Today’s classrooms are often models of diversity. In public schools in particular, one teacher may have children of multiple ethnic and social backgrounds with different learning levels in key subjects. In some cases, special needs children are served in regular classrooms because of a lack of resources.
All of this and more can combine to ensure distractions are plentiful during the class day. In this post, learn five reasons why these distractions can impact your child’s ability to effectively learn and retain information.
Reason #1: Your child can be unable to process multiple inputs at once.
This is called “sensory processing issues” and it is an especially prevalent issue in children with more sensitive emotional wiring.
When sensitive children are bombarded with several kinds of stimuli at once, their brains may actually shut down and cause “mental blocks” where the child cannot remember what was being taught.
Reason #2: Your child may crave more stimulation than is being offered.
This is the flip side of the too-sensitive child. Here, your child is wired with a less emotionally sensitive nature and without sufficient stimulation, processing new lessons can prove extremely challenging.
Without sufficient stimulation to the senses, your child may become bored and tune out with similar results.
Reason #3: Your child may not yet have learned how to focus in the midst of distraction.
While it may not seem like it given how fast children these days grow up, the truth is that the brain matures after all the other physical body organs.
So learning to focus on a single lesson or task while there is lots of distracting input occurring in the near vicinity can be nearly impossible for younger children and especially for “late bloomers.”
Reason #4: Distracted children often act out and distract others too.
Whether your child is the one that gets easily distracted or overwhelmed or it is a classmate who is struggling with these issues, studies have shown that distracted children will often act out in frustration and distract classmates as well.
A huge trigger here is if the child has what is called “impulse control issues.” This means that when the child is distracted (frustrated) they will have trouble not expressing it in a public way.
So even one distracted child in a classroom can actually inhibit learning for the entire group of students.
Reason #5: When early issues with distractions impact learning and focus, your child may continue to struggle with this issue throughout life.
One of the biggest culprits here is permitting digital device use, or failing to fully prevent it, in the classroom.
The constant lure of the device can create a near-constant situation of distraction in the brain, making it much harder for your child to learn to focus on any one thing at a time. This can make it harder to complete tasks well and on time and even cause later social anxiety.