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ESP Training—Explain, Show, Practice!

February 15, 2011
Little blonde haired girl with her hands on her head

We’ve had a lot of fun learning self-control by practicing sitting still without moving for specific amounts of time. Start with 15 seconds, set each child on their own blanket and instruct them to look straight ahead and to not move. The first time you can count the 15 seconds out loud so they can hear their progress. Each time you practice increase the time until they can sit for four minutes without moving. Once four minutes is reached then add different temptations to try to get them to turn and look or move. Some examples are: stand behind the children and crinkle a candy wrapper or pretend to greet someone at the door. Have fun with it. It is amazing for a child to learn they do not have to look every time they hear something interesting or they don’t have to burst into laughter when someone acts silly in front of them. These practiced exercises will come back to help your child when they want to turn around in church or in a class and someone is acting like a goof. Knowing they possess the ability to practice self-control will benefit them in such times of temptation.

Excerpts from Kim S. Doebler’s book ESP Character Training.

Available for $14.99 at: or ESP Character Training, PO 247, Lake Tomahawk, WI 54539

ESP Training, Explain, Show & Practice by Kim S. Doebler, Learning Self-Control.

— Kim Doebler

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17 comments on “ESP Training—Explain, Show, Practice!”

  1. Training children to sit still and stare at a blank wall? What about teaching them to enquire and be inquisitive about the world around them? Teaching them to look with interest and ask questions? Surely that’s what we want our children to do if we want them to learn?

    1. They don’t have to stare at a blank wall, just straight ahead. This is useful for when they are trying to learn something in class or church etc. Yes, they ought to be inquisitive and ask questions but this trains them to focus on what’s important at that moment instead of turning to see why a baby is crying and then getting distracted by little Johnny kicking the chair in front of him and Mary crawling underneath to fetch her doll… all these distractions will steal away any learning that should be taking place but this training will prevent that.

        1. It isn’t a good reply at all! I am a teacher and I certainly do not expect my students to sit staring straight ahead at nothing! They look at me when I teach because I have something to say, and I say it in a way that captures their imagination! Mindless staring is most certainly not required in my classroom thank you very much.

  2. Why not sit with them and read a book? Discuss what you see together?? Surely that's a better way of encouraging your child to listen and learn!!!! You don't want a child- you want a robot!!! Where children are interested, they will listen well and they will learn. A child's day should be busy- filled with activities and fun not staring at ANYTHING mindlessly just because you can't be bothered to parent.

  3. Thank you! I understand the spirit of what you are saying, and this is a great skill for little ones to learn. I understand that you do not want robots, and the joy you all have shows in all your articles. And these little ones surely understand that they aren’t to be robots…they are intelligent enough to know this is another “tool” they can use, and will help them to be a better “team member” in the family 🙂 I am a private music instructor (as well as a homeschool mommy) and we do this in lessons! It all depends on how you present it as the teacher or parent…these bright and inquisitive minds surely can add self control to their tool belt! What a great skill to benefit them as they continue this journey of life long learning.

  4. 4 Minutes! 4 minutes every several hours maybe! Really, it’s not like we’re locking them inside a metal cage for hours at a time! It’s teaching them how to control themselves.
    Here’s a mindblowing fact: There are WAAAY more than 4 minutes in a day!
    To M: Yes, we can teach them to be creative, but we can also teach them to have selfcontrol, there is a lot of time in an hour/day/week/year, we can teach them more than one thing at once!
    To J: Yes, I would expect people to look at me when I’m talking to them, and yes, we can teach them to that end AND teach them self-control.

  5. Actually, you are training them for other instances, when they need to sit still.
    Also, what if another kid is trying to distract them, you would want them to continue to focus on you.
    It’s not, as you say, “mindless staring”. It’s not mindless staring, it’s just teaching them to sit still. Sit still and focus on what you’re saying. Sit still and focus on homework. Sitting still is a very good life skill.
    You say: ” I certainly do not expect my students to sit staring straight ahead at nothing!
    The point isn’t to “stare at nothing”. The point is so that they can concentrate. You can use this to teach them how to concentrate on you and what you’re saying. They can talk if they want to say something, if you would permit it. The point is so they don’t turn at every distraction.

    If you still don’t get it, then you are purposefully not understanding. I don’t know why you would do that, but that’s your issue, not mine.