Easily distracted/lack of concentration/boredom in otherwise intelligent 7-year-old female

I have a very intelligent 7-year-old girl. However, there seems to be a lack of concentration in class and in completing homework assignments. She is distracted very easily. All evidence shows she has grasped the lessons, but just does not complete the written part in class; and homework assignments are a chore – frustration for us and her. For example, she can verbally spell all words but she practically fails written spelling tests because she just did’t write all of the words, and not because she can’t spell/write. She seems to have a “laissez-faire” attitude about school work. Note: this similar attitude is seen in other areas of tasks requests/attempts at home.

I’m looking for help/techniques that will increase concentration, staying on task, and eliminating or ignoring distractions. (She already sits in the front row of her class, by choice. Her first year of school was similar, even though she is in a different school).

Personality wise, she likes accomplishments, and she likes attention/praise. Her conversation and reasoning are excellent. Her English, word usage and speech has been advanced since she began to speak. We make every attemp to give her honest praise as often as possible. She has one 4-year-old sister who also exhibits intelligence.

There are about 25 children in her class. My thoughts are she needs to be in a smaller group, but this particular school (academy) cannot accommodate smaller class sizes at this grade level. Having to repeat a grade would be a travesty for this little intelligent one. (We are currently spending as much as we can afford for their education). Help!

Comments for
Easily distracted/lack of concentration/boredom in otherwise intelligent 7-year-old female

Jan 28, 2013 Identical issue
by: Anonymous

I, too, have a 7 year old daughter who sounds exactly like yours. Her teachers says she lacks focus and is easily distracted. However, she excels at math and spelling and does well on most assessments.

The problem is in the shear volume of leftover classwork and homework she has after a days of not paying attention and writing down her assignments or just being so cavalier about not turning in her work.

She responds best to reward than punishment. This is not the first time I have heard this from a teacher. She attends a highly gifted magnet school for 2nd grade and she loved her previous school and I wonder if she is doing some of this on purpose so she can go back to her previous school.

I feel like such a failure as a parent when you hear from the teacher that your child is not performing to their full potential. I could use some advise here too.


Nov 22, 2012 Dear 8 year old son….
by: Anonymous

Take time to educate yourself and find out information in regard to your son, and his inability to sit still. You can ask the teacher to give you a referral, to a doctor who can diagnose your child for any attention disorders.

However, this should be done with caution, and do not take the first diagnosis as the answer to your child’s issue. Some doctors are quick to prescribe medication to soon. This is the reason why I suggest that it is good to watch over a period of time, your child’s behavior.

It may be a phase he is going through. If this behavior persists over a long period of time, and teacher keep telling you that he will not sit still, then begin the process of getting help from the school and doctors.

For example, my grandson had the same issue, he is very intelligent, and could not sit still in class at 8 years old. The school suggest he go to a doctor for tests. Doctors say there is nothing wrong, and he is normal, and High I.Q.

He is 11 now, and it is happening again, so now the teachers are suggesting to take him back to doctors. I did home tests online, and he seems to be okay from the tests. So we will wait, find another doctor and have him retest.

See to prevent him from taking any medications we want to make sure he does not need them, until he really needs them, if at all!

Good Luck hope this helps :)


Nov 20, 2012 8year old son
by: Anonymous sat

I have 8 years old son he his very intelligent and polite, but he can not sit in his seat teacher say he talks go round to his friend. I do not known what to do with my son. Please I need help. thank you


Aug 30, 2012 Hello same thing
by: Anonymous

You are a very bright 12 year old to have a post here, I have a question though, did the doctor say it was okay to take this medicine only when you feel you need it or is prescribed to take at certain times?

Thank you


Aug 28, 2012 Same thing
by: Anonymous

I am 12 years old and i have the same problem so i took ritalin and it helped me i made excellent progress. I was warned that i could lose my imagination or die so i took it probably once a month but never took it again. i would suggest ritalin but only for studying for important subjects but take it very seldomly


Aug 27, 2012 Some tips
by: Anonymous

Maybe the current med’s your child is taking…is the culprit??

I have always felt that 2 or even 3 doctor’s opinion as to what is medically needed for a person (or 2 or more doctors collaboration on the purpose or reason for med’s) is the best way to be sure you are in fact are on the right path of healing for your child or illness.

Maybe you can do your own research and find out some very important information regarding your child’s health….I mean you do not have to try and diagnose the problem yourself but you can get a better understanding of it to ease your mind.

In the meantime you can find a support group to help you get through some of the pain you might be experiencing. Wishing you the best.


