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How do you build up a 4-year-old’s stamina for sitting up to an hour or more for a test?

The ability to focus and remain attentive for extended periods of time, like any other skill, is something that can be improved with practice.   Start out by first finding out what your child’s current “threshold” is by working with him/her and simply seeing how long he/she can go before starting to get distracted or bored.  Then, depending on how frequently you work together, try to increase the duration over time.  For instance, if your child is already working for 20 minutes with no problem, increase it to 30 minutes the next week, 40 the next, and so on.  Most importantly – always provide positive reinforcement and encouragement whenever your child is working hard and staying on-task.  Remember – they do not know they’re doing a good job unless you tell them they are!

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