If you ever see your child sitting like this, stop them immediately
I'm not a parent, but if my limited exposure is anything to go by, spending time with a little boy or girl of your own is about 40 per cent the purest form of love humanity has to offer, while the other 60 per cent of your time is spent desperately trying to stop the object of your love from inadvertently hurting themselves as they navigate their way through the early years of life.
By nature, children are pretty likely to try a ton of things in their first few years on earth, and some of them need to be heavily discouraged. But that's work; holding your kid's hand through it all can be exhausting, and after a while, all you really want him or her to do is just sit down for a while.
But, even then, there's a level of peril which you should be aware of.
If, while your young child or grandchild is playing, you find them sitting in the 'W' position - that is, sitting with their feet pointed outward and their knees touching the ground - you should discourage them from doing that immediately. It can be pretty detrimental to that child's development as they grow up.
According to the Pediatric Therapy Center, children who sit this way after the age of two can cause themselves irreparable damage to their legs and feet, potentially even leaving them pigeon-toed (meaning they walk with their feet turned in) for life.
They went into the science behind W-sitting:
"W-sitting increases a child’s base of support which prevents a child from developing the proper core strength (strong tummy muscles) and balance to develop certain gross motor skills such as jumping and running.
"In this position, children are more comfortable and don’t have to work as hard to hold their trunks upright. Instead, they are spreading their lower limbs out over a wider base of support, relying on their joint structures, and not their muscles, to hold them up to play."
If you notice your child sitting like that, then it's best to act as soon as possible, and get them right out of the habit.
This article first appeared on CraftFactory.com