Paying Attention to Attention

Paying Attention to Attention

Obviously, if they are going to succeed in school and beyond, young children must learn how to “pay attention.”  And a big part of paying attention is attention span.  It is impossible for infants to attend to anything for more than a few seconds, and even toddlers and preschoolers can’t be expected to attend to something that is not particularly interesting for more than a minute or two.  Unfortunately, a lot of young children are not given sufficient opportunities to practice sustained attention until they are required to attend to activities that are less than fascinating.  The result is a lot of frustration and failure with only minimal and painstaking progress.

That is one reason why Romp n’ Roll is so beneficial.  The fun and engaging activities inspire rather than require gradual increases in attention span.  Consequently, paying attention is an exciting adventure leading to personal fulfillment instead of a dreadful chore to be completed merely for adult approval, which results in maximum progress.

Less obvious is that paying attention involves skills as well as span.  There is selective attention, the ability to focus and concentrate, and there is divided attention, the ability to multi-task and attend to more than one thing simultaneously.  You undoubtedly are aware of your capacity for selective attention.  Think of a basketball player shooting free throws in the other team’s arena.  The fans are screaming and waving things in an effort to distract him.  But he easily pushes all that irrelevant stuff into the background, focuses on the task at hand, and makes the shots.

What you may not be aware of is your capacity for divided attention.  Have you ever had the experience of driving home…and all of a sudden you’re there?  You really don’t remember how you got there because you weren’t paying attention?  Well, you were paying attention.  But familiar route, light traffic, good weather – you didn’t need much attention to get the car home.  So some of your attention was on driving, some on the song on the radio, some on what you did at work, and some on thoughts of what you were going to do when you got home.

Clearly, success in school and beyond necessitates that children develop expertise in both selective and divided attention.  And that is another reason why Romp n’ Roll is so beneficial.  There are activities that involve careful concentration amidst a cacophony of sights and sounds, and there are activities that involve a rather complex distribution of attention among a variety of those sights and sounds simultaneously.

So if you recognize how important paying attention will be for your child and want your child to make as much progress as possible during the early years, all you have to do is pay close attention to what is taking place in Romp n’ Roll classes.