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Do we need to challenge our child to make him concentrate?

Q: My son's 2nd grade teacher called us. She wants to communicate with the parents prior to the November conference. She said that my 7-year-old son is not concentrating on his school work. She thinks he's very bright, but not stepping up to his potential. We've been hearing this from his teachers since kindergarten. The teacher has many years of experience in teaching, so I was floored when she asked me about what to do. I assume that this is age appropriate and he will grow out of it. He gets excited about things, but tends to daydream and be in his own world. He has many friends and loves to play GameCube games with them. He doesn't play with toys. He started reading mid-year Kindergarten and is now reading the second Harry Potter book. He's involved in baseball, church activities, cub scouts and swimming lessons. He's always been a slow eater and was slightly behind in his gross motor skills. He loves science and experiments. He loved learning about the solar system. He loved the summer camp program. He responds well to challenges/rewards. His first grade teacher first placed him in a middle reading group, but recognized that he needed a challenge and placed him in the highest reading group. He's not overweight, he's active, gets plenty of sleep and eats very well. He started talking at 11 months and was very verbal as a small child. He was typing on the computer at age of 3. He started walking at 13 months. We are wondering if he's bored and needs to be challenged. He stays in daycare while I work. I was off for 3 years when his sister was born and went back to work full time when he entered the 1st grade. We were told in preschool that he tends to be more of a follower than a leader. What can we as parents do to help him with his lack of concentration? What can the teacher do to help him in school? We are assuming that he's not ADHD and does not require medication. Do we need to see a doctor and get some kind of therapy? His father had similar symptoms when he was a child. I also tend to daydream. How can we reverse the genetic component here? I am amazed that this is not something we have taught him, but he has picked it up or inherited from us somehow.

A:Congratulations on having a child who is active, interested in finding answers to questions and an avid reader! It couldn't be better. I am surprised to even consider such a child to be the theme of a question. He seems to have taken after his parents. Why would you even want to reverse the genetic component? I think the activities you plan for him should suit his temperament and interests. It is a good thing for children to dream! Why shouldn't they? Why do we want all children to fit into one mould? Let children grow up in their own way. I do not feel that it is necessary to challenge him further. When you meet the class teacher for a Conference, tell her what you have said in this letter. He will grow out of the tendency to not concentrate, when he finds something that really engages him. In any case there is no cause for worry. Just relax and enjoy your parenting. You have a wonderful child to bring up!


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