I've been at this parenting thing for awhile now, but I still learn a thing or two almost every day. It helps that each of my kids is so unique and different from the rest. Just when I figure out how to deal with one child, the next one comes along and requires a complete reboot and turn-around on my part.
Anyways...I'm currently teaching Zoe to read. This has been a very satisfying experience with some of my kids and a VERY exasperating experience with others. Zoe's about middle-of-the-road. She's a smart little cookie, but she has a VERY hard time sitting still. As in, she moves almost constantly.
After each word, she flips over (we do our reading lessons on my bed because my bedroom has a door...that can be shut...and locked, if necessary, to keep out all the other little bodies that want my attention during reading lesson). Anyway, she flips over after EVERY word. Kind of hard for her to comprehend a sentence when she reads (flip) one (flip) word (flip) and (flip) then (flip) flips (flip) over (flip).
Now some of you might be thinking, "Why don't you just have her sit up and do her reading?" Good idea! Tried it. Then she wasn't flipping over, she was twisting and turning - different movement, equally disruptive.
A couple weeks ago, I decided to try something. When we started reading lesson, I just gently placed my hand on her back. Lo and behold, she laid still and did her whole lesson. NO, I was not holding her down! Tempting, but I wasn't! I just had my hand resting upon her back. Seriously, just the touch of my hand caused her to lay still.
I was intrigued. Maybe it was just a fluke on that day, so I tried it every day since, and every day it works. I've tried it when she is squirming on the couch when I'm reading to her. I set my hand on her leg and BAM, she stops squirming.
Now, maybe you all have known this for years, and I'm late in coming to this realization (if so, thanks for sharing your knowledge with me!), but if not and you have a squirmy child; give it a try!
I don't know why it works, but for Zoe it does.