We might think this is a simple case of distraction. But attention is in fact a much more complex function than most people realise. Do you ever forget what you came into a room to get? Or, have you ever been listening to an audio book only to realise that you stopped paying attention several pages back?
The following article by speech language pathologist and neuroscience educator, Dr Martha Burns, explains attention and describes how we can improve it by specific types of training. The article was first published in The Science of Learning Blog.
In fact, trying to figure out exactly what attention is, and why some children find it easier than others, especially in school, has been the focus of psychologists for years. As adults, we realise that the ability to attend carefully to a task, ignore distractions and stick with it, is something that takes time for children to develop.