Brittany - posted on 12/06/2012 ( 3 moms have responded )




Hello everyone,

I need some serious help! My daughter just turned two and I am having a hard time getting her to focus on any project for very long. I work from midnight to 8am and pulled her out of daycare so I could stay home with her during the day. I hated someone else raising my child, Anyways We do all kinds of arts and crafts and I try to do shapes and letters and such with play dough or colors, but I cant get her to keep an interest. My mother lets her watch tv after her nap while I a take couple hour nap. I hate her watching tv but it is the only thing she will do longer than 5 mins... She has been so advanced until a couple months ago and now she doesnt want to learn it seems like. How do I get her to focus and want to learn and not want to watch tv?

exhausted and frustrated!!!!


View replies by

Cleaver - posted on 12/06/2012




toddlers attention span is very short except on a few rare things my son and i have sat all afternoon and done puzzles he can play with his train all afternoon if i let him but other then that very short attention span

Joanna - posted on 12/06/2012




Good for you for wanting to stay home with your daughter! Your little girl might be a little young for the activities you're trying to do with her. Not necessarily too young for the activity, but for the object (learning shapes and letters, ect.). I really wouldn't worry about her learning so much at this age; at two years old literally everything is a learning experience and she'll be learning from it, even without added educational steps. As for her having been so advanced, many children advance rapidly for a number of months or years, but many times as they start to get older it slows down to a slower and steadier pace. (Side note, also, if a child is pushed to learn often it stops being fun and you'll also see a drop back). Another thing to be aware of is if there have been any environmental changes that may be effecting her advancement and ability to focus.

To help her to learn to focus better, you might have to insist a little. For instance, when she asks to play playdough, let her, but two minutes after you've started when she says she's done, tell her "right now we're playing playdough. Mama will set a timer and when it rings, we can be all done." Then set a timer for a few minutes. Not very many, maybe 5 or 10 (that may be too many, depending on how short your daughter's focus actually is). Don't insist that she do particular things with the playdogh, even if she just wants to squish it between her fingers. You can show her different things that YOU are making, so she learns what can be done with it, but don't insist that she do the same. As she gains focus, gradually increase the number of minutes on the timer to help her learn to focus longer periods. (note that the first few times you set the timer, your daughter might not even play with the playdough. That's fine, don't insist. She can still just sit there until the timer rings. You can play and encourage her to so the same and eventually she will learn that it's more fun to play than to just sit there.)

Repeat this same type of process with other activities, too. You start to read a story, two pages in she jumps down saying she's done, pull her back up and tell her :right now we're reading a story, when it's finished then we can play duplos (or whatever it is she wants to play)." Of course, always make sure that the story is age appropriate and not too long. You may even have to abbreviate a little bit, so it's not too hard for her to sit through it.

I hope this helps. And I feel for you. It's really hard to deal with unfocused children. But don't worry, as she gets older and gains more and more understanding, she will focus better, I'm sure.

Good luck!

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