Building focus and attention in early childhood

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Building focus and attention in early childhood

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Well there's a big secret about building focus and attention span; parents don't talk about it, experts don't talk about it. Magda Gerber, my mentor, talked about it and it is very simple. Don't interrupt babies. We interrupt babies all the time in our wonderful, well-meaning ways. Grandma comes in, mom comes home, there's a baby, "Hi sweetie!" instead of looking first and seeing, "Oh my gosh, the baby was staring at dust particles in the light and really examining them and really having thoughts and really doing something, and I interrupted the flow of what they were doing." So to understand this you have to understand that babies are whole people from the beginning, and they do have thoughts and they have a lot going on, just like you and I do. In fact, even more; they're so absorbent and ready to learn. But as adults, we don't value what a baby might be doing when it doesn't look like they're doing that much. And so we never think to not interrupt them. But if we interrupt children all the time at the infancy level then they learn to have a shorter attention span. Also, when parents are diaper changing or doing other caregiver activities like bathing the baby, there's a tendency to want to distract to get the job done. Right there we're teaching the child to be distracted from what's really going on instead of focusing on what's really happening. So these are some small things that we do that we can easily change if we really value a long attention span for our child.

Watch Video: Building focus and attention in early childhood by Janet Lansbury, ...

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Janet Lansbury

RIE Parenting Expert

Janet Lansbury is a parenting advisor, writer and teacher. She has served on the board of directors of Resources for Infant Educarers (RIE) for over a decade, written childcare articles and been a frequent presenter at early childhood conferences. A former actress/model (Janet Julian), Janet found her true calling when she gave birth to her first child and sought guidance from renowned infant expert Magda Gerber. Inspired and mentored by Gerber in the early 1990s, Janet became a RIE Parent/Infant Guidance Class instructor and has since had the privilege of providing support and guidance to thousands of parents and caregivers throughout Los Angeles. Most recently, she has become a prolific and influential parenting blogger with a worldwide following.

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