Distraction – It’s a horrible thing. Is it any wonder why our kids don’t pay attention? It’s hard to attend to any one thing when the world in which we live is moving faster than the speed of light. Novelty grabs attention, and don’t think this concept is lost on television producers and video game designers. More and more, kids of all ages are exposed to a high degree of graphic, violent and sexual content. When competing against these mediums, the odds of kids paying attention to us on a daily basis are bad.
I’m spending the good portion of my weekend pent up in a hotel room between speaking engagements. This makes my editor quite happy, as it affords me uninterrupted writing time, which increases the likelihood we will meet publishing deadlines. It’s amazing what can be accomplished when I slow down and hone my attention toward one task.
Modeled behaviors are internalized and the ugly truth is that when it comes to paying attention, adults model the very behaviors we try to extinguish in our children. I wonder how much time I model quiet sustained attention, void of external distractions. It seems as if I am always doing more than one thing at a time. If I want my kids to slow down and pay attention, I’ve got to do a better job showing them what that looks like – as a parent and as a teacher.
I’d write more, but there seems to be a brazen squirrel outside my hotel room window that has grabbed the attention of some hotel employees … and me. Alas.