Focus and self-control

Reinforcing Performance Character at Home: Focus/Self-Control

At Athlos schools, we focus on teaching children the importance of 12 traits that we call Performance Character traits. Our Performance Character pillar recognizes the deep connection between these character traits and success. The development of Performance Character is integrated into every learning opportunity, allowing students to experience this connection first hand.  Traits like leadership, integrity, courage, and optimism become a lens through which students view their learning as about more than grades, but as learning for life.

Like all important lessons, reinforcing learning at home is a key factor to success. One of the best ways for parents to do this is to positively model the traits at home and to encourage trait development. In our 12-part ‘Performance Character at Home’ blog series, we will offer some simple, yet effective ways, to support children’s Performance Character development. In this blog, we look at focus/self-control.


“You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself any direction you choose.”

What is focus/self-control?

Athlos defines focus/self-control as: Focusing our minds and bodies by resisting distractions and actively concentrating.

Why is focus/self-control important?

Self-control and focus are such important Performance Character traits to have as a child and as an adult. Learning self-control enables children to make good choices and respond appropriately in any situation to produce a positive outcome. Focus enables children to pay full attention to the task at hand which, in turn, leads them to finish tasks and produce high-quality work and ideas.

How can I help my child develop focus/self-control?

There are many resources to help children build their focus and self-control skills, from enabling children to understand their emotions, responses, and actions, to techniques that help children get their wiggles out so they can better focus on the task at hand.

  • Read books that teach children the importance of understanding and controlling their emotions and actions. The “David” books by David Shannon are great resources to teach self-control. Julia Cook authored a book called My Mouth is a Volcano that is also a great resource.
  • There are several games that can help increase focus and self-control in children, and you can’t go wrong with increasing character while having fun. Try the childhood games “Red Light, Green Light” and “Memory” to help teach your children how to stay focused in the moment.
  • Another way to boost your child’s focus and self-control is through movement breaks. Give your children some extra time between tasks to get the wiggles out. This will refocus them when it’s time to sit still and finish a task.
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