Sitting quietly and being patient are probably two of the hardest lessons to learn as a
child adult human. Unfortunately, learning to read requires that we know how to sit still and for long periods of time. Sure, there are some great games we can play to help make the process more fun, but in the end, it’s the ability to sit still and sit quietly that can help the most.
So, how do you teach a three-year-old to sit and not make any noise? If you know the secret, please post in the comments below. I’m not writing to tell you all of the answers; however, I can share with you some tips to help your child learn these skills. These are just a few tips I have learned as a preschool and toddler teacher, a babysitter, and a librarian.
1. Make time each day or night to sit together in a comfortable place and read together. This can be the couch, a bean bag on the floor, a pile of pillows on the bed, or even at the kitchen table. Find a book your child likes and read it together. Let your child read to you (or make up the story as you turn the pages).
2. Limit screen time to a set amount of minutes a day or week. Promote quiet time–play quiet music in the background. It doesn’t have to be naptime. Let your child play quietly with puzzles, create a picture with art supplies, or read books by himself.
3. If you are in a room filled with people and your child starts to get fussy or restless, leave the room, but do not go far. Hold them (depending on their age)–the point here is that you do not want to teach them that if they cry or scream, they will get to leave the room and run around outside. Children are smarter than you might think. They catch on to these patterns incredibly quick!
4. Eat meals together at the table. Do not allow them to get up whenever they want. Just sit together, talk, and enjoy a meal together at least once a day.
5. Be patient. This is a habit learned over time, not over a few days.