to think that expecting a 1-year old to sit still

(46 Posts)
NapaCab Tue 11-Dec-12 20:03:21

and listen to stories for half an hour is expecting a lot? My DS is 14 months and I take him to a playgroup one morning a week. There is free play for an hour and then they have 'storytime' where they are all expected to sit still on hard chairs, not even on the ground, and listen to stories and songs for half an hour. My DS never sits still and won't sit on my lap either. He just wanders off to look at toys and will occasionally wander up to the playgroup teacher, stand at her knee and listen to one story but then wanders off again. Sometimes he pulls the pictures off the felt pinboard she has or picks up her puppets that she uses to tell the stories. I do tell him to sit down and listen but it doesn't seem to have any effect.

Is he a terribly behaved child with ADHD or something hmm or is this totally normal for a 14 month old? The age group of the class is 13 months - 24 months so he is young but there are a couple of other kids his age in the class and they sit quietly (one of them is held in place in the chair by his grim-faced mother but never mind...).

I don't know much about child development but I thought it was completely normal for a 14 month old to be active and curious and loud, not sitting quietly in a chair for half an hour? The playgroup is starting to make me feel bad about my son so I'm starting to think I shouldn't take him anymore hmm...!

If you are not comfortable there, and they are starting to make you fell bad about your DS then I wwould swap to a friendlier one.

As for a 1 year old sitting still for half an hour? Hahahahahahahahaha

PoppyWearer Tue 11-Dec-12 20:08:07

Normal. My 15mo can't sit still to save his life most of the time.

I have seen his whole nursery class sitting still in a circle for music time once but apparently that was a miracle and never normally happens.

tryingtoleave Tue 11-Dec-12 20:08:41

Neither of my dcs ( not my difficult ds nor my good dd) would have sat still at that age. They have both been very good at preschool since 2-3

Scholes34 Tue 11-Dec-12 20:10:29

If he won't sit still and listen, you shouldn't let him wander around and disturb others that are managing to sit still and listen. Some gentle encouragement might help. If not, I choose to leave at that stage of proceedings. Week on week, he might manage to sit still for a little longer each time.

catgirl1976geesealaying Tue 11-Dec-12 20:11:01

My DS is one

He might........if he was tired, sit on my knee for half an hour for a story or zoning out to baby tv but there is no way he would sit still for half an hour on a hard chair in the company of other interesting looking babies

Do the other 1 year olds do this? If so I am shock and possibly a bad mummy sad

Wheresmypopcorn Tue 11-Dec-12 20:11:11

Totally normal, my 18 month old does not want to sit and listen, she rather plays. The playgroup I go to allows quiet play on the mat for kids who can't sit still. Actually, my friend's baby who is slightly younger than mine doesn't want to sit either - she likes to walk around. The playgroup should really be used to this, maybe you could pipe up in a loud voice that most playgroups have alternative space to meet the required needs of all the infants. smile

DIYapprentice Tue 11-Dec-12 20:11:34

The only music time a child that age stays put for is one of those that has all the movements and activities that their parent does with them.... and then not even always!!!

The only time my dd will sit still for half an hour is if she is into something she shouldn't be. Otherwise she will sit and listen to one story max, on my knee, then want to be down straight after like ive kept her prisoner there

Try a different group.

Softlysoftly Tue 11-Dec-12 20:14:30

At our play group story time is in a seperate room as they know the Los won't sit for it, they can continue to play.

YaNBU to think most 1yr olds prefer to be active.

YABU to allow him to interrupt the others enjoyment by pissing about with the felt board and puppets. When you say "ineffective" to tell him do you mean you say "here sweetie pops don't do that" he ignores you, you do nothing?

If so that would really get on my nerves as weak parenting, say no, move him away, leave the room if he continues.

NapaCab Tue 11-Dec-12 20:15:32

The other 1-year olds (both 14/15 months) do sit in their chairs and listen! That's what makes me feel weird and think I'll take him to a different class from now on. One of them is admittedly held in place by his mother but I don't even know how she does that because my guy would scream the place down if I tried to hold him back from doing what he wants.

If he's being really cranky and won't sit still and starts to interrupt the story, then I take him home early but I do just wonder how these other mothers manage to get their kids to sit still. Are they glued to their chairs? Are they slipping some diazepam in their sippy cups (I live in the US...grin). It's just weird. I feel like I'm reading some totally different parenting manuals to these people i.e. none at all.

