February 1, 2024

Why Does My Kid Sit Like That?

You may be asking yourself the question “why does my kid sit like that?” frequently enough to drive yourself crazy.

You may be asking yourself the question “why does my kid sit like that?” frequently enough to drive yourself crazy.  As kids are growing, they are experimenting with their posture muscles, may be having growing pains, or are just sometimes tired after a long day.

As adults may want to put their feet up on the couch after a long day, kids may just want to slouch in their chair when they get home from school.  Below are some common postural bad habits of children and how to correct them.

How Backpacks Affect Poor Posture:

Teenagers are the best at showing poor posture.  Between backpacks that weigh 20 plus pounds and fatigue from growth spurts, you may notice their posture ‘slacking.’  To help combat scoliosis, make sure that your child wears his backpack with both shoulder straps that should fit snuggly on the lower back.  According to the American Occupational Therapy Association, a backpack should weigh no more then 15% of the child’s body weight.  For example, a child weighing 100 pounds should not wear a backpack weighing more then 15 pounds.  Also, consider a roller-bag if your teen’s chemistry books are literally weighing him down.

The Best Position For Your Child To Sit In:

With children who are able to sit at the table, make sure that their feet are on the floor with their hips and knees at 90 degree angles.   Many children’s chairs are adjustable for this reason.  This will make sure that there is no unnecessary pressure on their lower back and leg joints.  If needed, use a stool under their feet to reach that 90 degree position.

The Affects Of W-Sitting:

W-sitting is a common way to sit for kids with low muscle tone and/or low core strength.  Instead of their legs crossed in front of them, kids with low tone or low core strength will sit with their legs splayed out to the side.  W-sitting is a way for kids to widen their base of support so they feel more stable when sitting and reaching for toys.  However, W-sitting can cause strain on the hips, knees and ankles and can also lead to in-toeing. Many children are able to correct the w-sitting habit with just a reminder to sit “pretzel” sitting or “criss-cross applesauce”.

Please refer to my backpack blog for more information on how to properly fit and wear a backpack.  If your child w-sits and you have concerns about their muscle tone or core strength, please contact a physical therapist at North Shore Pediatric Therapy.

Download our Guide for Families

We know that choosing a local ABA facility can be a hard decision. We’ve created an informational guide to help you understand more about the questions you should be asking while meeting with different providers.

Although we talk about our services here, our highest goal is for you to feel comfortable and knowledgeable about picking a provider that is the best fit for your needs. You are making a decision that will impact the entire trajectory of your child’s life!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
The cover of the NSPT Guide for Families, which helps families to figure out the questions to ask when picking an ABA provider.

Continue Reading


Why we do what we do.
Success looks different for every child... But we bet we have a story that matches your child's needs. Like James, who started with us as non-verbal and lacking the ability to initiate and maintain social interactions. Today, he can speak complete sentences, clearly state his needs, and navigate social interactions with his friends!

Contact us to get started

  • 1
    Submit an inquiry form
    Completing this secure form helps us understand how we can serve you.
  • 2
    We'll reach out to you!
    One of our dedicated team members will connect with you to discuss services, your insurance benefits, and your family’s needs.
  • 3
    Paperwork & insurance
    We'll review and confirm your insurance benefits, and we'll work with you to gather additional paperwork required and discuss financial expectations based on insurance.
  • 4
    Treatment personalization
    We'll schedule an assessment date for your child with one of our clinicians. This assessment will serve as the basis for your child’s personalized treatment plan. After, we'll meet to discuss recommendations and your child’s treatment plan and start date.
  • 5
    Start making progress!
    We will greet and welcome your child to our warm and supportive environment where our staff will provide 1-on-1 care to meet our treatment goals.