As you know, paying attention and having focus have been the catch phrases at our house this year. Teaching Josh and Jameson to pay attention, focus, remember their stuff and in general "get it together" has taken priority. Recently I heard how an Ethiopian explained the difference between American kids and Ethiopian kids.
An American kid can see a car drive by and they will be able to describe the make, model and year, color of the car, the license plate and a description of the driver.
An Ethiopian child will say, "what car?"
That is so absolutely true. Once I heard this comparison, it actually made me feel better that it wasn't just my kids who couldn't pay attention.
So what have we been doing to help this? A lot of memory games. We play memory ever single day. We read the Usborne books where you find items hidden in pictures all the time. All the kids are memorizing scripture and the names of all the African countries in alphabetical order. The brain is like a muscle, the more you use it, the stronger it will get. We quiz them on things that they see to teach them to pay attention to the details. We play games in the car looking for signs and certain colors of cars just to get them to PAY ATTENTION to their surroundings.
And then there is always tough love. Now this is not to say that I don't constantly give warnings, reminders etc, and it sounds awful, but there has to be a point where Josh gets it together. He constantly forgets whatever he needs to go to soccer, church, etc. I have gotten to the point where if he forgets his bag, he's going to have to explain why he forgot his bag. If he forgets his water, he's going to be thirsty. So that when we get to the soccer practice and Josh says, "mom, where's my bag?" I get to say, "What bag?" ha