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Not sure how to handle this...as we are just now crossing this bridge. My DD (7) has no attention span when it comes to extra curricular activities. I can redirect her a hundred times at home...she is my only child. She gets in a group setting and is suddenly in la la land. She is NOT ADHD or anywhere close to it. She just cannot focus when other people are trying to teach her. At soccer practice, she's off picking flowers and looking at bugs. She can't sit still at the 'sitting down' things she is involved in (art, sewing, etc).

 

This is a new problem. I don't know how to break her of this. The teachers all say she is good at what she does, but they have to redirect her over and over again and she isn't their only student! LOL

 

What do I do?

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Sounds like you'll just have to work on this lots and lots with your dd. Role play the situations (classes, practice), tell her your expectations, have her repeat the expectations, and practice again and again. We go to church, so our children have experience from a young age learning to sit through part or all of a church service. People remark that it's amazing to have young children sit and listen/participate through a 1+ hour service. Really, it isn't anything amazing. It's (mostly) training.

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Are the activities she's in things she enjoys doing? I know that things DS doesn't necessarily like he's much less likely to pay attention to. For example, he tolerates baseball but we get a lot of kicking the dirt, spinning around in the outfield, and playing with his hat BUT put him in soccer which is his passion and he's all ears for the coach (Dad) and is completely focused during the game.

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I think that while well-intentioned, the constant redirecting from mom can reinforce the problem. She probably needs to experience some natural consequences for not following through on her own at home before she will be able to focus in unfamiliar situations.

 

I do think you are doing good by giving her opportunities to practice these skills at soccer etc, and better you discover this at 7 than at 17!

 

Our kids are capable of amazing things - perhaps just raise the bar a bit at home?

 

That's just my two cents, as I've been working on this with my own ds.

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Sounds like you'll just have to work on this lots and lots with your dd. Role play the situations (classes, practice), tell her your expectations, have her repeat the expectations, and practice again and again. We go to church, so our children have experience from a young age learning to sit through part or all of a church service. People remark that it's amazing to have young children sit and listen/participate through a 1+ hour service. Really, it isn't anything amazing. It's (mostly) training.

 

:iagree: The part I bolded is most important, imo. We do a ton of role-playing before we go anywhere (part of life with an Aspie), but it works wonders when we have to "perform" in public. Setting a timer while you are practicing might be helpful too, so it doesn't seem like the sitting will never end.

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Guest mrsjamiesouth
Not sure how to handle this...as we are just now crossing this bridge. My DD (7) has no attention span when it comes to extra curricular activities. I can redirect her a hundred times at home...she is my only child. She gets in a group setting and is suddenly in la la land. She is NOT ADHD or anywhere close to it. She just cannot focus when other people are trying to teach her. At soccer practice, she's off picking flowers and looking at bugs. She can't sit still at the 'sitting down' things she is involved in (art, sewing, etc).

 

This is a new problem. I don't know how to break her of this. The teachers all say she is good at what she does, but they have to redirect her over and over again and she isn't their only student! LOL

 

What do I do?

 

 

I don't think this can be blamed on homeschooling. I was public school and daycare/latch key child all the way. I picked flowers during soccer when I was 8, sometimes it can be an extremely slow sport. I will gladly inform you that I got more serious about sports in High School, made Varsity Soccer in 10th grade and was named MVP for Cross Country 11th and 12th grades.

 

I wonder if you have chosen things she is just not really interested in doing.

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Well, I wouldn't consider it a downfall to homeschooling, more of a personality issue and how mom can help. I have three children, homeschooled from the start and this issue only came up with my youngest, who is also seven!

 

I have to remind him before each and every activity that he is expected to obey the first time when he is corrected. He knows that if he doesn't that he will face the same consequence for disobedience that he would at home. I also try to limit sugar and chocolate before activities (although these don't seem to affect him as much as they did when he was younger.)

 

I also see now that things I tolerate from him at home - or some of the very things he's needing correcting in a group setting! So I need to work more on those areas - especially now that he's older!