Meglet Tue 11-Dec-12 20:17:12

Yanbu. Why do people organise these groups and expect so much from babies + toddlers confused.

BrianButterfield Tue 11-Dec-12 20:18:43

I've taken my DS (15m)
to a group that does a story (for five minutes, not 30!). There are children of all ages from babies to preschoolers and only the over 2s sit still. There are always little toddlers squirming (although it's not really allowed to let them roam too much).

I sat DS on a dining chair today to do some stickers and a bit of colouring. For some reason I glanced at the time when we started and when he got down. It felt like ages and he was well-behaved, but it was three minutes! And I thought we'd had a good session.

DowagersHump Tue 11-Dec-12 20:18:58

Your child sounds normal. The other ones sound like Stepford Children

RubyGates Tue 11-Dec-12 20:19:05

I do 20 minute song and story sessions at the beginning of the academic year, gradually extending the time as the children get used to the idea of sitting and listening. Half-an-hour is too long, I'd say for most (but definitely not all) children of that age.

The children you see sitting still, may just be non-wrigglers or they may be used to doing it because they have been attending the session for longer than you and your child.

I'm an Early Years Library Outreach Worker.

lola88 Tue 11-Dec-12 20:21:04

Ds is 10mo and managed 6 mins of the xmas story at playgroup today before we had to go to the other room he was the 3rd baby to leave

whatsforyou Tue 11-Dec-12 20:21:16

The only way my 14 month old DS would sit still would be if I gave him a huge big bag of chocolate a little while later he would be bouncing of the walls but hey ho I wonder what they would make of me shock

Don't feel bad OP, you have a normal, inquisitive, energetic little bundle of fun and I'm sure you wouldn't have him any other way. I agree with a previous poster, ditch the playgroup grin

NapaCab Tue 11-Dec-12 20:21:19

Yes, Softlysoftly. I do stop him from interrupting the story and take him home early if he's being hyperactive but what I mean by saying it has no effect is that he will try to do the same thing again e.g. pull at the pinboard, even though I've told him not to. I have to hold him back or distract him to stop it.

It's strange because at home when I say to him 'no touching' or 'no!' he understands and won't do it e.g. our Christmas tree is still pristine and untouched after two whole weeks.

I don't know, I just find it stressful trying to get him to behave and he enjoys the more structured things I take him to much more e.g. a music class that is just an hour long and has structured interactive songs with movement and action and things they can touch, not just sitting still.

ballstoit Tue 11-Dec-12 20:22:26

At the 1 year olds playgroup I attended with each of my DC they had a short story time (one story), while the children had a drink and fruit.

I think it's good to start encouraging sitting for a short time at this age, but any more than 10-15 minutes is pushing it.

Have you raised this with the group leader?

pigletmania Tue 11-Dec-12 20:24:15

He is still a baby fgs there is going to be plenty of time for him to sit still in chairs. I would go to a more relaxed play group this does not sound right

Sargesaweyes Tue 11-Dec-12 20:26:32

My ds is 15months and exactly the same. I take him to Tumbletots where children sit and sing for 10 minutes with their adult. Ds usually listens to one song, then will stand a foot away from the leader whilst she sings ending in him pinching her doll and scurrying off to the toys that aren't set up. My group doesn't mind and he isn't the only lively one there. Try a new group as I have been to others where the babies are more chilled than mine.

OutragedFromLeeds Tue 11-Dec-12 20:28:52

It's a very specific age range for a playgroup. Aren't they normally drop-in, anyone can come type things?

It is not unusual for a 14 month old not to be able to sit still.

I imagine the story time is aimed at the older ones/the ones who will sit still.

In conclusion, there is nothing wrong with your baby, there is nothing wrong with the playgroup, it's just not a good fit. Take him home early.

Startail Tue 11-Dec-12 20:28:55

I don't think either of my DDs would have sat still at that age, DD certainly wouldn't. She'd be off finding something to climb.

DD2 would cooperate fairly well with singing group, but still for a story I think would be pushing it.

Sargesaweyes Tue 11-Dec-12 20:29:11

I have to say I don't encourage any sitting still time. He does it if he wants to but I like how lively and enthusiastic he is.

