Lack of Focus

Each day I deal with some children’s inability to focus. There are children who cannot sit still on the carpet and listen to what is being said. There are those who sit quietly but their mind is in another place. There are those who cannot help but chatter to the person next to them. There are those who disturb those around them continually throughout the day. I try to make as many activities in my classroom as interesting as possible, but there are those who cannot focus on completing even the fun tasks.

Often I try to figure out what it is about so many children in our modern world who cannot focus on anything for even 5 minutes. Is it over-exposure to television / the computer screen / the iPad or phone? Or may it be the environment they live in, or the food that they eat? I think back to my own childhood and think of all the things I used to do: play outside for hours; play imaginative games with my sisters and our friends; read for hours under a tree or on my bed; sit at my desk and draw for pleasure. I think back to my classroom experience and I cannot think of one person who had been labelled ADD or had had trouble focusing.

I often wish we could pinpoint the causes for the lack of focus so many children experience in our society so that we could help them. For I fear that children who are unable to focus, will turn into adults who are unable to focus. And as the number of children who have difficulty focusing increase in the classrooms each year, I fear what may occur in the working world in the years to come.

Five-Minute-Friday-badgeDo you experience the inabiltity to focus on a task?

© Colline Kook-Chun, 2016

(This post was inspired by the Five Minute Friday prompt: focus)

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20 thoughts on “Lack of Focus

    1. Stress or worry may cause lack of focus – though I don’t think this is what is causing the 7 year olds in my class to lose their concentration. Prayer does help me personally, though, when I find my mind continually wandering to my worries.

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  1. Very good article, Colline and yes I know about such children and sadly also adults. I couldn’t focus on my tasks when I felt stressed or depressed but by children it’s worse. They really lack the simple activities those should be done yet before they start to join primary schools. First of all I wouldn’t allow (what I did with my children for years) sit them in front of the TV or PC for hours. My children should watch TV only on weekends or sometimes on holidays. Sometimes we need to create a little pressure to take them out for walks or to get them help us, but we need to make them apart of all activities so they will also learn how to be responsible and focus on their tasks. It can be done even by playing. The parents can change the roles with their children. I remember one day I told my children if they think it’s so easy to be a parent and “command” them, they can try it. So I was a child, I was hungry and I wanted to play and I was lazy to help my “parents”. My daughter tried to prepare some simple food, clean the floor, wash dishes, she even did some laundry (I watched over her of course) and she realized that it’s not so easy at all.

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    1. I love what you did with your children. The change of roles would show them how difficult it can be to be the parent – and how difficult it can be if children don’t co-operate. It would teach them a little empathy as well.

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  2. Interesting subject. I have to say that my boys were two of those children in your classroom, figuratively. I had to go to school for them both so many times it was ridiculous. Not focusing on the task at hand, disturbing those around them, disturbing the teacher so that class was disrupted many times just for the behavior. I understand your predicament from a parent’s point of view. It was challenging to say the least. My younger son, the 19-year old still has that challenge. Right now I am trying to get him to focus on what he wants to do with his life. I am not insisting that he make permanent decisions, but ones that just get him motivated in a direction of accepting responsibility for himself and his life. This son also has bipolar disorder. While I can appreciate this challenge (diagnosed at 10), it doesn’t make it easier. Both sons were labeled ADHD/ADD (and there is a difference between the two). By the time the younger son was ten, I realized that something else was going on thereby reaching the bipolar diagnosis. The medication for ADD had not been working. There are so many elements that can be contributing to this dilemma, including all of those mentioned above. My personal thought is that food is probably more of an influence because it does directly into the system. Just my thoughts…

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    1. I agree with you on the food. My nephew had – and still has – ADD and a change of diet did help him. We need to be careful what chemicals we put into our bodies.
      Be strong with regards to your son. He is lucky to have a mom who cares for him and has not given up on him. Thank you for sharing your story with us.

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  3. AS a mom at the toddler stage, I have this worry, too. I see so many children who cannot focus on anything for any length of time. Because of that, I limit my son’s screen time. Toddlers have a short enough attention span, and I’d hate for it to grow any shorter!

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    1. You are doing a good thing. My children were two when they started watching TV for half an hour each day. And there was no computer time. Now? As teens they don’t have trouble focusing.

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  4. Fantastic post, Colline. I think the inability to focus comes from being permitted to spend hours on their favorite type of technology where children are held captive by challenges, noises, and bright graphics.

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    1. I think too much screen time has affected the children Ruth. Parents pass on the devices to help keep them quiet but it doesn’t give children the skill to work with paper, listen, or focus on anything that is not digital.

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  5. Colline, I definitely have trouble focusing on stuff. One of the main reasons is that I try doing too much at one time. Doing that way though really cuts down on what actually gets accomplished. I pray for better focus all the time. Have a blessed week.

    Lynette
    ~#8 at FMF

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    1. Too much to do certainly affects focus. I don’t think that is the problem with the children in my class though as I do give them enough time to complete their tasks.

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