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Counselor’s Hub: Tips for Staying Focused
02 Apr
  • Counselor’s Hub: Tips for Staying Focused

It can be difficult for some children to stay focused and pay attention. 

Our children are constantly doing something in an overstimulated, fast-paced life and world. The art and skill of dealing with boredom and being creative is a lost skill for many, often replaced in modern childhood by overscheduling with planned activities.  

Childhood and children need to develop skills of entertaining themselves, coping with boredom, not getting their way all the time, and finding ways to re-focus when visual or electronic retinal stimulation from devices is not present. Learning to cope and to self-regulate especially when ‘bored” are critical skills to develop so do not be afraid to give your child time and space to solve their own problems. Reassure them that you trust they can work something out, they are creative, and can entertain themselves. 

To develop the skill of focusing and paying attention to one thing, they need to practice just being and observing. 

How do we help our children develop the ability to just be, listen to the silence, and relax?  

Try a "sit spot" for your child.  

A "sit spot" is a spot outside where they can sit and observe. Give them a journal and pencils. Their task would be to sit and look around and draw pictures of what they see or think about. What are 3 things you notice? 

Older kids can also write about things they see, hear, or think about. 

Initially, you can do it together with your child. Sit with them and say “Let's be quiet for a bit. What can you hear? What can you see?...What can you smell?.” And go through all the senses. Getting out into the country to stimulate connection with nature heightening the senses.  

Explain that when we're always so busy doing something or talking, we miss those things they've just noticed. 

Another thing you can try is to sit together facing away from each other. When time is up, you can turn and face each other to share your drawings or writings. 

As your child practices sitting on their sit spot, they will get better at paying attention and focusing. 

Should you have any concerns, please contact School Counselor Ken at schoolcounselor@msb.edu.cn