Based on the questions I got from my last post, I decided to create a glossary of sitting!
W-sitting: As you may or may not of read in my last post “Why is W-Sitting a Four Letter Word?” I am not a fan of this sitting position. You will know your child is sitting this way when you see their bottom on the floor and their knees bent with their feet on the outside of their hips. If anyone has questions as to why I don’t like this position please refer back to the before mentioned post!
Kneeling: This is a position that can often get confused with w-sitting. In fact I often have parents get concerned when their child sits like this. The difference between kneeling and w-sitting is that when kneeling, your child will be sitting with their bottom on their feet, not on the floor. Their feet will be underneath them, not on either side of their hips! The only time I get concerned with this position is if a child has tight hamstrings and this is the only position they will sit in. You will notice that they tend not to sit in the following positions.
Side Sitting: I actually really like this position. It is when your childs knees are bent and their feet are both going toward the same side of their body. I like this position because it maintains flexibility of their hips without putting them at risk. This position also forces your child to use their trunk muscles. Just make sure they are switching between having their feet to the left and their feet to the right!
Short Sitting: This one is pretty easy. Its how your child sits on a chair or a stool or a step, etc. The best short sitting is when they have their feet touching the floor so that their knees and hips are bent at right angles. If you really want them to develop their trunk muscles let them practice sitting without a back rest so they can’t relax into a slump!
Tailor Sitting: Popularly known as ‘criss cross applesauce’ and one of the more favored ways of sitting. Prior to our world becoming PC it was known as ‘Indian Sitting.’ I say this only because I have found very few people who know what Tailor Sitting is when I say it. Basically your child’s bottom will be sitting on the floor with their feet crossed in front of them. This is generally the ideal sitting position for circle time and other floor based learning/playing at school.
Ring Sitting: Very similar to tailor sitting except that your child’s legs are not crossed in front of them, but rather form a ring with their feet touching to complete the circle. This is a more stable position than tailor sitting especially when children are first learning to sit.
Long Sitting: This position is great for keeping your kids hamstrings stretched out. It is when they are sitting with their legs straight out in front of them. If your child is not able to sit up tall in this position or they have to constantly lean back on their hands, it may be a sign that their hamstrings are tight.
I hope this brief description of various sitting positions was helpful. Even though w-sitting is the only one I have said is bad, your child should be moving in and out of any of these sitting positions easily and not staying in one spot for endless periods of time!