Help Your Child Focus in 2020 with One Easy Step

Updated: Aug 16, 2020

Aloha, Maui. The school year is here and this year it was harder than ever for families to decide how to educate their children. I listened to friends with kids debating the best option for school this year and I was amazed at how difficult their process was. I commend all of you parents for whatever decision you made!

The 2020/2021 school year is rife with new educational opportunities like remote learning, small group homeschooling, and virtual programs utilized by families and schools. New technology in education is helpful, but does little to alleviate that age old problem all parents face- how to keep your child on task .

I’d like to share with you a technique I teach clients to maximize productivity that does not use modern technology. I want it to serve you and your family by setting the foundation for efficiency and flow- the two important factors of a well functioning household. The technique is called the Command Position and comes from an old art form some refer to as a pseudo-science: Feng Shui.

Sounds powerful, doesn’t it? It is. The command position is a practical solution presented by Feng Shui to cultivate the feeling of safety and security within a room. Because life-energy flows into a room through its openings (doors & windows) and makes its way around the room interacting with objects and elements in its path- including technology and you.

Feng Shui notes that when a human is positioned facing the doorway to a room with his back to the wall, he feels secure in his environment. He can see the doorway and whomever/whatever enters without turning his head and in that way, he is ready to handle whatever shows up. The safe, secure, feeling one experiences in a well-positioned room paired with a sense that one can handle anything he or she faces has a calming effect on the nervous system which allows one to thrive or in this case, finish homework.

Use this to your advantage. Place your child’s desk and chair as far from the door to the room they study in as possible, with the chair back against a wall or in a place that allows your child to see the door without turning their head. This way, your child will feel safe & secure which will allow them to STAY FOCUSED.

Why? Because many distractions stem from unmet basic needs like snacks and security. By placing your child’s desk and chair in this manner you are ensuring minimal distraction and maximum productivity. Probably good to give them a snack, too.

Okay, I know the reservations you have- “how will moving furniture get a teenager to do her homework?” It is psychology. Researchers of productivity accumulated data through trail which suggested we as humans fall into patterns of habitual behavior sometimes based solely on our environment.

So what? Well, your family spends most of its time relaxing in your living room, cooking or eating in the kitchen, sleeping in your bedrooms and socializing in the backyard. It is difficult to get a child to focus on homework in any of the environments because they are used to doing other activities in those spaces!

I know the light bulb just went off and you want to act. Good, keep it simple for now. Most of you can ask your child an easy question: “where in this house do you concentrate best?” Then together with your child designate that spot for the completion of school assignments. If it’s a seat at the dining room table, get a name tag place holder or mark a square on the table with blue painters’ tape to emphasize that the task is concentration. You are not required to move furniture- you can leave that up to me.

Want help getting your house in order for the school year ahead? email today :


Brittany C. Smith has a bachelors of science in Psychology from York College of Pennsylvania '09. There she studied, among other topics, Industrial and Organizational psychology. She now lives in Haiku, Hawaii and shares her love of optimal life-energy flow with the residents of Maui.

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