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Building Your Child's Attentiveness and Self-Control

A child who accepts quiet time is learning to entertain themselves, be confident in, and enjoy their own company.

As the use of technology has increased so, it seems, has attention deficit, hyper activity and anxiety in children. There are well supported studies that show that the frequency of technical changes, the blue light of screens and the rock rhythm of the musical back grounds used all have the effect of scrambling the synapses of the brain. Parents must counter this with determined actions so that their children are able to focus and succeed in life.

Your first move should be to cut down to a minimum the use of computers, games on the phone and the playing of rock music. I know it is easy to entertain a child with videos and video games but this will scramble their thought process, raise their anxiety and hyperactivity levels and in later years lead to bouts of depression. When a child is a baby, practice for a few minutes each day getting them to follow with their eyes an item in your hand. Move it back and forth and round in circles. As they begin to crawl get them to chase after an object you pull along the floor.

By the time they are sitting up by themselves they should be receiving some "quiet time". Let me explain. there are plastic gates that clip together and can make a safe play area in a room or you can use other child safe equipment for a space with boundaries. Place a few toys inside the area and sit the baby inside as well. Say to them, "It is quiet time now" Set a timer for five minutes and leave the room. Ignore any fussing until the timer rings. Go back to the child pat them but do not pick them up and say, "quiet time". Pick up a toy and hand it to them then walk back out of the room and set the timer for another five minutes. You can do this up to three times of five minute sessions then pick up the child give them a small treat and continue to be with them. Doing this daily will eventually result in a child who accepts "quiet time" readily and even looks forward to it and may ask for it on their own. They are learning self-control, how to entertain themselves so they are not totally dependent on others and to enjoy and be confident in their own company. These are needed qualities for adulthood. Remember we are not raising children. We are raising successful adults. As the child matures they should spend ten to fifteen minutes sitting on a comfortable chair and looking through a book or playing with a quiet toy. This prepares them for school or church attendance or visiting an elderly relative.

Always set a timer for "quiet time" and you can play soft harp music which really quiets the nervous system. the timer will remind you not to forget them and they will know there is a consistent end to the "quiet time".

There are video games designed to assist a child in developing attentive focus and you can use them occasionally. Just remember the very technology will also be fighting against your goal. A child who has developed control and attentiveness will not only learn better in school but will be much more pleasant to be around for everyone.

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