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A Less Distracted Kid Today May Mean A More Successful Adult Tomorrow

Did you know that research from Duke University shows that the strongest predictor of future success in children ages 6-12 is the ability to focus and concentrate? And that kids who lacked focus were more likely to struggle as adults? There is also evidence showing that kids who lack focus at age 5 are more likely to have problems in school by the age of 12.

According to Daniel Goleman, author of Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, “the area of the brain that governs focus and executive functioning needs to have the experience of sustained episodes of concentration in order to build the mental models that create someone who is well educated. This means that we need to be even more intentional about teaching kids given all of the day-to-day distractions and competition for their attention.”

Another study, from Oregon State University, confirms that one aspect of executive function skills in children, what the researchers call "attention span persistence,” is strongly predictive of whether or not these same children had graduated from college by the time they were 25 years old. The researchers define attention span-persistence as "the ability to focus, attend to relevant information, and persist on a task." This further indicates that the early years are crucial for the ability to learn as we get older. Helping kids improve these foundational skills like focus, working memory and self-control creates huge benefits in the future.

So as a parent what can you do to help improve your child’s focus and concentration? The good news is that we know kids’ brains are adaptable and it’s not too late to help them build these skills and reach their full potential.  But finding the right kind of training is key to their success.

One tool that has shown results helping train kids’ brains to focus is BrainBeat.  It is a cognitive trainer that improves neurological timing and rhythm through real-time, millisecond feedback by targeting the two areas of the brain important for focus: the prefrontal or ‘executive’ area and the parietal lobe (which controls timing, sight, sound and motion). By training the brain to focus solely on a target tone in frequent, intense timeframes, BrainBeat helps these two areas communicate more efficiently. With practice, they become synchronized and the brain learns to focus on demand, helping kids take on new challenges, achieve things that were difficult before and build confidence, leading to success in and out of the classroom.  

Written by Paula Piccirilli — January 02, 2014

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