Music for Focus
As a parent of a child with attention challenges I am constantly experimenting with new strategies to keep my child on task. The toolbox has to be deep. Because I am a songwriter, I often turn to music. We used to have a song about walking to school to keep us moving East the 5 blocks of our daily journey. I also like to lapse into improvised recitative when giving instructions to the children (after I've said it once, and before I start to get really mad).
This is a song I wrote a few years ago that is particularly versatile. It has the child repeat what they are doing over and over: "I'm putting on my shoes, I'm putting on my shoes, It's what I'm doing now, I sure know how!" Change the lyrics for whatever you want the child to keep doing: "I'm washing my hands...," "I'm picking up my blocks...," "I'm brushing my hair...," whatever you need them to focus on.
There is also a sweet little chorus that reminds everyone why it's important to do our part: "Every day I know what to do, You help me and I help you."
I started using this song with my daughter when she was 5, and now she is 8 and I still sing it with her, as well as her 5-year-old sister. It's easier for all of us if my response to a pokey kid is a little song, instead of screaming "Hey! Didn't you hear me the first 20 times I told you to put on your socks?! They were right here! Why did you hide them?! You don't know?! What is going on here?!?!?!?"
Ok, sometimes that is exactly what I say. But it's nice to have something else in the toolbox, too.
(You can find the tune under "sheet music" or take a listen to the videos my children made. There are 3, because, of course, each needed to do their very own.)