You are currently viewing The Psychology of Distraction and “Forgetfulness” in Children and Adolescents

The Psychology of Distraction and “Forgetfulness” in Children and Adolescents

  • Post category:Disorders
  • Reading time:5 mins read

Strong Emotional Conflicts as a Cause of Distraction

Strong emotional conflicts in a child sometimes tie a lot of his attention to himself. Then the child cannot concentrate enough on work that requires full concentration, so he seems distracted, just “absent minded.” This is most noticeable during learning and during classes.

Distraction and Learning

Distraction is relatively common in older children and adolescents. Among our school children in the city, we noticed it in 13.8% of students and 10.4% of primary school students.

Different Causes of Distraction in Children

There are very different affectively negatively colored contents of the child’s psyche that are so distracting that the child cannot be collected when it is most needed. Once a child is distracted because he panics at the failure of school, or the consequences that await him from authoritative educators. The second time he cannot compose himself because he does not feel up to the task and does not know how to accept it. When a child is overwhelmed with jealousy, a sense of neglect, or injustice, he may also be distracted.

Concerns about conflicts between parents, grief for a lost parent, fear of a new life situation – all this can distract the child from work. In puberty and adolescence, new motives of distraction come: concern for one’s appearance, dissatisfaction with one’s position among peers, preoccupation with sexual needs, and more.

Sometimes a young man’s distraction is the result of his preoccupation with imagination. Children who do not find the opportunity to affirm their personality in real life often seek compensation in the fruits of their imagination. The child easily imagines everything that he is not able to really experience. That is why he is more interested in the contents of his imagination than in the real events around him. Therefore, these contents distract him from work and study.

Distraction and Memory

When a child is not concentrated on what he is learning, doing or listening to at school, he cannot remember that matter enough. And when he doesn’t fix it in his memory, he can’t even reproduce it. Then it is said that the child is forgetful. However, that is not forgetfulness. A man can forget only what he once remembered. If the child has not memorized a substance, then he cannot “forget” it, but simply does not know it.

It is a daily occurrence for a child to sit at a book for hours, to even read aloud and repeat lessons, and to be able to reproduce the same material very poorly the next day. True, there are mentally underdeveloped children who have difficulty remembering, or do not understand, the material they are learning, so they cannot even remember it. However, he is often a “forgetful” child of normal intelligence. It sometimes works quite mechanically, not delving into what it reads or listens at all. Then his ignorance is not the result of poor memory, but a lack of attention while learning.

“Forgetfulness” as a Lack of Attention

Sometimes “forgetfulness” is an expression of hidden defiance of educators. The 7-year-old girl is used to being used in everything and not being responsible for anything. But she recently went to school and her parents require her to show a sense of duty towards her assignments, the girl tries to force her parents to take over her school duties. She found a very cunning tool for that – forgetfulness. Lately she forgets everything about school: forgets what she has to do, forgets the notebook she needs that day, forgets her paints and pencils at school, forgets what she learned yesterday, etc. In other areas of her activity, the girl shows excellent memory. However, her parents still visit her and take her to the doctors because they are convinced that their child is “nervously ill”.

“Forgetfulness” as a Defiance of Educators

It happens to very timid children that they cannot reproduce the lesson they really learned at home at school because they suddenly forget it. The strong fear of failure and unpleasant consequences, which a child might experience if he comes home with bad grades, so overwhelms his consciousness at the time of answering that it blocks intellectual functions. But in such a psychogenic inhibition of memory, there is sometimes a defiance of educators, that is, a hidden aggression against their vanity and revenge for their strictness.

The Alibi of Diligent Studying

When a child studies diligently at home, he has an “alibi” for poor grades; for it is not wrong that he immediately forgets everything he has learned! Then he enjoys a little the helpless rage of parents who are desperate for their child’s “incompetence.”