Attention and concentration
- Adult reaction - Children who do not appear to pay any attention to what is being said might be perceived as being uninterested or unfriendly. A child who is a whirlwind of activity can also be very tiring for the adults. Adults should remember that the child cannot help it or even understand it, at least to begin with. As children get old enough to understand, it is helpful to talk with them in a neutral way about things they find tricky (sitting still) and how we can help them.
- Live in the moment with them - Children can very often be creatures of the moment. Any delay in the consequences of their actions means that they fail to learn from them. Rewards for good work and behaviour need to happen immediately. Praise should come within seconds of a good achievement, such as working hard on a task. Instructions need to be simple and extra clear. Attention needs to be gained before the child moves from one activity to another, or before instructions are given to them (use their name to hook them in.)
- Short and sweet - give your child opportunities to work in short chunks and let off energy between them. Use a timer or a clock to mark those chunks and have a clear movement-based activity after each chunk.