"If a child's cycle of activity is interrupted, the results are a deviation of behavior, aimlessness, and loss of interest ... So whatever intelligent activity we witness in a child - even if it seems absurd to us ... we must not interfere; for the child must be able to finish the cycle of activity on which his heart is set." - Maria Montessori
Helping your toddler sharpen their focus lies in the skill of identifying the moments in which a parent should simply observe a child rather than interrupt. We know this is easier said than done, which is why we've concluded two main points that can help parents practice this skill with their little one.
Follow with the child
Essentially, this begins with acknowledging that each child has his or her pattern and trusting that they are capable of identifying what they need to learn or explore at the moment. Our role as parents is to allow this natural course of being to occur without interfering.
Let's say you're out in a play area or a park with your child. Do you notice yourself saying, "Hey, look at that! or "Let's play with that over there!"? This is a perfect depiction of wanting to lead the play. Instead, we invite you to wait for your child to choose what they want to see or play. Our children lead their own development as they are the best judge of what they need to be mastering.
Avoid talking, testing, and quizzing
We get it, your little one just started talking and you're excited to support their language development. There are so many moments in which you can do that, however, it's not when your child is in deep focus during play.
When your child is in deep concentration, try not to say, "Ooh, what color is this?" or "have you seen these" or naming everything. This can actually be more distracting. Take a step back and notice why your child cannot concentrate - most times, you will see that what breaks your child's concentration often is the adult.