I’m so glad you’re here because today we’re going to talk about something your daughter’s probably doing every single day.
I’m guilty of it and, honestly, you might be too.
Welcome back to episode #11
Where you and your daughter are going to need two things
- your sense of humor
- and a dose of honest self-reflection
Because it’s no secret that we live in a world full of distractions.
And, well, sometimes, we get totally sucked into the noisy vortex without even realizing it.
That’s why I want to introduce you to a concept call Continuous Partial Attention or CPA.
The concept, continuous partial attention was coined in 1998, by a researcher named Linda Stone, who, while working for Microsoft, noticed that many people in the tech industry worked with a split focus.
Meaning that, as they were working on an important task, they were also receiving partial input from a variety of other sources.
Fast forward to 2020 and the introduction of full or part time at-home learning.
A laptop or chrome book in front of your daughter several hours a day.
She’s bored, she desperately misses her classmates, friends and teachers
Soooo, she starts playing Among Us, while …
- simultaneously Snap Chatting her buddies
- scrolling through TiKTok or Instagram
- finish up a bit of overlooked homework
- googling something that wasn’t clear to her
- daydreaming about all the fun things she misses about school
Her brain is receiving and processing input from several different sources
So, it no surprise that when it’s time to complete an assignment
She thinks, “I can’t concentrate on this”
And googles “Do I have ADD?”
And – what pops up are the early signs of ADD:
- Poor attention span
- Easily distracted
- Getting bored easily
- Failure to listen to instructions properly
Now, I’m not an expert in ADD, though, what I do know, is when my clients tell me they think they may have an attention deficit issue.
AND share that they’re almost always
- toggling between multiple tabs
- chats with friends
- on-line games
- weekend plans
it’s no surprise that it’s tough to complete a task that requires her full, undivided attention.
If you’re thinking, come on, lots of things CAN happen with a superficial level of attention.
Sure, that’s true – especially tasks that you complete without much thought, like brushing your teeth or putting on your shoes.
But others, like complex math problems, essays and recalling key data, definitely require your undivided attention to be fully absorbed.
3 Step Solution
That’s why I’d like to offer your daughter a 3 Step Solution so your daughter can stay focused in a world full of distractions.
Step One – Offer Up Forgiveness
- It’s honestly part of the human condition to be curious about what other people are up to.
- And there’s a lot going on in the teen girl world.
- So be okay with your innate desire to see what’s happening in the world.
Step Two – Break it Down
- Make a list of what needs to be done.
- Then, prioritize your tasks by importance or due date.
- And, then write down a time when you’ll work on a specific task for 25 minutes totally uninterrupted.
Step Three – Get Honest
- Never underestimate the power of your emotions because they can motivate or totally derail you.
- So, identify how you feel about your task.
- It’s okay to say, that’s boring, that’s challenging, or I got this!
- And ask for help if you need it – there’s no reason to try to figure it all out, all by yourself.
Remember, life is about learning and allow the 3 Step Solution to be your guide.
Take Inspired Action
Lastly, I want to mention the Common Sense Media report, that was shared via Social Buddy, that states “Teen “social networkers” still spend about 9.5 hours a day looking at media”
I bring this up because the reality is, your daughter is going to feel drawn to pick up her phone.
A strategy that’s helpful for some of my clients is to put a sticky note over her home screen.
An inspirational quote, a firm reminder – whatever it takes to disrupt her habit of mindlessly picking up her phone.
It’s also worth mentioning, if your daughter is constantly zooooming in to get a closer look – and you know what I mean – she’ll definitely benefit from learning a very effective tool I call, Mindful Monitoring.
You’ll find that in Podcast Episode #8 Put an End to the Teenage Comparison Trap and Build Rock Solid Resilience
By taking inspired action, not only will your daughter be honing her executive functioning skills, but she’ll also learn the art of staying focused in a world full of distractions.
Because when she initiates her task, follows through and see’s that if she can do it once, she can do it again and again – it’s pretty darn magical.
Okay, that’s it for today.
And remember to check back next Tuesday because I’m going to tell you a true story and then ask, what would you do?
Social Buddy | How Much Time Do People Spend on Social Media?