Sibling Loyalty NOT Sibling Rivalry
Counselor’s Corner
“How to Teach Your Child to Concentrate”
Most children are able to concentrate naturally when they want to.   Many have not developed this skill.  Successful people are able to “get in the flow” at will.  If you watch an artist, writer or craftsperson at work you will see that this is true.
We can help our children increase this skill in areas other than when playing computer games and or watching T.V.  The first thing we need to do is to help children become aware of when they concentrate and to recognize the feelings they have when concentrating.  We can do this by observing them for a few days, and asking ourselves the following:

  • What is my child doing when he seems to be concentrating?
  • How long does he spend at these activities?
  • How easy is it to distract him during these periods?
Once you understand your child’s patterns of concentration you can start having a conversation with him, pointing out times when other family members are in deep concentration and what it looks like. 
Next have him recognize concentration in himself.  Wait for a time you see it in him, and when he completes the activity make comments and ask questions like:
  1. “It looked like you were really concentrating hard when you drew that picture.”
  2. “How did it feel to concentrate like that?”
  3. “I noticed that your sister interrupted you but noticed you returned to your picture quickly.  It’s good to be able to get back to what you were doing.”

Your child may show interest in this type of conversation which is at a more adult level than many of the conversations with children when we tell him what to do.
Once the child understands the idea of concentration and the value of it you may engage him in a game which reinforces concentration.  There are many on the market or you can make one up.  Have a timer and time who can concentrate on an object the longest.  Play any of the various games.
Once your child understands concentration, how it works, and enjoys concentration games, you can encourage him to apply his skills on things like homework.  Now that he understands and appreciates the benefits of concentrating, encourage and praise him in those times you notice it.
Enjoy the challenge of parenting.
Jackie Cardinale,   School Counselor
Summarized from:


Jackie Cardinale/Counselor -

Molly Engblom/Counselor -

Janice McFarland/Student Support Services -

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Poway Unified School District, 15250 Avenue of Science, San Diego, CA 92128-3406