Why do children *have* to cross their legs when sitting down for register, stories, etc?

(27 Posts)
Scrumplet Mon 18-May-09 00:17:09

DS finds it uncomfortable, and says other children do too. But he does it because it's a rule, and the children get told off if they don't sit cross-legged.

I understand his teachers wanting the class to sit down on a mat for a story, and to sit still, but does it matter how they actually sit FFS?! And is it worth raising with school?

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FrankMustard Mon 18-May-09 00:18:49

My dcs have to sit cross legged at school too, and I remember doing it at school - maybe it's a position they can't fidget in as much?
Can't see anything to be gained from raising it with the school - would think they just want all the children to sit down neatly and in some sort of uniform fashion...

differentID Mon 18-May-09 00:19:38

Well, it means they take up less space on the floor and if their legs are crossed it means that there is less temptation to try and reach out with their feet to other children

PortAndLemon Mon 18-May-09 00:22:01

Based on having The World's Most Fidgety Child, I suspect it may be connected with making it more difficult to fidget and hence keeping them in one place for a few seconds longer at a time. Tying them up might be even more effective but, equally, more likely to get raised with the school by the parents...

LadyGlencoraPalliser Mon 18-May-09 00:22:57

Because that way they keep their feet to themselves.

Scrumplet Mon 18-May-09 00:24:36

Hmm. I see what you're saying. It's about the teachers needing to control the kids, which I realise that, with so many to keep an eye on, they need to be able to do.

DS's dad has short tendons in his legs and has never been able to cross his legs - so don't know what he did at school. It's possible DS has the same, though, and DS keeps banging on about it being uncomfortable and it seems unfair to just brush over it with a 'you have to'. He'll need to do it for another six years! hmm

OP’s posts: |
Scrumplet Mon 18-May-09 00:25:39

Thanks for posts, BTW.

OP’s posts: |


SuperBunny Mon 18-May-09 00:27:43

Children who don't sit cross-legged often like to sit on their knees which irritates the children behind them because they then can't see. I think expectations should depend on the age of the children - when I have taught older KS2, for story time or whatever, I usually give them a choice of how they sit - cross-legged near the front, on knees near the back or at their table. As long as they are paying attention and not annoying anyone, I don't care how they sit.

smurfgirl Mon 18-May-09 00:29:48

Sitting on the floor cross legged is apparently the most comfortable way to sit for any amount of time, it stops wiggling around because they are moving to find a more comfy position constantly.

PortAndLemon Mon 18-May-09 00:30:54

If you think it's a real physical issue with your DS, it may be worth talking to your GP and then raising it with the school. But you need to trade that off against the effect of singling your DS out from his peers, I suppose.

There are exercises a physiotherapist can suggest that lengthen short tendons over time (there was a documentary a few years back where someone had short tendons but wanted to compete in an endurance canoeing event and they did this -- stuck in my mind because my DH also has short tendons and finds some things uncomfortable/impossible as a result even when he's at peak fitness) so perhaps that could be another option? But they might not feel happy doing that with a child.

SparklyGothKat Mon 18-May-09 00:43:37

my ds1 has cerebral palsy and short tenons, he can't sit with his feet out front or crossed leg, he sits in a chair

Clary Mon 18-May-09 01:30:36

Yes if they sit with their legs at the side or whatever their legs are in the way and they are liable to stretch out and kick someone else etc.

It's quite a comfortable way to sit if you have to sit on the floor imo.

mrz Mon 18-May-09 18:08:11

I don't ask my class to sit with legs crossed because as you say it can be uncomfortable for young children. It takes more muscle control to sit still like this than many young children have developed

lou031205 Mon 18-May-09 18:13:45

Hmm, don't know. DD's physio taught her to sit like this because it puts the least strain on the tummy muscles, and she was finding it difficult to sit on the floor.

Hulababy Mon 18-May-09 21:08:21

I assume in most cases it is to save space. Crossed legs take up less room than children sat with their legs out or splayed.

I work in a school where there are 270 infants trying to sit int he hall. If they say legs out the it would take up way more room. They;d simply not fit in. Similar when here are 30 in a class, sat on the fcarpet, listening - takes less room.

Also less liekly to go kicking one another in the back, if legs are ticked out of the way.

Taking chairs wouldnt work as would take too much time to keep moving about and sorting out.

Dare I also say - they look a bit smarter sat up straight, legs crossed listening.

In DD's much smaller school, in classrooms the girls sit int he book corner for this type of session - some some sat ont he bench round the back/sides, rest on flloor - but lots of space so no need to cross legs. However in the hall for assembly, etc. they sit up, legs crossed - then they fit and are less liekly to fidget.

MerlinsBeard Mon 18-May-09 21:15:19

isn't is so their hands and feet are to Themselves as well?

pointydog Mon 18-May-09 21:27:51

if not cross-legged, then the children often have legs sticking out and annoying others, or they take up too much space on teh floor or they kneel up and annoy others.

I have never heard about not having muscle tone to sit cross-legged - is that proven?

However, if a child is not able to sit a certain way, a letter from the parent is usually all that is needed.

mrz Mon 18-May-09 21:31:32

I think the cross legged thing has much more to do with looking nice than anything else.
pointydog there is quite a bit of research which typically I can't find on this laptop [searching smiley]

Hulababy Mon 18-May-09 22:03:07

But space must be an issue too surely?

I really doubt we could fit all 270 children into our hall unless they were sat legs crossed. Legs all splayed out - not a chance!

pointydog Mon 18-May-09 22:18:25

I think space and annoying others are often issues too

glucose Mon 18-May-09 22:19:24

at my primary school when we got to our last year the girls were allowed to sit on our bottoms with both legs to the side, rather than crossed - so grown up!

pointydog Mon 18-May-09 22:19:54

that's an uncomfortable way to sit, no?

glucose Mon 18-May-09 22:33:43

we were at primary until age 12 so i guess showing your knickers with your legs crossed might have been the issue

t777777 Mon 22-Jan-18 16:44:38

it is stupid i am still sitting cross legged on the floor in assemblies at secondary school and i don't understand why, somebody help me?

waitingforlifetostart Mon 22-Jan-18 17:42:50

Primarily for space. Secondly for children who fidget like crazy. Third as some kids are kickers.

If I knew it hurt a child I'd let them sit on a chair or sit more comfortably.

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