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A toddler that won't sit still

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I have a 21 month old that is either home with us or with his part-time nanny. Therefore he's not often in a organized group of kids where he has to sit still for story time or songs. He's very friendly with other kids . . . great at the playground or on play dates. But we signed him up for a class here that's just 45 mins per week, all kids his age group, where they sing songs with a teacher My kid will NOT sit still! He wants to wander, run in circles, etc.

What do you do to get a toddler to pay attention and sit still? We've had to leave the class a few times when he's gotten disruptive (never mean or screaming, but just all over the place and distracting).

Thanks
post #2 of 21
Uh, I'd take him out of that class and put him in a class where he can move (like Little Gym, gymnastics, swimming.)

I have three year old who I've only seen sit still like three times in his life, two times he was REALLY sick (once with croup the other with rotovirus) and the third time he was majorly sleep deprived from a vacation and strapped in to his carseat. A class with just sitting and singing would drive him crazy!

If you don't want to take him out of the class, ask the teacher if it's okay! She's has (more than likely) had other children who had a hard time sitting in one spot!
post #3 of 21
I still can't get my 24 month old to sit still for more than a minute. Seems perfectly normal to me.
post #4 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZoeyZoo View Post
I still can't get my 24 month old to sit still for more than a minute. Seems perfectly normal to me.
post #5 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by manleywoman View Post
I have a 21 month old that is either home with us or with his part-time nanny. Therefore he's not often in a organized group of kids where he has to sit still for story time or songs. He's very friendly with other kids . . . great at the playground or on play dates. But we signed him up for a class here that's just 45 mins per week, all kids his age group, where they sing songs with a teacher My kid will NOT sit still! He wants to wander, run in circles, etc.

What do you do to get a toddler to pay attention and sit still? We've had to leave the class a few times when he's gotten disruptive (never mean or screaming, but just all over the place and distracting).

Thanks
OMG- I seriously wondered if I had unknowingly typed this question somehow. This is my DS exactly! We are even in the same situation where DS does great with other kids, is gentle, can follow directions ect. but we are also in a music class where he runs wild- it's like speed for him. While the other kids sit and actually participate (mostly), he is into everything- I think we aren't going to go anymore because sometimes the other kids actually start to follow him, thinking that what he is doing is more exciting than what the teacher is doing and I am realizing that he probably doesn't even like the class. I am kinda surprised how many kids his age actually do sit there, maybe those are kids whose parents know they can handle it and we're the parents who should get our LO's together for a play date at the playground
post #6 of 21
I wouldn't even try to bring ds to something that involved that much sitting still. He only sits to eat meals & at that we spend the whole meal redirecting him to get him to sit again.
post #7 of 21
I'm cracking up. My first thought when I read the title was, um, you mean there is such a thing as a toddler that DOES sit still??

It's totally normal to not sit still. At story hours about 1/2 the kids are running all over the library. The older babies run everywhere at LLL meetings. I wouldn't worry about it, if it seems like the entire group is expected to sit still you might want to consider finding a more child-friendly song group, I don't really see kids sitting still for 45 minutes straight!!

But small snacks, being well-rested, stopping at the playground beforehand, and holding him on your lap to point things out & encourage participation might help some.
post #8 of 21
When I was a toddler teacher I never asked my tods to sit still. We would gather on the carpet were I would lead a 10-15 min story, songs, finger play stuff and some of my tods would sit and listen and some would wonder and listen and some just were not interested. This is how toddler groups should be run, there should be no expectation to sit still for even 10 mins let alone 30 mins!

DS and I went to our library ready to read program in the winter and it was 30 mins long for about 6 weeks. The teacher wanted DS to sit for it, it was really hard for him, we didn't sign up again. We also went to a singing circle were the tods were not expected to sit still it was in a tod safe large room and half the time DS was running around with the leaders 3 year old or standing in the centre of the circle dancing
post #9 of 21
Mine doesn't sit still for longer than about 5-10 mintues at a time, and that is usually during meals, or right before bed while we are reading books. Like a PP said, are there toddlers out there that DO sit still???

I would take him out of the class, it is not developmentally appropriate to expect him to sit still for 45 minutes for a structured class.
post #10 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by crunchy_mommy View Post
I'm cracking up. My first thought when I read the title was, um, you mean there is such a thing as a toddler that DOES sit still??
I had the same sort of thought too. "Toddlers sit still?".

I agree with taking him out of the class. DS loves music a whole lot, but there is no way he would sit still for 45 minutes to sing along with a teacher when he can be up and running around singing his own songs.
post #11 of 21
Are they really expected to sit still? Most classes and story times I've been to expect kids that age to be all over the place.