Aug 26, 2012 same problem
by: Anonymous

I’m having exactly the same problem my 8 yr old boy has been very distracted since1st grade the teachers have been complaining that he does not focus and lacks attention.

I’m terrified that he’ll need meds I’m thinking in taking him to the doctor but since he already takes a lot of medications for other conditions I don’t want to give him anymore please somebody help:(


Aug 14, 2012 something that worked for us
by: Claudia

Some suggestions, I used to fall asleep on my books when I had to study something I found boring. I found standing up helped to keep my brain from shutting down. I had my son tested for allergies at his 7 year checkup(they were doing a blood test anyway) and it came back showing ,peanut,MILK and GLUTEN sensitivity.(not intolerance) It took us a while to transition to an allergen free diet but it made a huge difference in his ability to focus in class. You all know about Omega 3. Exercise is important too. These things are worth a try with the little ones before you try meds,right?


Aug 14, 2012 Suggestions
by: Anonymous

The best thing to do is have the school your child attends do a child evaluation. Or you can actually pay for a licensed child psychologist to do the evaluation. The evaluation will allow you to know what level your child is growing at in all areas.

Not all children grow at the same rate there are behaviors that are typical and change over time and also can be re-evaluated at a different age range.

Main thing is do not give up. There are many websites you can use to help your children along and the teachers at the school attends know the best ones as they use them as well, do not be afraid or shy to ask and most of all do not be embarrassed about anything in regards to your child this is your child no matter what the outcome.

If the teacher sees that you have great concerns for your child they will help even more to locate the help you need and even offer special classes to catch them up.

Be patient, just because a friend or neighbors child is excelling at a higher rate does not mean all children do this, just stay concerned with your child and forget about the keeping up with the “Jones game” this will take your attention away from what your child needs.


Jul 15, 2012 exactly same issue here in 7 1/2 year old boy
by: Anonymous

hi, my son is 7 1/2, he is good and well behaved in class and he was advanced in his grades in preK and K in 1st grade he came to know the new world of toys bakugons or some kind of things .his grades went down. when i tried to teach him some new things in this summer he is not able to answer very simple things and not able to use proper words to explain his answers. in his 1st grade he could score only 85%.his teacher says he is intalligent but frequently losing focus in following the directions either in tests and reading or anything. do i have to take him for ADD evaluation?


Jun 21, 2012 Concentration and attention issues
by: Anna

My 6 year old was always bright. she only started nursery school at 3 turning 4 & uptil then was doing puzzles at 18months , reciting nursery rhymes etc . she’s now in grade R & I am horrified had how poorly she is performing. it’s almost as if she’s bored with it all. I have had another baby ( who is 11 months now) & ever since little one has come along her work has regressed, I realise that we dont spend as much time together – even if it’s just hanging out- but I really thought she would cope. are there any websites or exercises I can access/print so that we can do some “homework” after school or should I not be panicking… her report is averaging just above 60 -70%


Jun 19, 2012 Easily distracted not focusing but intelligent 6years old male
by: Vijayalakshmi

My son memory is good and intelligent but he is not focussing on studies always playful and distracted . Please what technic to be use and what nutrien to be given for well grow
(especially in class room)


May 29, 2012 Politically Correct Way Overboard
by: Mother of 14 year old girl

What is it these days about parents that they can’t accept that their children maybe quite mediocre, lazy, incapable of achieving without constant nagging or generally not much of a contribution to society. Why jump to the conclusion that the poor thing might have ADHD or some other learning disability when most of the time the problem is likely to be nothing more serious than the child needing to learn the consequences of not paying attention, not listening and acting like they are entitled to special rules. I have a 14 yr. old girl who has always been allowed to stand back from activities at school if she hasn’t wanted to do them based on the fact that she is “shy”. She has missed out on doing many things that she would have been totally capable of doing had she been pushed. I have been on school trips where she has clung to us just because my husband and I were there – hence she took little notice of what she should have been learning and we certainly felt that by being there we were molly-coddling her. My Daughter is now a teenager and is totally self-absorbed, lacking in respect of elders, meaning she isn’t outwardly rude but quietly unrespecting of age = wisdom. She seems to think she is “entitled” and when I think back to my own school days I don’t think she has earned the right to any thing. She thinks she will cruise through life without doing any hard work at all and telling people what she thinks they want to hear! Bring back the old disciplines I say, because if generations of kids could handle the discipline and expectations put on them, why are todays’ lot so pathetic?