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I've had the same problems with my oldest, and she was in public school until she was 7 1/2. My boys do better at focusing, and they have been exclusively homeschooled.

 

It's a little bit better if I make sure she has been fed and she knows the expectations before I take them somewhere where they will be expected to sit.

 

:bigear:

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I have a child like that too. He is 6, and if I give him some legos and tell him to build something, then he will be busy for at least an hour. When he gets bored or is not interested in whatever he is doing, then he picks flowers, talks to himself or anyone that will listen, and so on. Right now we are working on this by having him sit still and quiet for a few minutes at a time, and then we increase it by a couple of minutes at a time. My goal is to have him sit quietly without the need to be entertained by something whether that is my constant re-direction or the distraction of flowers on the field. This is not something that I had to work on with my oldest or my younger son; they both have always been able to focus on anything that is before them.

 

One thing that has helped my son too is removing all dyes and most preservatives from his diet. I don't know if your dd eats those things, but they can lead to ADD-like behavior.

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I had this problem when I enrolled dd7 in acting classes. She really wanted to do it...had been asking for months. The first day of class she was sitting up on the stage looking at everything except the teacher and had to be re-directed several times. After the class I told her that if she wasn't interested enough to pay attention then I would pull her out. I had her apologize to the teacher before we left. The next week I told the teacher that if I noticed the same behavior I would quietly take her off stage and we would have to leave. Well, I had to do it and she balled all the way home. I told her she would have one more chance. She's been going for about 10 weeks now and is now the most attentive child there.

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My brother was like that all through his childhood. He chased bugs and played in the grass in baseball. He was never homeschooled. He was that way until...one day he just wasn't. Maybe it was maturity or what; I don't know. It's just the way he was. :)

 

He is a successful, almost 30yr old, father of two, Chick-fil-A owner now. I think he pays attention now. :)

 

Personally, I would talk about with her and practice with her but I definitely wouldn't worry or blame homeschooling. Have you ever looked into a grammar school class? There are some comical little space cadets in there often. ;) LOL

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Certainly it's important to be diligent to correct our children when they do not behave.

 

This doesn't sound like a misbehavior issue to me at all, from reading your original post. Likewise, I don't think it has anything to do with homeschooling.

 

Very gently, I ask, "why is it that others are trying to teach her at this age when she just needs you?"

 

It really sounds like she is a perfectly normal 7 yo to me. Seven is so very young. At that age, the children I have known (and know) are usually happiest outside looking at bugs, climbing trees, getting dirty, swinging on swings, catching butterflies, and staring up at cloud formations in the sky. They don't like sitting still, if their bodies are normal and healthy. And if they eat right and don't watch tv often, they are full of energy and constantly moving!! When they are tired, they pick flowers and make chains of them. :)

 

This is all upside!!

 

There is so much time to add in extracurricular activities later. There is plenty of time for her to learn accountability to other teachers later.

 

I would phase out her extracurricular stuff. Let her PLAY and be 7. Look at the bugs with her. Kick the soccer ball around with her recreationally. Introduce her to the basics in sports but without teams and lessons...buy a wiffle ball, a bat, a kickball, a cheap tennis racket. Teach her how to do push ups, jumping jacks, stomach crunches. Walk together. Play "treasure hunt" while you walk. Keep it informal.

 

Go down a craft aisle at a store and buy some glitter, yarn, paints, clay, markers, and fun crafts. Do those things with her for art class. Take a look at Draw-Write-Now (series of books) or do Drawing with Children with her (the former involves much less teacher effort). Find or purchase some fabric remnants. Show her how to thread a needle and let her "sew" the remnants. Buy a simple needlepoint or counted cross stitch sampler (7 might be a bit young for some for these skills) and let her give it a try. Teach her how to crochet a long yarn chain (easy to google how if you don't know...it's one easy stitch.)

 

That way, you'll be exposing her to lots of new skills and some day, when she is ready, they will take root and grow.

