Focus for Kids: Enhancing Concentration, Caring, and Calm draws from the latest psychological and neurological research detailed in his new book FOCUS: The Hidden Driver of Excellence to offer these guided audio exercises made for ages 6 to 10. These exercises will sharpen children’s attention skills while enhancing their emotional intelligence capability.
Children who learn how to focus in our fast-paced, distracting world do better in school, are better able to manage their emotions, and build lasting relationships.
Excerpt from Daniel Goleman’s article, What Helps Kids Focus Better – and Why They Need Help.
A middle-school teacher complains her recent crop of students haven’t been able to understand the textbooks nearly as well as those in previous years.
Kids learn best when they can maintain sustained attention, whether to what a teacher is saying, their textbook, or their homework. The root of learning is keen focus; distractions kill comprehension. But the new normal for young people continually interrupts their focus with distractions.
This is particularly alarming in light of very strong research results showing that a child’s ability to resist the temptation of distraction and stay focused predicts how she will fare financially and health wise in adulthood. Some call it “self-control”, others “grit” or “delay of gratification.” It boils down to the tenacity to keep your eyes on your goal (or schoolwork) and resist impulse and distraction.
Neuroscientists tell us this crucial mental ability hinges on the growth of a neural strip in the brain’s prefrontal cortex, just behind the forehead, which connects to circuitry that helps manage both attention and unruly emotions. This circuitry grows with the rest of the brain from birth throughout childhood and the teen years.
The more a youngster can practice keeping her focus and resist distraction, the stronger and more richly connected this neural real estate becomes. By the same token, the more distracted, the less so.
This mental ability is like a muscle: it needs proper exercise to grow strong. One way to help kids: give them regular sessions of focusing time, the mental equivalent of workouts in the gym.
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