According to a study by researchers from the University of Oregon’s Brain Development Lab, College of Education and Department of Psychology, and a psychologist from Willamette University, parents can play an important role in the enhancement of their children’s attention skills. 

“Selective attention” is one of the higher cognitive functions and the ability to stay focused is the first step to effective learning. A requirement that may be a challenge in some noisy and unruly preschool and kindergarten classrooms.  “You could have the most amazing kindergarten teacher up there, but if a child can’t control their attention… it doesn’t matter what the teacher’s doing,” said one of the researchers.

Some exercises and activities can be very efficient to improve a child’s attention and concentration. The following advices are particularly useful, as well, to lessen stress for both children and parents:

1. Visualize emotions: learn how to recognize when children are “emotionally saturated”.

2. Be consistent: follow a routine, especially around bedtime.

3. Give acceptable choices: don’t ask “empty questions”, such as, “Do you want to go to bed?”

4. Put it in pictures: use picture schedules that increase predictability.


Arcanys Early Learning Foundation