Friday, April 8, 2011

F is for Focus

We've been having parenting challenges with a couple of our little ones lately, primarily revolving around a lack of ability to focus and pay attention. They can be told something - instructions, a rule, or what have you - and moments later it is as if they never heard it. As you can imagine, this is rather frustrating. Admittedly, they come by it honestly... I was diagnosed with both ADD and "absent seizures" as an adolescent, and these two definitely share those tendencies!

However, I am of the opinion that behavior is learned. While they may have tendencies toward spaciness and forgetfulness, they can (and will) learn ways to deal with it - as I continue to do even today. Staying on top of things is a constant struggle for me, and I see that reflected in my girls' behavior. It's not out of any sense of laziness or malice, just a simple "Oops; I forgot!" ... But it does have real-world consequences, some of them pretty serious. As an adult, if they "forget" that they have work on a certain day, for example, that could very well be the end of their job - setting in motion a whole crazy CHAIN of consequences!

I am finding that there is no easy answer to teaching my children how to pay attention, focus and think through their actions. It is a constant process of learning (or teaching, depending on where you stand), and is different for every person. An excellent article I came across that offers some practical and effective suggestions for teaching children to focus is titled (prepare to be shocked) "Helping Children Learn to Pay Attention", by Jane M. Healy.

Many of the suggestions Dr. Healy offers are things we already do in our household. Many others are things I understand and support, and just haven't had the time to put into practice! Family martial arts and yoga have been on my "must-do" list for a long time now, for example. *laughing*

I have to wonder... Would so many kids (and grownups) have "ADD" and other focus difficulties if we didn't spend so much time indoors and plugged in?? I highly doubt it. Someday, we'll move out to the country and test that theory.  :)


  1. Brilliant Blog I am passing the name of the book on to my brother!! Thank you for another great blog again today!! :)

  2. I can relate. My brother is disabled and has focus issues. Lately, it has been worse. I wonder if Mercury being retrograde plays into it?

  3. Don't know how much I can relate, but do know I'm happy to help and learn! :) AND i'm sending headhugs to all! :)

  4. Don't let Susan try to fool you. She has Shiney Object Syndrome as bad as the rest of us. She'll probably yell at me for saying so, but them's the breaks.

    On Topic: good stuff, Bri. I, too, have intermittent focus issues, and I look forward to having like-minded folks to establish a pattern of right-thinking with.

  5. Great post! I can tell you from personal experience, that martial arts and yoga, both of which my son and I practice, do help!! Give it a try:)

  6. Raven: I blame everything on Mercury retrograde. LOL No, we go through these periods fairly regularly. I think it's just genetics. ;)

    Brad: SOS!! Yes. Mine drives Jeffrey crazy at any store we go to. And I am also looking forward to having you guys nearby! We can kick each others' butts. :)

    Sugar: Yeah, I know that from personal experience as well. LOL I used to do both; it just seems like there's never enough time!! I'm thinking that the time simple needs to be made, however. Looking forward to sparring with you someday!!

  7. I love your site and as I browsed your blog I decided to award you the Beautiful Mommy Writer Award.
    Go to and pick up your award.

  8. Good post. I didn't realize you were Jeffrey's better half. His post today is excellent.
    N. R. Williams, The Treasures of Carmelidrium.