Why is my child restless, how do I manage my restlessness?

What causes restlessness

There is a certain system (sense) located in our muscles and joints which provides us with an ability to know where our body is in space. This is called proprioception. It also tells us how much force and pressure needs to be used to do various activities. In some of us little people the brain doesn’t talk to the joints and tell the joints how much force needs to be used, where is the body located in space and so on. In some of us this sense does not work very well. In such cases we tend to move a lot, we don’t like sitting in one place, we may choose to bump and crash to play, we may bite on pencil tips and chew on our shirt collars.

When input is provided through this  special system  it helps some of us to stay calm and focus on our work. Many students in the classroom seek this input in order to calm themselves down and to manage their emotions and behavioural responses to sensory stimulation.

Why is it important to manage restlessness?

Physical restlessness can affect your ability to `pay attention to tasks within the school setting and at home.

Here are some tips that you can use to manage restlessness:

  1. Sit on a therapy ball for certain lessons and use the same at home while doing any homework and tabletop activity. The ball provides so much movement and this will allow you to focus better on your work.
  1. Ask your parent or caregiver to rest their hands on your shoulders to provide deep touch pressure, for ten counts, then release.
  1. Limit the time that you sit still and ask your teacher and parents for movement breaks. During these movement breaks you can do tasks such as take the attendance register to the teachers desk, go for a run in your playground, carry your laundry basket to the washing machine and help your mother. Other ideas are to do as many jumping jacks as you can, hop on one foot as many times as you can and then swap foot.
  1. Rest your hands horizontally on the wall, and do some wall push ups.
  1. Change your position while working at home, you can lie down on your belly while doing homework, craft work projects, you could also stand at the blackboard and use a vertical surface to write upon.
  1. Help your parents “heavy work” activities like carrying small bags of groceries, carrying the laundry basket, pulling bags of leaves in the garden, taking out garbage cans and pulling weeds.
  1. Young children find it hard to stick with structured tasks. A good idea would be to keep activities short at first. Change the activity every twenty minutes to keep them absorbed and engaged in the activity.
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