NapaCab Tue 11-Dec-12 20:37:06

That's what I'm thinking Outraged. I always come away from the playgroup feeling bad about my son and his personality whereas at the music class I take him to, he has a great time and so do I. So not a good fit and I don't think I'll sign up for next year's term in January.

Just wanted some reassurance that others have 14 month olds who won't sit still!

Scholes34 Tue 11-Dec-12 20:38:07

OP YABU to put up your Christmas tree so early.

cranverry Tue 11-Dec-12 20:39:06

YANBU my older toddler still wouldn't sit still on a hard chair for that length of time. Unless a few of the songs were action ones and they could dance along to then she'd lose interest.

thebody Tue 11-Dec-12 20:41:06

Oh sweetheart ! Just no. My dds would have been tearing the place apart at that age and now' fairly 'normal young men.

Dds might have sat for longer but never half an hour.

DeathMetalMum Tue 11-Dec-12 20:44:48

YANBU, Dd is 22 months and still likes to move around she can be encouraged to sit down sometimes but mostly I will let her wander around. If she is just pottering I leave her to it at playgroups even the one we go to at the library. If she starts making lots of noise I will stop her as then it is disrupting the story. I also wouldnt force her to sit still either as that would probably also disrupt the story.
It is normal for one or two of the children to be off looking at other things during story time at the groups I go to and not always the same children each week either.

pointysettia Tue 11-Dec-12 20:49:11

My DDs were certainly not sitting and listening for half an hour at that age. It's bananas to expect them to.

And they are now 9 and 11 with superb attention span and concentration. Find another group.

NapaCab Tue 11-Dec-12 20:51:03

grin *Scholes34

I fully expected to have to take it down again the next day as DS would have it wrecked but surprisingly he's left it alone!

Softlysoftly Tue 11-Dec-12 20:52:25

Ah in that case it's because he has the knowledge the knowledge that this is a situation in which mummy would really really like him to behave.

The other children are clearly on Ritalin.

rainrainandmorerain Tue 11-Dec-12 20:58:14

my ds was a very placid one year old, but he would not have been happy sitting still and listening to a story for that long.

It sounds like an activity for older children - I wonder if the 'target audience' are turning up or the people providing the activity are just not catering for who actually comes, IYSWIM.

One thing though - it is miserable and rude when children are just allows to randomly disrupt an activity. In the nicest possible way can i please say / if your child starts pulling things off a display a teacher or playleader is using, or grabbing toys they are trying to use in a story or song, then stop them. And yes, if you tell them to stop and they ignore you, you physically stop them. You don't just let them carry on in a 'oh well, what can I do about it' way. It makes the person leading the session struggle and it spoils it for everyone else. 'Intervene or distract' is absolutely what you should be doing if your child is ignoring you.

So, yes - try another group for now.

Sargesaweyes Tue 11-Dec-12 21:19:26

It makes the person leading the session struggle and it spoils it for everyone else. 'Intervene or distract' is absolutely what you should be doing if your child is ignoring you.

Obviously if my ds was annoying the person then I wouldn't let him do it but at his group everybody kind of understands that they are just exploring. I wouldn't let him trash the joint but when one of the babies goes for the singing doll the leader just laughs and takes it in good spirits. I very much doubt it would 'spoil' anything.

These groups can be so ridiculous. I am a teacher of year 2 children and still give them regular movement moments and wouldn't keep them sitting for 1/2 an hour.

My 20 month old wouldn't sit still for that long

rainrainandmorerain Tue 11-Dec-12 21:41:20

if a group is ridiculous, don't go. If you think it is inappropriate or poorly targeted, you can generally express that to whoever is organising it - or not, if you don't want to.

But don't stay, disliking it, with a child who is disruptive in that context, allow them to disrupt it and risk spoiling it for others.

if a child is very active, not ready to develop listening skills in that context, then go to the park or soft play. Or keep looking til you find a better group.

MrTumblesCrackWhore Tue 11-Dec-12 21:56:23

My ds1 was exactly like that at that age - and still is to a certain extent. We jacked in many a playgroup for his inability to sit still roar around maniacally making car sounds

We led quite a lonely existence until I stumbled on one playgroup a good few miles away - they still had the story time, he still roared around like a loon, but they were so tolerant, tried to gently encourage him to join in and made us feel so welcome. He is at pre-school now and it is the only playgroup he still asks to go to and he did make a small amount of progress there.

