Ms.Clark asks:

How can you get a teen to stay focused on her school work without distractions?

My daughter is very smart. But she slacked a little at the end of the school year and it got her grades off balance. This upcoming school year I want to make sure she concentrates on her school work and grades at all times.
In Topics: ADHD & attention issues
> 60 days ago



Wayne Yankus
Aug 7, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

Sleep, food, and recreation.  First, to focus she needs 9 hours of sleep--that is lights out. Hard to do in today's world, but try. Second, breakfast is necessary before that first class. Third, make sure her course work (high school) is a reasonable work load or in the lower two, make sure she gets daily exercise to clear her head for homework.  Limit outside activities to a few; do not overschedule. And above all, praise for good work.

If focus remains a problem and the grades are tanking, speak to your pediatrician about ADD inattentive type or go on line to see if there is a medical reason for all of this.

Wayne Yankus, MD, FAAP
expert panelist: pediatrics

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Additional Answers (1)

LDSolutions , Child Professional writes:
Any successful athlete, student, entertainer or professional will tell you : Goals are important!

Goals provide motivation, which are the fuel that inspire us to work hard in life and work even harder when we are tired.  Motivation is what gets us through difficult times, set backs and recoveries.  Without goals, we don't have any motivation.  If a student isn't motivated then this student will not achieve.  

Talk with your daughter and set some goals for the year that she (not you)  would like to achieve. Ask your daughter "what grade would you like to achieve this year?"  What grade would YOU give yourself for: not participating in class, not turning in homework, and not making your best effort."  Role-play that you are the student and she is the teacher.  How would she grade herself.  

Also, make sure your daughter participates in some clubs, sports or academic activities for fun, fitness, or competition.  Participating in school-sponsered activities helps teenagers stay motivated to achieve.  This can also include art or writing contests, band, chorus, spelling bees, student government, etc.  Participating in a number of these kinds of activities can help improve grades, confidence and leadership skills.
> 60 days ago

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