just have to watch them enjoy it, usually works wonders the next time I take the grandchildren out! It's called discipline. Rewards work much better than all those empty threats I often hear parents etc. use, I find!

gillyknits Wed 14-Aug-19 15:59:19

That really rang a bell in this house Bordersgirl! I’m looking after my two grandchildren this week. (Nine year old girl and six yer old boy.) I’ve found that the attention span of a six year old is, at most twenty minutes, whereas a girl of the same age is much longer. There is a big exception to that and that’s when the boy is playing any game on a tablet. He could sit for hours and even forgets to go for a wee. (Not that he is allowed to in this house!)

annep1 Wed 14-Aug-19 14:52:41

Thanks for the info Woodmouse.
And no it wouldn't Sue Donim. But there are times when I think its ok to expect children to sit still.

M0nica Wed 14-Aug-19 14:48:55

I was a very figgetty child, I was castigated on all sides as 'Fidgetty Phil, who can't sit still'. According to my family, nothing has changed. I still am fidgetty and cannot sit still.

MissAdventure Wed 14-Aug-19 14:44:20

Its all about the time and place though, isn't it?

SueDonim Wed 14-Aug-19 13:41:48

Would it be better if all these active, fidgeting children were instead sitting down looking at screens?

It seems to me parents today can't do right for doing wrong. If their children are active they should made to sit down. If their children are sitting down they should be made to be active. confused

WOODMOUSE49 Wed 14-Aug-19 13:13:22

As an ex primary teacher, until recently, sitting still is not the norm. It would never be insisted on. Perhaps the stillest times would be listening to story being read. If it's one they are engrossed with!


Two hours a week is recommended for PE in primary schools but many I know do a session (5 mins) to get up and move. I used to have time out sessions with a different activity each time e.g, get up and shake as many hands as you can / chant the rhyme of the day.

grandtanteJE65 Wed 14-Aug-19 13:06:46

I too think it is a matter of upbringing, we were taught to sit still before we started school at the age of five. Today's children are not.

Some don't even sit still in church, but run around disturbing everyone, but none of us dare complain as someone would be bound to fling the text, "Suffer the little children to come unto Me." at us it we do.

SueDonim Wed 14-Aug-19 13:00:03

It's just what children do, I think, move around. They're busy people! One of my GS's never sits down except to eat. He's been fidgety since the day he was born. We first saw him at about 24hrs old and even then he was wriggly and waving all his limbs about and was so very strong. Nothing has changed except he's bigger now.

My youngest grandchild almost rolled off an examination table after she was born, she was so active. The midwife was quite shocked!

It's what's known in this house as Ballbearing Bum syndrome. grin