My son is easily distracted. If I ask him to go upstairs and put on socks, he has a few more things he wants to tell me, and then he wants to pet the cat, and sometimes he gets all the way upstairs and forgets why he was sent up there and starts reading a book.

Lately, I've had him repeat items back to me so that we are both clear on what he should be doing. Sometimes that works, but sometimes the need to snuggle with the cat wipes instructions from his memory.

Maybe it's not fair to say that he is easily distracted. Maybe it would be more fair to say he is normally distracted for his age.

But this is something that parents find that they have to teach their children about: How to think about limiting distractions from their own lives. To think about limits, however, children have to understand that distractions exist in the first place. This is not obvious to them, and short of following my son around for a few hours to point out times that he got distracted in the middle of a task, I am not sure how to show him what distractions are. (Also: That sounds really annoying for both of us.)

I know that I deal with a lot of distractions in my own day: Messages pop up at work that I need to handle, phone texts come in that I feel bad if I try to ignore. But I will say that on the days that I deliberately set aside a few hours for some focused work and cut out all the distractions, I find I can get so much more done.

Now, I just need my son's full attention so we can start the conversation.

How do you teach your child to minimize distractions? Tell me in the comments.

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