A new study claims that teaching toddlers to pay attention will benefit them in the long run, especially when it comes to academic success.
The study which tracked 430 kids from early years age to 21 year olds makes the recommendation that pressure should be taken off children to learn maths and their ABCs, and instead the attention should be focused on helping them persist in difficult tasks and build perseverance.
The study by Oregon State University showed that the children most likely to go on to further education were the ones who persisted in tasks and paid the most attention in early years sessions not the ones who were attending piano lessons and being forced to read books.
For some, this might come as quite the relief as the parental competitiveness hots up to encourage children in participating in early classical music lessons and academia. Instead, the study advises that it may be better to teach simple social skills such as paying attention, how to follow directions and not giving up on more difficult tasks.
Those involved in the study were assessed in literature and maths as seven year olds and again as 21 year olds. Those who had been four year olds with a lot of persistence and a good attention span became the adults more likely to end up with a university degree.
Child development expert Dr. Megan McClelland said, “The earlier that educators and parents can intervene, the more likely a child can succeed academically. The important factor was being able to focus and persist. Someone can be brilliant, but that doesn’t necessarily mean they can focus when they need to and finish a task or job.”