Posted: Tue, August 7 2012 at 6:27 PM, Updated: Tue, August 7 2012 at 6:40 PM
Imagine predicting your child's college success by the time they're four.
A new study from Oregon State University says you can... based on attention span.
According to OSU's findings - just increasing a child's attention means they're more likely to graduate from higher education... but it all starts with the parent.
Parent involvement is key.
"Parent's are the primary educators for the children," says Martha Ibarra of Oregon Child Development Coalition.
The new study from OSU says you children with a higher attention span when they are four are 48.7% more likely to graduate from college by their 25th birthday.
Ibarra says for children to be attentive they first need adult attention. "Sometimes we're so busy when we get home we want to rest, also we need to really think on the future because they need that time now."
Others, like Elaine Sands of Jackson County Child Development Services, agree.
"Adult attention is crucial to kids"
With parent involvement, a child's attention span can be increased.
"It can be expanded if you get them involved in something they
Sands says let your children choose an activity they enjoy, expand it, and let them know your expectations. "If you expect them to do a puzzle, make sure it's first age appropriate, and then say you can do this whole puzzle, you can try one more piece. I'm going to put a piece here, you put a piece there."
Even for parents of children who may struggle with attentiveness, due to ADHD or autism, there are ways to help them.
"If you give them some physical activity, then you're going to be able to calm down and focus."
Ultimately, getting attention, means giving attention.
"Anything the parents can do for them and give them a lot of time," remarks Ibarra. Time equaling gains for the future.
The women also suggest developing a routine and limiting tv time, or being actively engaged when your children watches educational programs.