My Child Is Easily Distracted
By Dr. Ron Taffel, Family Therapist
I have a second-grader who seems to get easily distracted in class.
He tends to pay attention more to what goes on in his surroundings instead of paying attention to the assignments at hand and doesn't finish his assignments. How can I help his teacher to get him to focus on what's in front of him instead of what's around him? I'm fresh out of clues. Help!
Create a communication routine with your child's teacher, either a weekly email or quick phone conversation about what has happened in class and the assignments that were given. At home, during a quiet moment, ask your son for his ideas about focusing better in class. Let him think about how he can pay less attention to his surroundings. Is it better if he sits closer to the teacher - away from certain other kids? Come up with a plan together. Then pass these ideas along to his teacher in a positive (non-critical) way.
Between regular feedback from the teacher and the plan the teacher, you and your son have developed, you may find him able to focus more easily. If you don't see results within a few weeks, you might consider going for an evaluation about subtle attention or learning issues - since second grade is a great time to get a sense of your child's strengths and academic areas to work on. It just may be that his lack of focus and not finishing assignments is a signal that he needs a little extra help with the more demanding challenges of second grade.
Advice from our experts is not a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment from a health-care provider or learning expert familiar with your unique situation. We recommend consulting a qualified professional if you have concerns about your child's condition.