 

Some children will be ready for more formal stuff earlier; with others, it might be 10 or beyond. Don't rush her.

 

Mine were like your dd for years. They were 9 and 11 when they ventured into one extracurricular activity each for the first time (group tennis lessons).

 

Now I have a rocket-building, rhetoric-stage-thinking, kayaking-fisherman, tennis-player-extraordinnaire (ds almost 14) and an animal-loving, logic-stage-thinking, tree-climbing, kayaking-fisherwoman, leaping-gymnast, card-making-artist-extraordinnaire (dd 12). And she also loves to build and launch rockets with her brother. They are accountable to outside coaches. They chose these activities themselves, without prodding. And they focus wonderfully on what is most interesting to them (that's not always their schoolwork!!) Aren't we all like that, really?

 

Just some food for thought. Enjoy your dd!

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How is she with things like meal times? My boys learned to sit still through our having strict politeness rules at meals. We are not very punitive parents, but we decided that - once the children were old enough to understand - if they got up from the table then that was the end of their meal and they got no dessert (usually a biscuit/cookie). It seemed to work.

 

Laura

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I have a child like that too. He is 6, and if I give him some legos and tell him to build something, then he will be busy for at least an hour. When he gets bored or is not interested in whatever he is doing, then he picks flowers, talks to himself or anyone that will listen, and so on. Right now we are working on this by having him sit still and quiet for a few minutes at a time, and then we increase it by a couple of minutes at a time. My goal is to have him sit quietly without the need to be entertained by something whether that is my constant re-direction or the distraction of flowers on the field. This is not something that I had to work on with my oldest or my younger son; they both have always been able to focus on anything that is before them.

 

One thing that has helped my son too is removing all dyes and most preservatives from his diet. I don't know if your dd eats those things, but they can lead to ADD-like behavior.

 

My child is like this too. Your suggestions above makes me really glad I read this thread. Cheers.

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Guest CarolineUK

I don't think this is a homeschool issue. Just over a year ago I took DS9 out of school because his teacher couldn't deal with this very issue and complained to me about him on an almost daily basis. He is not a willful or difficult child, and is mostly very eager to please. None of his brothers are like this, and he was, from a very early age, a child who spent a lot of time in a little world of his own. I have wondered whether the fact that he had many bad ear infections from the age of 3 months to about 3 years has been a contributing factor, in that experiencing the world in a rather muffled way at such an early age has caused him to rather ignore it a bit ever since. On the other hand it may be, as other pps have suggested, just a personality thing.

 

I've found this thread very helpful in all the wonderful suggestions of ways in which we can work with him to improve this problem. It's something dh has been increasingly worried about and I've been feeling more and more that maybe I should be doing something to help DS9 to develop strategies to improve his attention span and so adapt a little to the expectations others will have of him.

 

Dh coaches on a soccer team for 5-11 year olds and has commented that quite a few children need constant reminders to bring them back on task - all of them except our dc are in school. Picking flowers is lovely though, most of the little boys dh coaches get distracted looking for earthworms, yuk!

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I'd raise the bar at home; role play; and be sure to give explicit instructions on what is acceptable behavior before walking on the field at every practice and every game. It seems like she just needs some practice as this is pretty normal for her age.

 

I don't think this is a downfall of home schooling, although I understand your point: if she were publicly schooled, she'd already be a drone in these types of situations.

 

You got some good advice, so I'll encourage you that this is normal...boys and girls....just be more proactive towards this specific issue...which I might approach as respecting others while speaking and giving attention to the right things at the right times. Perhaps you can promise 5 min. of daisy picking after practice :)

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I haven't read all 3 pages of replies so maybe someone has mentioned this already, but is it possible that she just isn't suited for team sports type activities? I don't think it's a downfall to homeschooling at all. Quite frankly, my dh is the same way and he was public schooled. He's not a team sports kinda' guy, but he does love to run, workout with weights, and swim. He probably would've done well with track if someone had encouraged him in that direction when he was young. I have one dd who's the same way.