FWIW, despite his persistence at acting the loon at home still, happily, he loves pre-school and is very compliant at carpet time. He even tells me how annoying another child in his class is when they talk and interrupt the teacher.

I suspect he will always be a bit on the active side but he has certainly toned it down now he has learnt how to act (sort of) appropriately according to setting.

BlackholesAndRevelations Tue 11-Dec-12 22:06:08

I teach year one and wouldn't dream of having them sit for half an hour. Babies are allowed to explore and move around, as long as they're not ruining it for other people. Babies will be babies but as the adult, you need to move him away if he's destroying a display/whatever. Give him something to play with while you're sitting listening to the story?

EasilyBored Tue 11-Dec-12 22:54:07

You can't run a group for 1 year olds and the get annoyed when they want to wander around and play with things. Ridiculous.

I don't think DS has sat still for more than 2 minutes since he discovered he could get where he wanted to go, under his own steam. I long for the day he will sit quietly with a toy for 5 minutes rather than tearing round the living room trying to 'cuddle' the cat with a wooden block.

handsandknees Wed 12-Dec-12 07:40:39

They are expecting WAY too much.

I took my DD1 to a gym class from 18 months to 2 years - the whole session was only 30 minutes and most of that was free use of equipment to encourage balance/climbing/jumping etc. At the very end they were supposed to sit in a circle and do an action song with the leader (wheels on the bus or similar) so 5 minutes maximum. And some of them couldn't even manage that.

MerrilyDingVagndidit Wed 12-Dec-12 07:49:44

I've left many playgroups/library storytimes for this very reason. Bottom line is some kids can sit well and listen and others are more on the hyperactive side. Those with the nice kids who sit nicely will smugly assume that it comes down to their marvellous parenting making those of us with "spirited" children feel like total failures. Easier said than done but don't let them get to you. If you really feel as if your child is causing a disturbance than find another group that lets kids be kids!!

FWIW my ds found it difficult to sit still anywhere until he was well past 3. Now at nearly 5 he's one of the better on-task kids in reception. smile

CailinDana Wed 12-Dec-12 07:57:43

In the playgroup I help to run we do a very short singing session at the end, max 10 minutes, and the children don't have to participate if they don't want to. Even the 3 year olds sometimes struggle to sit still for that short amount of time. There's plenty of time for children to be made go against their instinct to explore - if it happened at playgroup I wouldn't go back.

I did have the misfortune of sitting next to a mum at another playgroup who physically forced her upset and wriggling 15 month old to sit down for a story because she "wanted to get him ready for school." I had my doubts about her up to that point but seeing her poor DS so distressed for nothing really put me off her. It's loony to think upsetting your child at 15 months will help them at school.

Twinklestarstwinklestars Wed 12-Dec-12 08:03:16

My 3 year old gets bored after about 5 mins! No way he'd sit for 1/2 an hour!

Sargesaweyes Wed 12-Dec-12 08:11:41

I totally agree with merrily.

I remember one group where a mum obviously had a problem with my ds and me. Ds started walking at 9 months and has always been very full on but in a really friendly and funny way(not just my blind love but general opinion of Most normal people). He went up to her ds who was 15 months old and not walking and gave him a cuddle to which I was told 'to please remove my son' in the most snotty way imaginable. Fair enough but I kind of thought part of the point of these groups was to actually socialise. Her way of coping with her son not walking (which is perfectly fine and normal) was to make out my son was some sort of out of control monster because he wouldn't sit still. I didn't go back there but what an absolute bitch for acting like that!

StrawberryMojito Wed 12-Dec-12 08:17:12

My 14 month old doesn't walk yet but is a super speedy crawler and always on the move. He loves books but gets bored if a story lasts more than a few minutes. He wants to be on to the next activity. Your play group sounds rubbish, the leader sounds lazy.

Rollmops Wed 12-Dec-12 10:51:13

Why on earth are 1 year olds expected to sit still for 30min? Sounds positively bonkers and can be added to the steaming pile of other 'baby developmental aids' nonsense.
Why are you going there?

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