Q. "My daughter is 5 years old and has been attending pre-school (7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.) since she was 2 1/2 years old. Although I watch her diet carefully with regards to sugar and additives, she is a naturally energetic child.
"The teachers often tell me she can't sit still before a project is started or during storybook time or rest period. Once doing a project, however, she can work well by herself or with classmates.
"I have her take dancing lessons on Tuesday and violin on Friday to use some of her excess energy, but this is not enough. How can I help control her fidgeting? I would like to correct the problem before she starts regular school."
A. It sounds like your little girl has a full-fledged case of boredom.
Not every child can sit still before a project starts or during quiet times, especially a bright one. Moreover, the school that is right for for one child won't be right for another, and the school that is good for a 3-year-old may not be good for the same child two years later.
Imagine following the same general program for nearly 10 hours a day, five days a week, for three years. Wouldn't you be bored?
Fortunately next year is practically here. Your daughter, who obviously likes to be doing, will learn to read for herself and will sit as still as she needs to do it. She also will have more chance to run around on the playground, rather than rest.
Until then, ask her pre-school teacher to change her curriculum during the quiet times. Perhaps she could work in the room with the younger children -- arranging the toy shelf, washing the tables or singing them softly to sleep. A good school is flexible enough to recognize that children have different needs, even if their chronological age is the same.
It also would be fine if you or your husband could take off maybe one afternoon a week to take your child on an excursion or even out to lunch. At this point her workday is a little longer than yours and that's a lot.