Anyone who runs a 45 minute class with 2 year olds and expects them to sit still obviously knows very little about children and child development. I would take them out.
post #12 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks all. I was wondering what I was doing wrong! I kid you not that ALL the other kids in the class either sit still, or if they do wander the room, don't seem to disrupt the other kids. My kid is just really active and loves to run run run (was call him Spinal Tap: his dial is always on 11!). So he runs in circles around the others.

There is only one class left, so we'll go, but I think we'll hold off on signing him up for the next session. It's just that it's a bilingual singing/music class and his only opportunity to hear the other language. And I love the teacher, and the songs are great.
post #13 of 21
My 18 month old DD has a really hard time sitting still for more than 1-2 minutes at a time. She spots something interesting across the room and it's like, GO!!!!!!!

I agree with the poster that suggested a snack right before hand. That helps DD a little bit. Also, maybe observe your little guy and figure out if there is a time of day where his energy naturally is a little lower - maybe there's another option for a little class then? For DD, her energy is a bit lower about 10-11 am. She's not ready for a nap yet, but is tired from playing all morning. We've had success with a 20 minute library storytime around that time of day, she is still up and down but isn't at 100 mph.
post #14 of 21
I agree with the others that it is perfectly normal for a toddler to not want to sit still. I have the exact situation as you. My child has a nanny and isn't often around other kids and runs wild in her music class. I talked to her teacher about it, and she said it is perfectly fine for her to do her on thing as long as she is not running or endangering herself or another child. She calls her a kinetic learner. Even though my child does not sit in my lap and participate like the other kids, she knows all the songs and sings them on pitch. She is learning something in this class in her own way. As long as the teacher is not bothered by the behavior, I wouldn't worry about it. I do realize that this is easier said than done. It took many conversations with DD's teacher and hearing her sing the songs to get it through my own head.
post #15 of 21
Agreeing with others, my almost 24 month old won't sit still for more than a few minutes.
post #16 of 21
mine often sits still for stuff like that, but only because we keep going back. some weeks he doesn't some weeks he does. The rule at the music class we go to is, "adults must sing/particpate/follow the directions, kids do whatever they need to!" its really nice that way, because it means all the adults are modeling what the kids should be doing, and not talking to each other the whole time, and the kids are often doing the stuff, but often not and that's okay.
post #17 of 21
My first child could NOT sit still for stuff like that. We were in a playgroup with a lot of much more mellower children, and we had to back off of some activities (limiting ourselves to park playdates, basically) for a while because of it. I was getting dirty looks because of my wild child.

I did keep trying, though, cause I thought it was important. I didn't want to pay to keep trying. So, we went to library story time weekly for a while. Somewhere around 3, 3.5, something clicked for him, and he can now sit for about 30 minutes (with lots of up and down, lots of interaction sort of thing).

My now 23 month old can sit through CHURCH!! Seriously--an entire hour long sermon, and it is fine. And, he's been able to do this for 4-5 months.

It's amazing how different different personalities can be.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by BetsyS View Post
My now 23 month old can sit through CHURCH!! Seriously--an entire hour long sermon, and it is fine. And, he's been able to do this for 4-5 months.
WOW! Church is one of the roughest points of the week for us! He hates sitting still, hates the quiet, and sadly uninterested in church music.
post #19 of 21

Your toddler is normal. Do not look at the "polite" 2-year olds and assume that's a great goal.

 

Active, curious, "wild", this is how toddlers learn (kinetic learning is the term) and should be appreciated and accepted, not seen as problem behaviour. So don't feel self-conscious if your child is actually learning instead of sitting still.

 

I know it's hard, my oldest was a very kinetic kid and I often felt embarrassed that he was "out of control". Looking back though, he was never aggressive or anything, he was just racing around and happy and excited. I had to take a deep breath and embrace it (/ignore the stares sometimes!). This was hard (?), but it made the whole experience a good, shared experience for us which is what it should be.

 

We are just over-focused on conformity at a too-early age when we need to just let them explore and be.

post #20 of 21

Thank you for posting this question (2 years ago! haha)...  I was going to ask something similar.  I also feel I am getting "dirty" looks from other parents at story time etc.  Like my child is out of control or I'm a lazy parent...  My son is 16 months and is on the go go go all day.  My husband was like this as a toddler and so were both of my son's grandpas.... they're all engineers now and still like to keep busy.  going to story time is not fun when you're chasing your kid around--i seriously work up a sweat and just feel uncomfortable with all the looks... i think we will stick to the mall play area, open gym and parks!  ROTFLMAO.gif

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