 

Reminds me of Ferdinand the Bull. :lol:

 

Could your dd do something like swimming, ballet or gymnastics instead? She could either get private lessons (esp for swimming) where she IS the only student, or even if she had to be in a class for lessons, those are the kinds of activities where the teacher has to take moments to focus on the individual, and not just as part of a larger collective group.

 

As far as staying on task and not having to constantly be redirected, I think that will come with time and maturity if you stay consistent. I just don't know that I'd push team sports for this child, though. At least not until she's older and more mature.

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Not sure how to handle this...as we are just now crossing this bridge. My DD (7) has no attention span when it comes to extra curricular activities. I can redirect her a hundred times at home...she is my only child. She gets in a group setting and is suddenly in la la land. She is NOT ADHD or anywhere close to it. She just cannot focus when other people are trying to teach her. At soccer practice, she's off picking flowers and looking at bugs. She can't sit still at the 'sitting down' things she is involved in (art, sewing, etc).

 

This is a new problem. I don't know how to break her of this. The teachers all say she is good at what she does, but they have to redirect her over and over again and she isn't their only student! LOL

 

What do I do?

Sounds to me like she is 7.

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Beautiful post, Tampamommy! :001_smile:

 

Certainly it's important to be diligent to correct our children when they do not behave.

 

This doesn't sound like a misbehavior issue to me at all, from reading your original post. Likewise, I don't think it has anything to do with homeschooling.

 

Very gently, I ask, "why is it that others are trying to teach her at this age when she just needs you?"

 

It really sounds like she is a perfectly normal 7 yo to me. Seven is so very young. At that age, the children I have known (and know) are usually happiest outside looking at bugs, climbing trees, getting dirty, swinging on swings, catching butterflies, and staring up at cloud formations in the sky. They don't like sitting still, if their bodies are normal and healthy. And if they eat right and don't watch tv often, they are full of energy and constantly moving!! When they are tired, they pick flowers and make chains of them. :)

 

This is all upside!!

 

There is so much time to add in extracurricular activities later. There is plenty of time for her to learn accountability to other teachers later.

 

I would phase out her extracurricular stuff. Let her PLAY and be 7. Look at the bugs with her. Kick the soccer ball around with her recreationally. Introduce her to the basics in sports but without teams and lessons...buy a wiffle ball, a bat, a kickball, a cheap tennis racket. Teach her how to do push ups, jumping jacks, stomach crunches. Walk together. Play "treasure hunt" while you walk. Keep it informal.

 

Go down a craft aisle at a store and buy some glitter, yarn, paints, clay, markers, and fun crafts. Do those things with her for art class. Take a look at Draw-Write-Now (series of books) or do Drawing with Children with her (the former involves much less teacher effort). Find or purchase some fabric remnants. Show her how to thread a needle and let her "sew" the remnants. Buy a simple needlepoint or counted cross stitch sampler (7 might be a bit young for some for these skills) and let her give it a try. Teach her how to crochet a long yarn chain (easy to google how if you don't know...it's one easy stitch.)

 

That way, you'll be exposing her to lots of new skills and some day, when she is ready, they will take root and grow.

 

Some children will be ready for more formal stuff earlier; with others, it might be 10 or beyond. Don't rush her.

 

Mine were like your dd for years. They were 9 and 11 when they ventured into one extracurricular activity each for the first time (group tennis lessons).

 

Now I have a rocket-building, rhetoric-stage-thinking, kayaking-fisherman, tennis-player-extraordinnaire (ds almost 14) and an animal-loving, logic-stage-thinking, tree-climbing, kayaking-fisherwoman, leaping-gymnast, card-making-artist-extraordinnaire (dd 12). And she also loves to build and launch rockets with her brother. They are accountable to outside coaches. They chose these activities themselves, without prodding. And they focus wonderfully on what is most interesting to them (that's not always their schoolwork!!) Aren't we all like that, really?

