Have you ever caught yourself trying to listen to someone while looking at something else and had your mental focus torn? Did you come to the realization that you just lost track of both things? It can be frustrating and overwhelming, especially if our kids do it and ask us to repeat ourselves over, and over, and over, and… You get the point…

Watch With The Eyes

Children are even more likely to fall into this trap of losing focus. It can be difficult for them to remember to pay attention to one thing at a time and choose the right thing. I find myself constantly remind my son to do one thing at a time.

Helping your kids pay attention to where they are looking while they listen can be helpful. If it is too easy to get visually distracted, you can have them close their eyes and think about what they are listening to.

Closing our eyes helps close off one of our senses to help us remove visual distractions.

Listen With The Ears

This is the part most people understand and focus on. Truly, it is one of the easiest steps to focus. It really is as simple as listening. Sometimes it can help to build a habit of turning your ear towards what you are listening to.. Listening is made easier by practicing the other 3 steps.

Think With The Brain

Make sure that you are imagining and thinking about the topic you are listening to. It can help to also think about the person or thing that we are trying to focus on. This connects you in a way to the present moment. 

For children, ask them questions about what they think or see in their mind from time to time as you speak. Asking for their opinion on what you said and listening intently. Not asking them to tell you what they learned or what the facts are. Instead you should ask them about their OPINIONS of the subject.

Don’t be critical of what they think and their opinions. The whole point is just to get them to think about what you are saying or on what they are working on in some form or fashion. This gives you, as a parent, a great place to start in checking on their focus!

And Do The Right Thing

Take action on what you heard. Think about how the knowledge might be applies. When working with kids, ask them if there is anything in the world they think they could use a piece of information to do or to do better.

This is where we get our kids to learn to start at least trying to apply new knowledge to the real world. Applying knowledge to a real world issue is one of the best ways to retain the knowledge!

Sometimes for parents, it can also mean actively doing things for those around us that let them know that we heard them. That we care about what they had to say.

There Are Also TWO Main Types Of Focus


Awareness – We also call it big picture focus. This type of focus is a broad type of focus that isn’t paying particular attention to any one thing, but is rather somewhat observant of all the things going on around us. It is the type of focus we use to tell if people are close to us or when we are scanning or browsing something. Awareness is a state of being in the present moment in a way of ‘taking it all in’. This is particularly important for active protection in public. To remain aware of much of what is going on around us. That can help us avoid tough situations.

Hyper Focus

Hyper Focus – This is the type of focus we use when we are completely zoned in on one thing. People often experience this playing video games or doing projects. It is when you have put all the steps of your focus into one thing or person. Putting you in the present moment in a way that tunes out everything else except what we are working on. This is useful for getting things done more effectively. With hyper focus, we do trade in our awareness as they are essentially polar opposites.

Awareness pays a small amount of attention to many things around us, or the whole picture. Hyper focus pays a large amount of attenion onto one thing or detail.

Using these focus tips can improve your own, or your kids, listening skills!
This can help form better relationships, learn faster, and show how much you care about what a loved one says or feels.

Follow these 4 steps yourself and you might be amazed at how much you can improve control of your own focus. When you feel it slipping, ask yourself which step you need to get under control.

Break it down like that for your children, consistently & repetitively. Let them know what step is breaking down in their focus when it happens.
It will truly amaze you.

This #Teammate parent article was written by: Cory Rose