20 Reasons Kids Don't Pay Attention

October 20, 2016

In no particular order here are 20 reasons why kids don’t pay attention:

  1. Perhaps the work is too hard.
  2. There may be are far too many worksheets – perhaps the kid has worksheet burnout.
  3. Maybe the kid is asked to write when he has little capacity to even write a sentence.
  4. Perhaps his reading skills are weak.
  5. Some might be spatial thinkers (Lego Kids) and their language system isn’t well tuned while there is a whole lot of talking to sort out in the classroom.
  6. Maybe he is one of those “all boy” types (yes, they exist) and the curriculum isn’t matching their interests.
  7. There may be a lot of distraction in the atmosphere.
  8. For many kids, it’s just a long day – their batteries run down.
  9. Maybe they have become a bit too wired to “screens.”
  10. Perhaps the work is boring – for some kids it may be fine, for others it’s not
  11. Perhaps the kid is just one of those variable types – significant highs and lows in the profile that lead to inattention.
  12. Maybe the kid is the the worrying type.
  13. Perhaps he has bad sleeping habits.
  14. It could be that there is stuff going on in the family.
  15. Perhaps he is not understanding what he  read and the content is not connecting with him.
  16. Perhaps he really hates math (especially all of the word problems that they have to sort through).
  17. It could be that some of the other kids have been mean and have made some unkind comments.
  18. Perhaps the teacher is on the boring side.
  19. It might be that the kid is day dreaming about all kinds of things other than the task in front of him – it’s kind of human nature to do that.
  20. Maybe he doesn’t follow directions too well – it’s just not one of his top strengths.

Oh, yeah.  I almost forgot.  Maybe the kid has ADD/ADHD.

Too bad, though,  we often jump to that conclusion all too quickly before considering all kinds of other factors like in the above list.

Take Away Point

There’s a lot going on inside and outside a kid’s head.


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All comments (2)
  • Maureen F. Shea
    October 22, 2016 at 4:06 pm

    The take-away point that not all behavioral manifestations mean a child/youth has a mental health disorder really resonated with me. As a clinician, I have […] Read MoreThe take-away point that not all behavioral manifestations mean a child/youth has a mental health disorder really resonated with me. As a clinician, I have parents and other providers pushing to give Johnny a label when maybe the environment just has to be manipulated. Just because a child fidgets does not automatically means s/he has ADHD of any type. Read Less

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