May 20, 2012 Please dont assume it is ADD/ADHD
by: Anonymous

Your daughter’s situation is somewhat identical to my grandson’s!!! He does not have ADHD/ADD or any other medical/mental problems. People are so ready to give into the assumption it could be ADD/ADHD and if your ready to take this approach PLEASE take her to not only “one” doctor to be checked for this affliction but get at least 15 opinions, once you begin to medicate for something that might not be a disorder you may be barking up the wrong tree!!

So here is what we found out about my grandson. First step: since we knew he was intelligent for his age but bored/lazy/distracted/kind of doesn’t care mind in the wind attitude :) (signs of high IQ) we had his IQ tested sure enough he was borderline genius. So with that we really were not ready to put him into the ADD/ADHD category, there have been way to many mistakes made in that area and Doctors are so willing to medicate as a means of treatment.

Yes he would jump around all the time like a chicken you could not slow him down, so we put him in every sport and he excelled, but he hated every minute! We chose to teach him that he finishes what he starts and not give up, to give things time.

We had to live by those words too! It took a lot of work on the whole families part to get him adjusted, including putting him in special classes to get him focused at school, and who cares what others think, this is our child no matter what. Sometimes it is our own thinking that can mess a child up. They do not have to be perfect, they have enough time to be recognized by peers later on.

He received D’s and unsatisfactory’s for a few years, at 10 years old he just brought home a report card of all A’s 1 B 20 satisfactoy’s!! He still is a bit hyper but this is his nature and next step will be to place him in field and track as he just loves to run fast. Maybe this is his forte’??

I wish you all the luck in the world in your pursuit to help your daughter overcome some obstacles that are in my opinion just that, life’s obstacles, we all have had some in our lifetime.


May 17, 2012 My 6 year son
by: Reshma

Easily distracted/lack of concentration/boredom in otherwise intelligent 7-year-old female

I have a very intelligent 7-year-old girl. However, there seems to be a lack of concentration in class and in completing homework assignments. She is distracted very easily. All evidence shows she has grasped the lessons, but just does not complete the written part in class; and homework assignments are a chore – frustration for us and her. For example, she can verbally spell all words but she practically fails written spelling tests because she just did’t write all of the words, and not because she can’t spell/write. She seems to have a “laissez-faire” attitude about school work. Note: this similar attitude is seen in other areas of tasks requests/attempts at home.

I’m looking for help/techniques that will increase concentration, staying on task, and eliminating or ignoring distractions. (She already sits in the front row of her class, by choice. Her first year of school was similar, even though she is in a different sPersonality wise, she likes accomplishments, and she likes attention/praise. Her conversation and reasoning are excellent. Her English, word usage and speech has been advanced since she began to speak. We make every attemp to give her honest praise as often as possible. She has one 4-year-old sister who also exhibits intelligence.

There are about 25 children in her class. My thoughts are she needs to be in a smaller group, but this particular school (academy) cannot accommodate smaller class sizes at this grade level. Having to repeat a grade would be a travesty for this little intelligent one. (We are currently spending as much as we can afford for their education). Help!
The same problem exactly I am facing with my son please help me out


Apr 04, 2012 Have her evaluated for ADD – Inattentive Type
by: Anonymous

I am one of those parents who 100% did not believe in ADD/ADHD. I believed it was purely behavioral. As a matter of fact I made my daughter deal with it for 5 years because I was in such denial. I finally had her evaluated this past spring (she’s 10 now). She was diagnosed with ADD – Inattentive Type. Once I got that diagnosis, put her on meds (simple behavioral modification was not enough) and talked to the school, they put a 504 Plan in place for her and in less than 6 weeks I saw a dramatic change in her grades and self-esteem. It was a complete 180. Then my son’s teacher began complaining of the same things you mention (he’s 7). I was hesitant to have him evaluated because he wasn’t as “classic” of a case as my daughter but after realizing what an injustice I did to her for years being in denial, I decided to have him evaluated to. He is in the same boat, just slightly different coping skills than my daughter. Again, worlds difference from before. I stress that they both have ADD – Inattentive type because neither of my children have hyperactivity issues. They are both considered some of the best mannered, most well-behaved children in the class and with others. They aren’t disruptive in any way, they just completely lose focus. The great news is that most people I know who have children with the same diagnosis do not have to leave their children on medication. Once the children are able to focus with the help of medication, they can begin to learn coping mechanisms on their own for focusing and eventually be weaned off of the medicine. Hope this helps.


Mar 31, 2012 problem of my son
by: Anonymous

my son is 4 1/2yrs old he is intelegent but he doesn’t concentrate on anything even while he is studing.


