The ability to focus on a goal is probably one of the most important lessons you can teach your child.
As long as your child lives at home with you, he is safe. But from the moment he leaves home and steps out into the world, he will be out on his own in the deep sea, sailing, swimming or sinking. This is when your child needs to understand that he should be able to control the boat, and not go wherever the wind takes him. Yes, the boat will waver slightly along the way, but it should be clearly moving towards a particular direction, and not keep changing course.
One of the surest ways to achieve success is the ability of a person to focus on a goal. Your child's attitude should be: here is where I am, here is where I want to go, and this is what I need to do to achieve my goal.
Although this is how most children start out after graduation, many of them get distracted along the way. They either change plans midstream, get diverted from their course of action, or their minds start wavering.
Life is a battle of the mind against the world and when your child understands this he has already started on the way to success.
So how do you inculcate the ability to focus in your child?
Let your child take up a sport of his choice. You will notice that after a few months your child may want to stop playing the sport and take up another one. Don't let him do this. Encourage him to stick with the sport he has taken up.
Encourage your child to take up reading. As he grows older, you can start giving him autobiographies of successful people to inspire him. Reading is also a form of focus.
Your child needs to learn that he should be guided by logic and not by emotion. Some tend to follow their hearts, while others follow their heads. If you are purely guided by your heart, you will tend to go with the flow and do whatever feels good in the present, neglecting future plans. If you are guided with your head, you will almost always make the right decision, and opt for enjoyment only after completing your tasks at hand.
Children have a tendency to live in a world of their own imagination. If your child tends to do this, encourage him to pen down his thoughts and create a story. If he finds that story writing is really not his cup of tea, his imaginative world is going to leave him nowhere. All that it does is remove him from the present and it may distract him from his studies. Try and pull him out of his world and explain that such behaviour is far from constructive. On the other hand, if your child expresses a tendency to enter a creative career, then you should discuss it with him and work with him to achieve his goals. And as long as he focuses on it, he will be a success.