Defence Kids
Fidgeting and won’t sit still or can’t?

Fidgeting and won’t sit still or can’t?

Every parent everywhere will have heard of a fidget spinner or fidget toys to curb fidgeting. If you haven’t, the fidget tools became a massive craze across the globe. To the point of having them banned in many schools because of how distracting they were in classrooms.

It’s left a sour taste in many people’s mouths about the actual usefulness of fidget tools.

But don’t one to knock them before you understand their intended use.

Fidget tools are just that, tools.

They aid in the maintenance of anxiety and related disorders. By that, I mean they are not a fixer of all things anxiety. They are used to redirect the fidgeting tendencies of people who are feeling uneasy, anxious, nervous or worried. The idea is the person is also seeing a clinical psychologist to aid in the recovery of the overwhelming experience.

What is Fidgeting?

The easy way to explain fidgeting, is the small movements made by hands or feet when the individual in feeling impatient, emotionally extended or anxious about something. The reality is it can present in many ways; whole body movements, not being able to stay still and hyperactivity.

Many adults and children agree, fidgeting with an object in one hand, helps them to stay focused for longer. How may times have you discovered you have been clicking your pen or play with the lid of a highlighter?

The Research

It’s the ready-to-hand objects that are used most, paperclips, pens and headphones. Lots of smooth surfaces are also found to be helpful in calming, relaxing and putting the individual into a mindful state (what is mindfulness here). Research suggests, the psychological term Sensation Seeking, means people often seek to adjust their experiences and environments to provide just the right level of stimulation. Everyone does this in different ways, some like total silence while others prefer the loud noises of daily life. This can also change multiple times a day, with quiet in the morning, and noisy locations later in the day. You will cater to what you require as the day goes on which is why you will fidget at times and not others.

Fidget tools are particularly helpful for children, it helps with attention and anxiety, allowing them to stay focused and calm. Research into the true impact of these tools are yet to reach exciting levels. There are however some promising results from the limited number available. In one study relating to stress ball use in children, self-reports showed improvements in their attention, attitude, writing abilities and peer interaction. Others that also support the use of fidgeting in a general whole body sense for hyperactivity observed in ADHD.

The fidget tools that are the most useful, especially to children who are in environments where distractions are unavoidable are called tactile fidgets. Meaning the user can manipulate them without looking such as worry stones (check out my range). The smooth surface allows for redirection of nail biting, shirt biting, restlessness and hyperactivity. There is no visual attention problems and less distractions from both the individual and surrounding children.

They are not just a fad, they are useful when used correctly.