I think EVERY boy has trouble focusing.
Hands down it is our biggest struggle here in our home. My son is 8 and still has a huge issue with it. All day long, especially during school, I am constantly reminding him to focus. Brushing his teeth is an adventure (where is that boy?) The older he gets, the better, but still a big thing.
Believe me, I have thought a lot about this. I have prayed a lot about it. Cried over it. I have read books and scoured the Internet.
It boils down to this: that is the way they are built. They grow into being focused. Part of it is an immaturity and the other is lack of self control. They kind of are a circular thing when paired together. Frustrating really for everyone involved, even more so, for the boy.
When he grows up as a man, he will have trouble focusing on more than one task at a time. Men become very goal oriented-- hunters of the next task at hand. See destination, pass all cars and skip gas stations. Need groceries, speed through store not checking prices and find absolutely shortest line even if the checker is a "bad" one. Need to mow lawn, in record time. Dinner needs to be made, order pizza or open a can of chili.
As a child, a man is growing into his target driven nature that God has given him. It is a gift that needs training.
It is still immature in a boy. This is hard for him. He can only do one thing at a time and moms like to dole out a string of things in one shot. Ever ask a boy to clean his room? That is asking him to sort, put away, classify, fold, take stuff to laundry, stack, straighten, and you get the picture. It becomes an overwhelming task- a task that is really 500 tasks.
Lists. Lists are good only if they can read. Otherwise you are drawing pictures. One way around this is to make a list for YOU. Have him do the first thing and then report to you. Then give him the next thing and so on. Reporting to you makes him accountable and also allows him to focus on the ONE thing at a time. As he grows a bit he can take maybe two things at a time, but take it slow.
I am sooooo guilty of tacking on other things to do. Even when I KNOW he cannot handle it. I think "Oh he is 8, he can take on getting in the shower without instructions!" or "Surely he can see he has socks here AND Kinex there to put away."
Really no. But I try to fool myself all the time.
In short, they are just wired different. WAYYYYY different. If you have mostly girls, your girls will be messy in creative foofoo ways. Boys are definitely NOT messy that way.
Some day my son will be a man. He will have endured this life living under my roof for quite some time. Hopefully I have pointed him in the right direction and prodded him just enough but not demanded too much than he can do.
The point is to train him up in the way that HE should go. And men "go" in whole 'nother way altogether!
Click here to find a good list of books on this subject!