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  • Writer's pictureRaelene Ostberg, M.Ed.

Just STOP MOVING! Working with Highly Active Temperaments

Updated: Jan 30

Do you care for a child who just wont stop moving?! Do you find yourself saying "Sit still. Just stop. Why won't you just STOP MOVING!? STOOOOOOOOP!!! SIIIIIIIIIIIT!!!" I remember experiencing SO MUCH frustration when my daughter would JUST NOT SIT! I also remember the one million laments from my own mother, "Why won't you just stop!?" (She still says it today.) Well, some people are just "born that way." But, what you do will make a HUGE difference. You can't change a child's unique temperament. But, studies show you can WORK WITH a child's temperament, provide a good FIT, and help promote the skills needed to for every child to succeed.

To learn more:

*Read the quick-tip list below

*Watch the video of Naptime Nuggets #25

*Check out the valuable links below

You will want to hear the stories and get the insight in the video! But, if you are short on time, here is the quick list!

1) Send positive messages to the child about how they are wired.

  • "You like to move to feel good"

  • "You are ENERGETIC! I LOVE that!" (Avoid negative labels such as "wild")

  • LABEL THE CHILD! Yes! (Positive labels). Say things like "You are such a SUUUUUUUPER SITTER! You get better at it EVERY DAY!"

2) Help child get enough movement! When an active child has gotten ample activity (matching the level they need), they can sleep!

  • Create obstacle courses

  • Incorporate movement in your story-time

  • Include music/movement times throughout the day

  • Have child move before they are expected to sit.

3) Teach the child to calm. Help the child learn to notch down before expected to sit or sleep.

4) Give the child a choice. Offer the child a fidget toy, ask if they need to wiggle their toes, provide a pillow or ball to sit on, if needed. Many children need to move to be able to focus on they learning at hand. When given a choice, over time the children who need it will be the children who use it.

5) Praise the child and give positive attention when they are sitting! Look for signs if the child is getting antsy, before they need to stand or move particularly at circle, book time, or the dinner table.

6) Celebrate your mover! This world NEEDS its movers and shakers. When you celebrate the child's unique temperament, you will be building bonds that last a lifetime, and positively impact a child's self-esteem and skills in the meantime!

Valuable links:

*Zero to Three Video and Articles

Understanding your child's temperament can help you better understand why he acts the way he does.

LOVE! The reality is, sometimes when kids are sitting still, they are distracted and NOT paying attention as well. Many children (especially those with highly active temperaments), need to MOVE to focus better!

A student in the college course I am teaching shared this great resource for helping "Kinesthetic Learners" - make lessons physical! Here are many ideas!

For more information on upcoming webinars and on-demand courses, check out

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