Why it's important to help kids pay conscious attention in an age of distraction

We are living in the age of distraction, no doubt about that, so the skill of paying attention is an important one.

Parenting expert Nikki Bush notes that there's an important distinction between paying attention to something that's distracted you and paying conscious, voluntary attention to something you've chosen to focus on.

There are lots of visual distractions, auditory distractions, as well as emotional distractions in our lives.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

We're bringing up children in the age of attention-snatchers called devices.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

Bush says it's vital that kids learn how to pay voluntary attention during their early childhood years, because when puberty hits, a so-called pruning process takes place in the brain.

Although the organ's neuro-plasticity enables us to learn throughout our lives, this gets harder as we get older.

And with kids, if strong "wiring" is created during the formative years, those well-worn pathways will not disappear during puberty.

There are hormones that get released in the brain and in order to make space for new learning in the teenage years, the neurological pathways that have not been well-worn and well-used, disappear.

Nikki Bush, Parenting expert

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