I have a student whose dog howls as soon as she starts playing her violin. It's a hoot to watch and a very entertaining trick when company visits. The distraction level, however, is VERY high, and the family has learned to put Spike in the backyard during serious practice time.
Obviously a howling dog is a problem for focused practice, but what about the less obvious distractions in your home? Does an older sibling hike up the volume on the television as soon as her brother begins to play scales on the piano? Does your fussy toddler start to scream for attention whenever you sit down to practice cello with your six year old?
It's worth a moment of your time to evaluate distracting noise and activities in your home that may effect your child's ability to concentrate. You may need to change a routine or find a different place in your home where practice can happen effectively.
My four year old student Emma practices with her mother for 15 minutes each day while her father entertains their two year old in a different room. The family worked out this plan before they even started lessons and it works well for them.
Older students may need a dedicated room or space free from enticing distractions like computers and televisions. Set up designated practice areas with the necessities: music stands, tuners, metronomes, and sheet music to avoid wasting time searching for items.
How many times has practice in your home been interrupted by a phone call? Consider turning the ringers off (cell phones too). We are so used to being constantly available for interaction with family and friends that we often don't question the interruption. Makes you wonder how folks entertained themselves hundreds of years ago before texting, video and internet. Oh yeah... they played music together!