Attention span in tiny tots is elastic. It can be nearly impossible to keep a child’s attention when they’re completely uninterested in what you want them to focus on, or if they find the task too challenging. This is more evident in the classrooms. Young students will be restless, play with their pencils and look at everything except the task at hand. A little creativity and flexibility will go long way in getting and keeping child’s attention. When you are introducing an activity for the first time that is more important to you than to your child, you are testing your creativity and flexibility. The first years of life are formative for developing focus and concentration. A home environment conducive to focus and attention can have a positive impact on children and also even prevent some attention deficit disorders.
Some child development experts suggest that the average child should be able to concentrate on one task for 2-5 minutes multiplied by their age. So an average 5-year old should be able to focus on a given task for up to 25 minutes. Of course, whether a 5-year old is able to focus 25 minutes or 10 minutes will vary by child and task.
By breaking the task into smaller segments, ones that can be completed independent of each other in less time help the child to complete the task and also improve the child’s attention span. Being in close physical proximity while giving clear and concise instructions helps children focus better on what is being said. The best way to get them to pay attention is to be physically close to the child. Do not shout requests from far and expect attention from children.
The ability to spend extended periods of time, seeking greater understanding of an object or situation, can be developed and strengthened like a muscle. Paying attention is not an intrinsic character of all human being. It can be taught, teachers and parents should take time to teach children what it means to pay attention and what it look like. However it is very important to create a right environment to foster learning at school and home. Focus is power. A long attention span is essential for creative, athletic and academic achievement. Attentive listeners make the best friends, citizens and individuals.