 

Just some food for thought. Enjoy your dd!

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If you have a kid like this, I think it is an advantage to be homeschooling!

 

As was mentioned several times, there are kids like this all over public school. When you homeschool not only is there more time for general messing around, during "class time" your teacher is able to make sure you are actually paying attention, instead of not worrying about what you are are learning as long as you aren't bothering anyone else.

 

I also agree that it is very normal for a 7yo and if some of these simple suggestions help then that is great.

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Thanks for all of the advice. I have a lot of ways to work on it now.

 

She is the one who wanted to be in these activities. I would rather her drop soccer but she has been playing for 3 years now and loves playing...she just gets distracted.

 

As far as the other classes...art..sewing...Piano..dance (yes, I know this is a lot, she won't drop any of it and she is our only, so we are doing ok). This is stuff she wants to do...and wants to do it now rather than wait a few years. She loves doing this stuff, she just gets distracted after 15 minutes or so of sitting still. I have her in this stuff b/c she wants to learn how to sew (machine sewing), play piano and do the artsy crafty stuff (not true art..more like ceramics, foam art, etc). I teach her everything else she knows...I'm ok farming some stuff out. I can't do everything..rofl

 

Sounds like she is just normal...and that I need to work on getting her to focus for longer periods of time. I do feel better now about it :)

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Not sure how to handle this...as we are just now crossing this bridge. My DD (7) has no attention span when it comes to extra curricular activities. I can redirect her a hundred times at home...she is my only child. She gets in a group setting and is suddenly in la la land. She is NOT ADHD or anywhere close to it. She just cannot focus when other people are trying to teach her. At soccer practice, she's off picking flowers and looking at bugs. She can't sit still at the 'sitting down' things she is involved in (art, sewing, etc).

 

This is a new problem. I don't know how to break her of this. The teachers all say she is good at what she does, but they have to redirect her over and over again and she isn't their only student! LOL

 

What do I do?

It sounds like she is 7. Also, maybe she likes flowers and bugs more than soccer and socializing more than art or sewing. This is age appropriate and she will grow out of it.

 

I have a friend whose dd was that way at that age when she played soccer. A year latter they switched to horseback riding and I have never heard her talk about distracted behavior during these lessons. Was it the extra maturity or is she now doing something she really enjoys? Probably some of both.

 

Frankly, I can't imagine that a lot of 7yo children sit still at sewing class and I know that she isn't the only 7yo girl picking flowers during a soccer game.

 

HTH-

Mandy

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She just cannot focus when other people are trying to teach her. At soccer practice, she's off picking flowers and looking at bugs. She can't sit still at the 'sitting down' things she is involved in (art, sewing, etc).

 

This is a new problem. I don't know how to break her of this. The teachers all say she is good at what she does, but they have to redirect her over and over again and she isn't their only student! LOL

 

What do I do?

 

This can be a sign of auditory and/or language processing problems. Without realizing it, parents often automatically tune in and communicate to the child exactly the way they need to function in their world. Outside of the home the parent might do a lot of "translating" when the child is interacting with outsiders (such as with a neighbor, doctor or clerk). A child who can compensate for the processing problems can do quite well in these situations but when problems appear is when the child moves out of the home environment to places where the parent isn't around to accomodate for the issues.

 

Of course I don't know if this is what's up, but I wanted to mention it since you're looking for answers. Has she ever had any speech differences, either delays, more advanced or different sounding speech than her peers? What about problems with following multistep verbal instructions?

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I feel your pain! I have noticed begun to notice the same thing with my six year old!

 

And, at VBS, for example, when she should have been in front of her seat singing and doing motions, she was chewing, that's right, chewing!!! on the ropes that were on the floor as decorations. :confused: What???!!!! You'd think she had no boundaries at home or that she was impaired in some way! I was so embarrassed!

 

It's the first time I've ever been embarrassed by my kid, by the way. I usually don't get embarrassed by what she does because I feel like we do a good job, my conscience is clean about how well I am trying to parent her and whatever she does doesn't necessarily always reflect on me, etc. etc.

