According to the dictionary

fidget (with something) to keep moving your body, your hands or your feet because you are nervous, bored, excited, etc.

Sit still and stop fidgeting!

My child keeps moving his head and the ENT doctor can not check his ear, but his body, hands and feet are still.

Does "stop fidgeting!" or "stop fidgeting with your head!" include to stop moving your head as well?

2 Answers 2


A single, sudden movement is often called a twitch. Twitching is sometimes connected to nervous conditions (when they are sometimes called 'ticks'), but it aptly describes a single deliberate movement in reaction to something, such as your example where the child may not want to be examined.

Stop twitching your head.

'Fidgeting' tends to be limited to constant small movements of the fingers and hands, but it can also mean the constant shifting of posture. It usually means constant or repeated movements, often involuntary, and increasingly related to nervousness, anxiousness, or to medically recognised conditions such as ADHD. Similar, anxious movements of the legs or feet tend to be referred to as jiggling.


In that particular circumstance I would be less worried about precisely what to call it and instead go directly to the 'fix.

Keep still! The doctor needs you to be still whilst he examines you.

You can worry later about whether it was a fidget or a twitch or a nervous tic. All you need for now is the child to know what they should be doing, not what they shouldn't.

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