Children with short attention spans present challenges for the best of parents/caregivers. Parents/Caregivers who learn their child has been determined to have a short attention span, there are some specific techniques that have been found helpful.
First, parents/caregivers should never blame themselves. Children are born with different temperaments. A child with a short attention span is one of these many varieties. What is known is that this temperament variety adapts well in many cultures as well as in the careers of adults. That said, children with short attention spans can greatly affect a parent’s/caregiver’s mental health in addition to a child’s progress in school.
Second, routines are important for all children. This is more so for children with short attention spans.
Third, children with short attention spans appear to have limitless energy. Children with short attention spans almost always require physical activity. It is highly recommended they be permitted ample opportunity to “burn off” this energy. A parent/caregiver will quickly find children with short attention spans have difficulty making transitions from one activity to another. It is recommended parents/caregivers resist strenuous physical activity before putting a short attention span child to bed.
Four, short attention span children often have difficulty focusing on one activity at a time. Allowing a short attention span child to wander from one activity to another can result in overload. It is helpful to have a designated quiet area with a limited number of choices.
Five, when a short attention span child’s activity level increases, they are likely to get into trouble. All children need limits to be set and discipline established in a firm, consistent manner. Corporal punishment almost never works. A child needs to know that inappropriate behavior is never acceptable. After a violation of limits or inappropriate behavior occurs, the child must understand that he or she is unconditionally loved and important to the parent/caregiver.
Six, avoid making decisions involving the short attention span child when angry. Calm down before working with the child.
Seven, spend time with the child alone doing activities such as reading, playing games and the like.
Eight, short attention span children will challenge parents/caregivers as well as other family members. It is especially important that the parent/caregiver find time to do things for themselves to re-charge their battery.
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