Mar 04, 2012 fundamentally floored
by: picjw

We’re also having difficulties with my son, 6, who by the way is already young for his class being born right at the end of the school year. At that age there is a big difference between a child who will soon be 8 and one who has only just turned 7.So for starters the system does not recognise this or attempt to account for it other than (again) to Pliny the finger at your child.My main point is that the way we educate our children or rather our perception of what education is, is fundamentally floored.Especially at this early stage it has been shown that children learn better through play at least up until the age of 7. That its not to say that learning through play cannot continue to be part of their education beyond the early years. I don’t know what the answer its but their are already models that are working VERY SUCCESSFULLY, such as schools in Scandinavia and more alternative schools such as the Wardolf type.Why aren’t governments RUSHING to adopt these principles? Frankly it disgusts me. There is NOTHING more important.


Feb 29, 2012 Don’t fret! (PART 2)
by: Been there.

My son’s learning disability had made it so difficult for him to keep up, he either gave up at times, or stressed out to the point of lying on the floor screaming. He was unable to understand why he felt what he did. A psychologist had later told me that my son in fact truly did feel the sensation of choking. That was his body’s way of dealing with stress.

The great news is that upon presenting the evaluation to the school, Jack did qualify for additional accommodations. It is always still a work in progress, as we deal with issues as they present themselves, with new classes, teachers, or Shakespeare Novels. My son’s teachers have come up with a few different ways of evaluating his knowledge, and he now understands that he is not “dumb” as he once believed. His brain simply works a bit differently.

Jack has now finished his first semester in High School with a 3.4 GPA. Remembering him laying on the kitchen floor, I could have never fathomed the idea that he would be confident in his academic abilities, and know in his heart that absolutely nothing is beyond his reach.

Remember: A child always wants to do well. If they are not, you have to continue to dig until you find out what it is that is holding them back.


Feb 29, 2012 Do not fret! There are answers (PART 1)
by: Been there.

Oh my goodness. I am the parent of a freshman in high school who exhibited the same issues when he was in kindergarten through elementary school. Your story reminded me of the helplessness I felt in my ability to help my child, who I knew was a very bright boy.

First, may I say that it sounds to me that your daughter may have Attention Deficit Disorder (The inattentive type). Don’t fret! There are solutions, and you do not need to put her on any medications if you do not care to.

Many people misunderstand what ADD truly is. A neuropsychologist who did an evaluation on my son in 8th grade explained it so simply.

The human brain has a multitude of different inputs at any given moment fighting for its attention. ( Ex: Teacher writing on the board, bird flying outside class window, student next to her tapping his pencil).

Those with ADD simply do not have the natural ability to prioritize which of these inputs is most important at a given moment. This is not on a conscious level. It is how their brain works. It is not bad, it is just different.

At a younger age, my son would attempt to do his best with anything having to do with writing, whether it was forming letters, or writing short sentences. However, after a very short period, he would break down in what appeared to me as a “dramatic” way of showing he didn’t want to continue working on homework. He would lie on the floor, screaming that he felt as though he was choking. This was not my child. My son was a very happy-go-lucky kid, who loved life.

To make a long story short, in 3rd grade, we learned that he had ADD. He was given 504 accommodations of extra time, fewer math problems, etc. It took an additional 5 years of him compensating the best he could, and living through the embarrassment, until he was finally able to verbalize some of his daily struggles with classwork, teachers, inability to complete classwork, labs. Here it was, the middle of his 8th grade year, and I was finally realizing there may be something more.

The best advise I was ever given was to have my son get a comprehensive Evaluation done by a reputable Neuropsychologist.

After receiving the 17 page report, we learned that our son not only had ADD, but a few additional NLDs (non-verbal learning disorders). Dysgraphia, processing delays.

Dysgraphia is the disorder of written expression. Yep, all the hallmarks were there. Messy handwriting, capital letters in the middle of simple words, confusion with punctuation, large letters which could not stay within the lines. Additionally, getting those great ideas he had in his mind down on paper was next to impossible. He would write a two sentence summary, when his peers wrote a few paragraphs. The teacher’s response: “He doesn’t care enough about his work”.


Feb 16, 2012 very smart 6 yr old son/unable to focus/stay on task
by: VanP

Same issues with my 6yr old son but we have started him in a martial arts class 4 days a week & started him doing chores every morning, afternoon & before bed. We are also limiting his screen time, ie: Wii, DS, computer & TV. We are seeing some improvement in this reguard. I am going to add Vits & Omega3 for kids to see if that will be of benefit. He eats a pretty decent diet already & has a good bedtime. ~ Any other suggestions would be welcome. He tests great but no ability to focus & stay on task his teacher feels that he will not pass next year. Not due to the intellgence but his lack of focus.


