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Kindergartner focus/completing task issues

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A little background on my ds, he is small for his age, always has been10th- 25th percentile height and 3rd-10th percentile weight.  He is behind on his motor skills, don't know if that's because I never pushed him to write and cut (because it was always a fight to get him to do it) or because he is small.  He has always been busy, he likes to run around and make shooting noises, airplane noises, etc.  He does seem to talk a lot, but can be quiet when we ask him too.  He does sit down and color or watch a movie, but only if it is something that he is really interested in.  We have had issues with him walking around during meal time and if we try to get him to do something he isn't interested in or thinks is boring, he has a hard time completing the task and focusing on doing it.  He will stall and stare out the window or get up and walk around.  Or if it's cleaning his room, he plays and doesn't clean up.  Even small tasks like getting dressed is a big issue some mornings.  I had his parent-teacher conference today and she is concerned about his lack of focus and ability to complete his work on time.  She thinks he is going to have issues next year when he's in school all day long.  He is doing great as far as knowing all the stuff he needs to know.

So I guess I'm wondering if any of you have some tools I can use to help him to focus and learn to get stuff done on time? 

by on Jan. 31, 2013 at 10:44 PM
Replies (11-17):
by on Feb. 3, 2013 at 1:01 PM


Yes, there are some great tools :).  Just work on him focusing.  If he's doing something that he doesn't care for, break it up into chunks.  That way the whole task isn't so daunting.

I also know that it could be a sign of "perfectionism"......if he feels he can't do the task, he refuses to do it.  Writing sounds like one of those tasks for him.  If its really bad, you may want to get in touch with a therapist to help him with his fine motor skills.

But overall, just encouraging him :).  If he gets really flustered, come back to it another time.  Mix in things he loves with it.

Some things I've done to help my son wiht writing:  Montessori sand letters.  You could als odo a sand try (I got a cheap plastic tray on Amazon and some sand, whole thing cost me like $10).  That way if he messes up, he can erase.  Magnadoodles are also good for this reason :).  Give him many opportunities to use a pencil or crayon.  THe biggest way of gaining those skills is to use them :).  Even if its just scribbling :).

Good luck!!!

by Ruby Member on Feb. 3, 2013 at 1:31 PM

 First, being small most likely has nothing to do w/ any of the issues he's having. Ds2 is also small for his age (always has been- 5th-10th percentile for height, 3-5th percentile for weight) and has any fine motor issues. I, too, didn't really let him use scissors much, but he taught himself how to write individual letters.

To help his fine motor skills, Play Doh is great for strengthening hand muscles, as are stress balls. The games Operation and Jenga are good for working fingers and eye-hand coordination.

The lack of focus, wandering around, and talking a lot sounds similar to ds1, who was diagnosed in 2nd gr w/ ADHD. He's a smart kid, but easily distracted, can be quiet when he has to be but mostly talks a lot, and some part of him is always in motion (tapping, bouncing his leg, picking at his fingers). We stayed on top of him, giving him frequent reminders. I would give him "wiggle" breaks when going homework- after working for a set amount of time or getting a set amount of work done, I'd have him wiggle/move constantly for 1 min. It took a few minutes to get him settled back down, but he was able to better focus after that for the next task. In school, in 1st and 2nd gr, he had great teachers who let him lie on the floor, sit in the rocking chair, or stand at his desk to do some of his work (for some reason, those things helped him focus- maybe he could wiggle more?)

For your ds, you could try a chart w/ everything he has to do in the morning to help him stay on track. At school, a strip of velco on the underneath of his desk to rub his fingers/hand on could help him focus on his work (wish I had known about this one when ds1 was younger).











by Mikki on Feb. 3, 2013 at 9:17 PM

We are doing a sticker chart.  Seems to work.  You have a good idea.  Do a google search on it.  That's what we did.

Quoting froggymama2:

Quoting soymujer:

That sounds like my son when he was in kindergarten.  Now that he's in first grade, the lack of focusing and not paying attention to things he wasn't interested in has turned out to be ADD.  Before having him tested at this age, try some behavior modifications.

Do you have any suggestions for behavior modifications?  I thought of having him do some school work at home and timing him and if he doesn't get it done he loses some of t.v. time. 

family in the van   Mom of four

by on Feb. 3, 2013 at 10:29 PM

Thank you for all your posts, you have given me some ideas I'm going to put into place.  I am hopeful the ideas will help.  And if not, we will go from there and seek professional help.

by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 10:02 AM

My SS was the same way last year in Kinder and this year, he's doing so much better.  DH was taking him to a behavioral specialist and everything and they suspect he might have ADD or ADHD, but we were amazed at a what a difference a year made.  I don't really have tools to use but just wanted to let you know there's hope.

by on Feb. 4, 2013 at 10:35 AM

This could literally be my son, except for the airplane noises, etc. My son is tiny and has a May birthday. Last year when he was in Kindergarten we met with his teacher many times because of his lack of focus and follow-through. She really wanted us to hold him back. We did the recommended testing (IQ) and questionnaires. He does have ADHD, according to the criteria. However, his IQ was very hight (140), so the psychologist suggested NOT holding him back. That would really be just delaying the problems for another year, instead of addressing them.

That said, he is struggling in First Grade and I sometimes question our decision to push him forward. It's hard to know if there is a learning disability, or he just can't or won't focus. Have you had your son tested yet? Either way, it's not an easy road, and you can't expect him to "grow out of it". Good luck!

by Platinum Member on Feb. 4, 2013 at 10:57 AM
He sounds like DS!

One of his teachers would have him check bin with her after each task was completed and would give visual cues when he needed prodding along. Have you had his eyes examined (by an optometrist, not his pedi)? Sometimes vision issues can affect behavior (I can't remember the term for it).

Some kids are just spacey. DS can be. He's smart but has zero common sense and can be take forever to do things like take a shower and would turn 20 minutes of homework into 2 hours.
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