How to increase your toddler’s attention skills

Hi and Welcome to today’s video which is about THREE ways that you can increase
your toddler’s attention skills. So there are many children that I encounter at my
clinic who I describe as highly distractible. They may be very
difficult to engage even in the session. So they’re going here, they are going
there, they are opening the taps, they’re under the table, their attention
skills are just quite limited. And before we can do any meaningful language
building with a child who is not attending for longer than short bursts
of time, we have to focus on increasing their attention skills. So we have ways
that we do it in the session. Which basically are just the ways that I’m
going to talk about and here they are. So ONE way that you can increase your
child’s attention skills is by ‘Reading to them’. Sure, this is one sure way of
increasing any toddler’s attention skills is through reading and you can
read to your baby from when they are born. I have met parents who say to me or
they are waiting for their child to turn to so they can start to read to them and
I’m like no, you can always start from even when we are little, when they’re not even understanding what you are saying. For as long as you are
animated in the way in which you read in the book, the better it is for stretching
your child’s or your toddler’s attention skills. So check out a video on “How I
read to my children to build their language skills”. That should give you
some tips about how to get to be more animated with your voicing, your
intonation and the kinds of questions you can ask as well. And one other tip
about reading, it’s okay to read the same book over and over to your child.
Actually, children love the same books read to them over and over, and they
actually get really good at remembering the entire plot of the book. I have a
video as well that talks about ‘The Better Choice of Book if you’re
Trying to Grow Your Child’s Language’. Which really is also the better choice
of book if you’re trying to help build your child’s attention skills although
it probably doesn’t matter as much. But it’s better you have 2
for 1, their language skill is getting built up, at the same time as
their attention skills. So one tip when a child is very engaged and understands
the plot you can always just sabotage. So sabotage is a technique we use in
therapy where you say what the child doesn’t expect and then wait for a
reaction. Because they are very familiar with the plot by this time. So
if you are talking about “Farmer so and so on the tractor going on to the farm”,
you can now maybe change the script and saying “going to town” and then wait for
the reaction. And if your child knows that you will do a lot of these from
time to time, they’re more attentive to what you’re
saying because they know mommy might change the script or the plot. So
that’s a tip that I use at the clinic as a with my children. Another way the
SECOND way to increase your toddler’s attention is by; ‘Giving them instructions’.
Wow giving instructions to your toddler will
not only benefit their attention but it will also grow their language. It’s like
two for the price of one really. The more your child can follow instructions, the
more they are learning and the more they’re learning, the longer they can
attend for, so they’ll be able to follow more multi-step
instructions. I have a video as well on ”The Importance of Giving Instructions” so
check that out as well. So if you’re not giving instructions to your toddler
start today. And vary the type of instructions you give your child. There are
instructions that you give, that are mostly of routine items or actions and
instructions about non-routine actions. Which are more unpredictable but check
out my video as I said about the importance of giving your child
instructions and start with whichever kind. If your child follows you to the
toilet like my toddler does, put them to work.
Tell them, “throw that you know give them the empty toilet rolls and tell them to
throw them in the bin”, get them to throw their diaper, their used diaper in the bin, etc just whatever gets them moving
because that will build their attention and they’ll be attending longer. So later
you can even give them two instructions “throw that in the bin and then
get mommy’s slippers or whatever”. You not sending your child because they are
difficult to send or to instruct, will not only make them even more difficult
to send but it will also not improve their attention skills. So I hear parents
say to me that they don’t give their child instructions because they are just
difficult to send and it’s much easier for them to go get that thing but
they asking the child to go get, and it’s not really the point but that child it’s
no wonder that they are delayed in talking and they are so destructible,
highly destructible. THIRD way to get your child to or to increase your
toddler’s attention skills is through various play and singing activities and
games. So what kind of activities is like “peekaboo” so you have your
sheet or your scarf and your child has it and you’re playing those games. So
that back and forth just engages a child that they keep attending
longer. Also other anticipatory games like round and round the garden, so
“round and round the garden, like a teddy bear, one step two-stop” kids love it. So
another one is “three little piggies with the toe”, so anything that keeps your
child there glued, anticipating your next move will keep their
attention will grow their attention skills. When singing Nursery Rhymes for
example make sure you involve the child with the accompanying gestures or
actions for that rhythm. So if it’s “wheels on the bus go round and round”, make sure
the child is doing that, make sure you don’t move on to the next until the child is watching you, as they are participating like that,
you are actually stretching their attention skills. It is much more
beneficial for your child to be sung to or involved in a song than to watch that
rhyme or watch those rhymes on the screens. And I know I said three ways to increase
your toddler’s attention but I cannot help throwing in another tip. Which is
avoid Over-Exposing your child to screens, as it can make any child become quite highly distractible. So they’re not able to attend for
longer than a short period of time. Check out I do have a free video course that
delves much more into ‘Why Screens are Detrimental to a Child’s Development’ so
avoid screens. So there you have it guys the three ways that you can increase
your toddler’s attention skills. Those are tips that you can start applying
today, please leave a comment below if you have any feedback for us or any
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catch you later

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