Akron Children’s Hospital’s Sarah Groves, a clinical counselor and mental health therapist, offers the following tips for parents whose kids want a spinner or other type of fidget.
• Parents should explicitly create rules for using fidgets.
• Rules should include not taunting peers, not hurting others, not throwing, etc.
• The rules should be reviewed often until the child demonstrates understanding.
• If your child struggles with using the fidget appropriately, keep reviewing rules and practicing.
• A common mistake is that parents or teachers take the fidgets away indefinitely when they are misused. While this removes the immediate problem, the child does not learn the skill of using a fidget and is ultimately still fidgety.
• Parents should introduce the fidget in a controlled environment (during homework or in the car); this gives the child the ability to practice using the fidget and following the rules, and decreases some of the novelty before introducing it to the classroom or other situations in which there is less structure or supervision.
— Craig Webb