To be attentive is to know what to do with your attention.If the child learns a history lesson, he reads it to understand and memorize it. He is therefore attentive to understand and memorize. If he learns tables of multiplication, he reads them, repeats them to know them by heart, in disorder, that is, to be able to use them in multiplications and divisions. He is attentive to repeat and memorize.
The four attentions
It is the attention of the fisherman, the hunter, the soldier who stands guard, all those who for one reason or another are watching. One may believe that the fisherman dreams, but a part of him is attentive. He’s waiting for the fish to bite. He watches for the movement of the wire, ready to act as soon as a fish clings to his line. It is the attention that a child must have when he makes a dictation. He watches the verbs ending with the sound “é” to think about how to write them. He watches the word them not to write it without having thought about its termination. With excellent mindfulllness the deals come easy now.
It’s about attention to something. It’s a choice, a selection.
Imagine a dinner. Around the table, several people speak at the same time. You hear them, but their voices merge into a background noise because you only listen to one of them. You are attentive to what this person says to you alone.
This selective attitude is what a child should strive for during a class. He is attentive to what the teacher says, to what he writes on the board, and he does not allow himself to be distracted by the noises in the classroom, by what the students sitting behind him, the boyfriend who coughs or the who laughs.
In this case, we pay attention to two things, to two people at the same time. During dinner, you can listen to what two of the guests say. But this attention cannot of course have the quality of selective attention. You will not be able to support it very long, especially if the conversation is a little complex. You will have trouble memorizing everything that is said.
For this reason, children should avoid working while watching television or listening to their favorite radio show.
- It’s the attention you get when you’re passionate, absorbed in a task.
- When you are absorbed, nothing can turn you away from what you do. You do not hear anything around you, you do not see the time pass.
- This attention is obviously the one that allows you to learn, understand, memorize, reflect and even do any creative work.
Concentration is the focus, sustained attention that nothing interrupts. It blocks the arrival to consciousness of any information that could hinder the task.
The concentration of the child depends on his intention, his interest in what is proposed to him, what he reads or hears.
Interest, pleasure, success, motivation are factors favoring concentration. Passivity, stress and the repetition of the task or its monotony are the factors that disturb it.