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Can the ability to pay attention predict the future success of your child?  A recent article (here is a link to the article) in Education Week suggests just that.  The study from Oregon State concludes that youth who can pay attention and are able to stick with a task have a better chance of completing college.  According to their research, this ability is a stronger predictor than their mathematical and reading ability.  The study (here is a link) published in the Early Childhood Research Quarterly showed this:

  • The biggest predictor of college completion was not math or reading
  • The ability to pay attention and finish tasks is critical
  • Tactics aimed at increasing a child’s self-control improves their ability to:
    • listen
    • pay attention
    • follow through on a task
    • remember instructions

The conclusion of the study says that while academic ability is important, the other skills are critical as well.  So as a parent, what tactics can you use.  Try some of these:

  • Have your child focus on playing with a singular object for a period of time.  For adolescents, using just one toy allows them to explore, focus, and use their imagination.
  • Don’t let your child give up when they encounter difficulties and challenges
  • Teach persistence
  • Encourage effort
  • Reading allows for a time of singular focus.  Set goals with your children, document their progress, and let them measurably see their improvement.

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