Why Does My Child "W Sit"? How Do I Fix It?
What is "W Sitting"?
"W Sitting" is when your child is sitting with their bottom on the floor, and with their knees bent in-between them. If you are looking at your child from above, their legs form a "W" shape.
But, this way of sitting can start some development issues. If the child has this wide stance, they do not need to cross midline, or shift their weight from side to side. W sitting’s risk of leading to developmental delays increases as your child ages, it can be typical up to the age of 2-3, though not encouraged, but beyond that should be something that is closely watched and managed.
Children who sit in a "W" shape often do so because they have poor trunk stability and balance. Most of the time, children sit like this while they are reading, coloring, or playing with a toy. "W Sitting" can be easier for the child to focus on their preferred activity because they do not have to work as hard at holding themselves up in this position.
"W Sitting" also hinders them from achieving advanced of reading, and handwriting since their eye and/or hand coordination skills are being limited because this position prevents them from using a full range of motion. If your child sits in this position for long periods of time, they can also develop orthopedic issues, and weak back and core muscles.
How Do I Fix It?
- Do not let your child sit in this position for long periods of time. When you see them sitting in this position you can say, "put your legs out", or, "sit on your bottom."
- Put your child in a better seated position. Your child can sit with their legs straight ahead of them, or they can cross their legs, or they can sit in a cushion or a chair instead of sitting on the floor.
- Give your child positive feedback. If you notice that your child isn't "W Sitting", let them know that they are doing a good job! Positive reinforcement can go a long way with children.
- Call Circle Creek Therapy. If you still would like further help, call us at 253.237.3405. Or, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Our physical and/or occupational therapists would know exactly how to help you, and your child.