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kids focus and concentration
An_222255 posted:

My 8yr old daughter is so smart and intelligent. She is very advanced in her 2nd grade class and is really good in Math. But she has this bad habit of not paying attention, rushing to finish 1st in her tests in class. She makes silly mistakes as she thinks she answered everything right. If she has time left, then she starts drawing on the test sheets for which she also looses marks.

Almost every other day she forgets to pack her backpack properly and so forgets something or other like her homework book etc. Also, on days when she has extra curricular activities outside the school in the evening, i ask her to finish her homework at the YMCA After school care program as they have a homework time for kids. She doesn't do that as she wants to just play.

And on top of this, she is a very poor eater (Not a picky eater). She just sits in front of food for hours to finish. Even the foods that she likes. She takes a bite and then starts glazing out completely lost in lala land. Both my daughters have a problem with eating that they keep chewing the food so long and so it takes lot of time to swallow it as well.

I have tried all different things like talking to her nicely, giving her time outs and taking away her favorite things or TV turn, scolding her. 1 week when i do that she would be good. And after a while she will be back to her previous self.

We tried different things for their eating as well like putting the timer for only 30minutes and vice versa where they have to finish all the food that is given to them no matter how long it takes. They usually eat only 1 snack in school in the morning and 1 snack in the evening.

Basically she is lacking that focus and concentration.I am now getting clueless as to how i can handle this before it gets serious.

Any ideas, suggestions and advice? Thanks
vanessagw23 responded:
This sounds a bit like my 7 year old daughter. The only thing we can do is stay after her, unfortunately, about everything. Her mind is focused on something else entirely and for the most part i fell like there is no changing that. She'd totally rather be playing or talking then doing what she's suppossed to be doing. i hate that i feel like i am constantly nagging her, but ya know what? If she doesn't want me telling her to do this and that all of the time then she needs to learn otherwise. Stay vigilant and good luck ;)
alliehooch responded:
My daughter is 8, too. I wouldn't worry about it too much- I think that a lot of this just goes with the age. While my daughter has ADD and really has a hard time concentrating when not on meds, I can sort of tell a difference between ADD symptoms and just what seems to be a typical kidthing where she just isn't that interested in getting ready for school- or the next activity. I think that at this age kids are not practiced enough in looking ahead to understand that there are future consequences due to what they do or don't do in the present. That's a real hard concept, even for us adults.

Your daughter sounds very smart, energetic, competitive. I like that she is racing to finish her tests first. That's so funny! Maybe use that competive nature, but give her a different race. See if you can turn it into a race to get all the answers correct. Show her how to double check her answers before turning the test in and when she finds a mistake she made say, hey, that's 5 extra points you found by going back over your test.
Also, maybe making a list of what she needs to carry to school and posting it by the door would help? The slow eating sounds really annoying. Is she just not hungry at meal times? Is somthing else getting her attention? I know it's not good to rush thru a meal, but she has to be respectful of others and realize that she's making post dinner cleanup more difficult. I would continue with the 30 min timer and take her plate away. If she was really hungry, she'd have eaten during that time.
If you think that she has attention deficit disorder, try talking to her teacher and see what she thinks. From my experience good teachers recognize the difference between ADD and typical lack of focus due to their age. If your child's teacher thinks that there may be some reason to suspect ADD, ask around and find a doctor who is experienced with it. After my experience, and the experience of others, I can see so many benefits to treatment. It's not just the ability to focus, but the ijmproved relationship b/c you're not always nagging, the child's self esteem improves b/c their not always letting someone down, even friend ships improve.

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