How to help your child with attention and listening.
Why is it important?
- For developing language
- For learning
- For joining in
- For taking turns
- To praise your child
- To encourage them to look at you
- To check they are listening before you speak
- To show then how to look and listen
- To be patient
- To use natural gestures alongside talking
- It takes time to learn attention and listening skills
How you can help
- Choose a favourite game or exciting activity, e.g. bubbles, balloons. wind-up toys, action songs/rhymes, water play
- To start with, play the game for a short time
- Use the same words and visual clues (e.g. gestures/signs/picture symbols) to introduce, continue and finish the activity.
- Encourage your child to participate by waiting at specific times during the activity for them to join in.
- Each day make the time spent playing together a little bit longer by extending the activity for 1 more turn.
- To turn off the TV
- To try and find a space to play one to one with your child
- To make sure there are no distractions in the room put other toys away and give your other children an activity to do in another room
- To focus on their success, however small.
What to do next
choose some more games and:
- Play each game for a longer time, adding in extra turns
- Now try playing two short games
- Build up the amount of time each game is played
- Invite one other person to join your games.
Encourage your child to help with everyday activities like:
- Sorting the washing
- Putting away the shopping
- The aim is to increase the time, the range of activities and the number of people who join in
- To try to do a little every day
- To make it part of your daily routine
- To try to keep it fun.