 

But, from afar, she looked absolutely out of her mind that day!!!! I just had to come to terms with the "limitations" home school offers and had to trade those for the goodness it offers. I had to agree to let my kid be "weird" in some ways and until she was able to have opportunities to learn some of these social "skills."

 

I also had a strong conversation with her and told her how she honestly appeared to everyone. I don't use shame as a teaching tool or parenting tactic, but in this case, she had to be made aware of what other people were thinking. I also said that if she wasn't in front of her chair doing motions when I came to pick her up the next day, I would pick her up and carry her out of there in front of everyone.... That worked.

 

By the time the assembly rolled around at the end of the week, she was doing motions and singing along with everyone else. A defeat for her independence in one sense but a victory for the much-needed ability to "blend in" on the other hand... At times, we need to be able to do both, right?:001_smile:

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My 7yo was a soccer disaster last year. She twirled around, she picked flowers, she chased dragonflies, she did not play much soccer! But, she swore that she loved soccer and she was always eager to get her gear on to go to practice or games, so we stuck with it. This fall she's doing so much better, she's actually one of the better players on her team. Either soccer camp worked miracles, the World Cup motivated her or she finally became more interested in the game than in the clover. In any case, there is hope!

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If you have a kid like this, I think it is an advantage to be homeschooling!

 

As was mentioned several times, there are kids like this all over public school. When you homeschool not only is there more time for general messing around, during "class time" your teacher is able to make sure you are actually paying attention, instead of not worrying about what you are are learning as long as you aren't bothering anyone else.

 

I also agree that it is very normal for a 7yo and if some of these simple suggestions help then that is great.

:iagree:

I was just thinking about this since my son recently started soccer and gymnastics - both activities he definitely wants to do and says he loves to do. He is the one not paying attention, wandering off the field, running off, etc. Yet, when we do school stuff, I am able to get him to pay attention long enough to learn something and maybe even actually put something down on paper. Something that I think would be a real problem in ps since he does show signs of adhd (my older brother was severly adhd so I know all the signs first hand). For example, he did his AAS today lying on the top edge of the sofa pointing down at the whiteboard which was leaning against the back - not something they'd be likely to allow in ps. ;)

 

My youngest is 2 years younger than him, has never gone to any type of school (he went to preschool for 1/2 a year and Early Intervention for a year) and does gymnastics with him - she pays better attention than he does. I think at least part of it is personality.

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I don't think this can be blamed on homeschooling.

 

:iagree:

 

This is not an exclusively homeschool problem. It is child specific. I coach my 1st and 2nd graders' soccer team right now, and less than half the team is homeschooled. My public schooled kids are the ones in "la la land" not paying attention picking dandelions. I would work with her, but I don't think you can blame it on homeschooling. Actually, public school would probably make it worse.

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See, I have the opposite problem so I agree that it can't be blamed on homeschooling. I think Becca focuses better in her outside classes and activities than she does at home! I remember when she was younger and in T-ball though, she was put in the outfield and spent a lot of time digging in the dirt. Maybe you need to choose other activities for her?

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Reading these about "space cadet" 7 year olds makes me feel a little more normal. I have twin 7yr old ds and I have seen the twirling during practice, fall off the chair at dinner because they are day dreaming, and totally not "here" actions...and it drove me crazy....however one day at practice look around and I bet you will find another "space cadet" I have found they take turns and we are more critical about our own....

 

My soccer player has days where he is so focused and others where I wonder if he knows what a soccer ball is.

 

My other twin is an all star cheerleader and has been since he was 5, there are days where it looks as if he has never done it before in his life and others seem like he did flips and jumps before he could walk.

 

Give them a break unless there is a potential for injury let it go...their peers will bring them back to reality.

 

Also, they went to ps for part of K and they were just a "space cadet" before, during and now as ever.....

Edited by ClassicalTwins
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