6 yr old lack of attention span.

Tania Jo - posted on 09/30/2012 ( 2 moms have responded )

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My 6 year old daughter has no attention span.... she is always wanting to just cut/paste/draw and not sit to learn.

The teacher has now complained and I am struggling to get her to focus on anything.



Is there anyone who has had similar experiences who could give me some ideas on what to do?

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Ariana - posted on 10/02/2012

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I would work with your daughter on getting her to focus on tasks. So get a timer and tell her you would like her to work on something with you for 5 minutes and slowly work your way up. So she'll start with 5 minutes, then 8, then 10, then 15 etc until you're at about 20-25 minutes.



If she has a legitimate focusing problem try not to rush the process. The timer can be a good visual aid where you can tell her to look how much time is left and give her a sticker on her work when she completes it without incident. I find a good incentive for this type of thing is that if she gets through the time doing the work she's allowed to watch tv (or some other special thing). Not as much as a bribe like 'I'll let you watch tv if you do this' but as in 'once you're done this you're allowed to do this'. If she blatently refuses I would just say ok and then when ultimately she asks you do do something (watch tv, play a game, go outside) you can say sure, once you're done your work.



It really depends on if this is a focus issue or a defiance issue. Try to get her checked out by a doctor to see. Martial arts can help with focus and paying attention too if that's something you can put her in.



Good luck!

DeAnn - posted on 10/01/2012

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Some kids are just like that. Hedonistic little balls of selfishness. They want to do what they want to do and it's difficult to get them to do something else. Is it really an attention thing or is it a "do what I want" thing?



If the teacher can hold her attention during instruction, but for limited periods of time, you might be dealing with something medical like ADHD or autism spectrum (Asperger's mimics ADHD in some kids).



If she's just constantly going off to do her own thing, it might be a discipline issue. What is she allowed to do/not allowed to do at home? Does she always get her way? What are your techniques for keeping her on task at home? What are her chores and what are the consequences for not doing them?



It's also possible the teacher has a classroom that's structured so activities are too long. They should be changing activities every 15-20 minutes. If she's trying to keep their attention longer than that, and she's a new teacher, your daughter is the first of many who will lose attention. Even adults can only stay attentive for 30-45 minutes.

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