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It’s Not ADD; It’s Childhood.


Children kicking a soccer ball on the side walk

Have you ever asked Tim, your 5th grader, to bring the garbage out, only to trip over the bag halfway down the back steps? And when you go looking for Tim, you find that he’s engrossed in a computer/TV/videogame.

So you ask him about the garbage and he simply says that he forgot. What? He forgot a task while he was mid-way through it?

Doesn’t it seem like some days he has the attention span of a gnat?

Before you haul Tim off to the pediatrician’s office for a prescription, take a look at his after-school behavior. When it comes to the computer/TV/videogame, isn’t it funny how he can focus on nothing else for hours on end? Sure, when it comes to homework you have to nag and bribe, but when it comes to his favorite hobby, his attention is best described as undivided.

If your child can focus on some things, but not on others, it isn’t ADD; it’s childhood. It is simply a lack of motivation and interest in something that they have to put effort into, which is pretty common.

Turning our children into rock stars of focus may not be the easiest task in the world, but it isn’t necessarily one that requires medication. If your child can get to the 6th level of Super Mario Brothers, he can certainly learn to multiply fractions.

Let’s face it: children are into immediate gratification. They’re programmed to enjoy immediate results. Video games, good. Solving fractions, bad.

Just like other school skills such as organization or tidiness, paying attention is a skill that can be learned.

Oxford Learning has been using unique teaching methods to help children become aware of what their minds are doing as they are learning. Our techniques help children become aware of when they are off-topic, and teaches them to re-focus themselves. At Oxford Learning, students learn follow-through and stick-with-it-ness. Which are much needed skills, but unfortunately, very rarely taught in schools.

It’s a skill that they can use to make sure that the garbage bag ends up in the trashcan, and not on the back steps.

Being able to focus may not make children love their trigonometry homework, but it will help them get through the task much quicker.

Some children genuinely have a neurological disorder that requires treatment and a physician’s help. However, before placing a label on your child, consider the fact that maybe he just hasn’t leaned to pay attention yet.

Find out more about ADD/ADHD with Oxford Learning’s downloadable ADD/ADHD brochure, A New Way of Thinking about Paying Attention, by Dr. Nick Whitehead.

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