Feb 13, 2012 Commented earlier in 2011
by: Tiffany

This week we found out some very disturbing news from my 7 yr old and her school. My daughter came forward as well as 5 other children and explained to the principal that the teacher hurt them ….
I received a call from the principal that they had sent the teacher on anminstrative leave, until the investigation is complete.
My daughter spoke up about being placed in front of the class, while the teacher is giving her lesson and she would walk by and hit her on top of th head with a Pencil, or slap the back of her hand, and even pulled her outside by the arm and made her do jumping jacks.
I’m in shock still.
She didn’t tell me and this might be because she wasnt sure that this happening to her was WRONG . She currently has a sub until the investigation is complete, and I told the principal she will not be returning to her class. If she comes back . My child is not the only one. The teacher is targeting a group of kids. There could be reasons our kids work at their own pace and reasons there’re board …. My daughter is in 2nd grade and already doing fractions. This is a very advance school, she’s an excellent student and I won’t let any teacher tell me / us otherwise ….


Feb 13, 2012 to lack of cons/slow
by: Claudia

For my son,a gluten-casein free diet made a noticeble difference. For the first time ever in school(he’s 9) he got the grade he needs for “work habits”,he’s finishing work. A blood test showed my son to have sensitivities,not even a full blown allergy but if he has bread ,homework becomes a two hour battle and he’s distractable and unfocussed. At first the change was subltle and I didn’t really notice it until I took him off the diet and got a note from the teacher.
If you want to try it I can recommend cookbooks or blogs.


Feb 09, 2012 Lack of concerntration/slow
by: Anonymous

I share the same experience shared by almost every one. I feel sad that am realizing abit too late since I was sure that academically my 16 year old son was going to improve.

At grade 10 I am frustrated and dishatened by his performance. Both his father and I have always been loving, caring and keen with his performance in school. I am now realizing it’s a bigger problem than we thought. Since grade six he has always been the last one in class but have been encouraged by the teachers that we was going to overcome and improve as he moves to the next class.

My son is obedient and has all the positive attitude that parents would wish for their child, but unfortunately I find his academic concerntration is a major setback. The teachers complain that he’s always too slow and does not complete his assignement. The surprising bit is that the subjects that he like e.g English, he scores an A. These situation is taring me apart being the first born and only two in the family is demoralizing.

The younger sister does well in school that I wonder whether I judge his performance by comparing the two.

Is it a neurological issue, a learning disability, APD, ADD or HADD. Please help.


Jan 29, 2012 not special?
by: Claudia

Well,I’ve posted early on in this conversation. My son was diagnosed with high functioning autism 6 mo ago at age 9. It was suggested he go on med so he could finish his work. He took his Cogat (he’s in 3rd grade) and because of his high score he just took the ITBS,and SURPRISE! He’ll be in the academically gifted program next year. However,he’s still not finishing his work. He has a good teacher but like many VISUAL LERNERS,our current school system does not work for him.


Jan 24, 2012 Over Functioning Parents – Under Functioning Kids
by: Anonymous

So many parents need to believe that their children are gifted, not sufficiently challenged in school, or burdened with lazy teachers. Get real!

Under functioning kids are the result of over functioning parents who need to promote their children as special. There are 5 billion people in the world. None of us is special. Raising a child to believe that he or she is “special” is setting them up for a life of disappointment and frustration. Attempting to spare them from experiencing any discomfort or natural consequences will result in a very spoiled, helpless, entitled, narcissistic child.

If a teacher is telling you that your child is distracted and under-performing, listen to that message carefully. Allow your child to “own” his or her behavior and don’t rescue him when the natural consequences inevitably arise. Instead of questioning the teacher about what they are doing for your child, ask your child what it is that she is NOT doing.


Jan 23, 2012 Response to “Proud Dad”
by: Be Smart

You are 100% right I’m in school now and I think I only do really good in some classes because of the teacher and how they teach because some teachers just stress you out and don’t really pay attention to how the students feal and I allways think “Wow do they let anyone teach I mean this teacher dose’nt even know what he’s talking about”. I’m sort of a rare kid if you know what I mean I actually like learning, Which is why I say “I like learning, but not like this.” I really don’t like the school system at all and I’m told to take meds. too. It’s sooo irritating!!!!!!!!