My daughter E has always been a whirlwind. She loves singing and dancing, dressing up, make believe play - and talks incessantly. Even as a baby/toddler, she was terrible at independent play, and this has only gotten slightly better as she has grown - she is only interested in an activity if it involves her talking at you constantly. Now she's 4.5, she will sit and colour a picture for ten minutes (only if she's allowed to narrate the entire activity to somebody), do a jig saw (as long as you are actively watching her and listening to her explain what bit goes where) or will watch TV/play with her tablet alone for short periods, but her default is usually following me around talking to me.

She loves to make up funny stories and rhymes - and she has such a sense of humour. She clearly a bright girl, but oh lord her concentration is poor. She struggles to listen to a story because she gets distracted by things around her, or the ideas in her head (that she needs to talk about). She struggles to follow simple instructions like "put your shoes on", because she gets distracted on her way to her shoes and ends up doing something else.

I had just put this down to her age, but, at her parent/teacher conference last week, her teacher told us that she is falling behind with her reading and writing because she doesn't focus in class.

I have been trying to work with her on her writing this weekend, but she's so distracted all the time.... It's impossible! Mid-way through the first word we tried to write, she got distracted by the eraser on the end of her pencil. Then she decided she needed to sharpen her pencil, then she insisted on drawing a butterfly.... and so on. When I pushed her to focus on the activity, she started writing her letters back to front and forgetting how to write certain letters (letters I KNOW she can write - but she wasn't concentrating AT ALL). Then she lost confidence and didn't want to write any more.

Her homework this weekend involves making words out of cut-out letters/sounds... but she won't focus on the activity, she wants to pretend the cut-outs are fairies or food or something..... it's a nightmare. And when I push her to engage with the activity, she deliberately does it wrong. Sigh.

Any idea how I can support her to focus?