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See Inside December 2005

Learning to Focus

A few simple tricks can help children (and adults) improve their concentration powers

YOU HAVE TO CONCENTRATE! Who among us never heard that exhortation in grade school or from our parents? Of course, it is genuinely difficult for children to ignore distractions and dedicate themselves to a task at hand. Yet school counselors and cognitive therapists see the inability to concentrate as a widespread learning problem. Some straightforward steps can improve concentration power--for students and adults.

Parents can first help children learn how to concentrate by being good role models. If you are working on an assignment or project, show your children what you are doing and how you will break the task into manageable pieces. Then let them know why you do not want to be disturbed.

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