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.)



Emily Goldberg4 Comments