Having difficulty in focusing can be a long-term or short-term issue. In either case, it makes learning difficult. It’s not always possible to modify the circumstances that make it difficult to concentrate. However, there are techniques to assist your youngster in overcoming distractions and completing tasks.
Before we go there, there are a few things you should know: children are naturally curious and full of energy, and the major reason they have concentration problems is because their brains are built differently.
When they are given a work that isn’t entertaining, kids become bored and quickly change their focus to something more intriguing, unlike us adults, who complete things whether we enjoy them or not.
So first let’s understand what the Signs are of low concentration in children:
- Lack of interest
- Inability to sit still and retain a line of thought
- Easily distracted
- Appears to be daydreaming
- Difficulty following instructions
- Inability to keep things organized
Having said that, here are some of the best ways to help improve your child’s concentration quickly and easily. Take a look at techniques on how to improve concentration in kids!
Techniques on How to Improve Concentration in Kids
1. Play focus games & activities to build attention
Since children learn more by playing, it is always a good idea to try and make their activities a little more fun. Keep away gadgets, tablets and computers and allow children to play with regular toys, activities that improve attention and concentration, and concentration exercises. Studies have shown that gadgets actually reduce attention span and memory power of children so they should be used sparingly or not at all.
2. Learn to deal with distractions
Some children respond well in an environment that is soothing and calming but other children may thrive in an environment that has a lot of hustle and bustle. Understanding what kind of environment your child prefers to study is the first step to increase the concentration level in him/her.
- Ambience – Quiet surroundings or soft instrumental music may help to set the mood for studying.
- Gadgets – Ideally, all gadgets including televisions, iPads, cell phones etc. need to be switched off or kept in a different room to avoid distractions.
- Reachable materials – Keep everything that is required at hand so that your child does not need to get up to get anything.
Eating healthy/nutritious food has a direct link to how well a child concentrates and there are different foods that help develop a child’s concentration. Eating junk/ nutrient poor food or food rich in sugar makes a child sluggish while food rich in proteins such as almonds, eggs and lean meat have the ability to raise awareness and increase concentration levels!
4. Take Breathers
Most children are able to concentrate best after a good nights’ rest. A power nap for twenty minutes after school or in the afternoon should also do the trick to increase concentration. All bathroom breaks, hunger pangs etc. should be taken care of before the study time begins as they have the tendency to interfere with concentration.
5. Divide bigger tasks into smaller tasks
Studying an entire chapter in one go is quite difficult for a child. It always helps to break it down into pages or even paragraphs so that the child feels a sense of accomplishment for finishing a small task and this will motivate him to continue on. This is true not just for studies but for household chores as well.
6. Try Mindfulness
Mindfulness exercises are all about paying attention and focusing. Studies have shown that mindfulness can help kids improve their behaviour and their ability to focus on lessons and on schoolwork.
One way to practice is to sit quietly and focus on breathing in and out. Taking even a few deep breaths before class or a test could make a difference.
7. Make a list of goals
When your child is busy, tell him what he has to do next, but allow a few minutes, until he stops and starts the new activity.
This helps, especially when a child is engaged in doing something he likes and enjoys doing, since there would be a reluctance to stop what he is doing and start something else.
8. Set short time goals for better concentration
Knowing there’s a limit to how long they have to stay focused can make it easier for kids to hang in there. Set a timer for how long your child needs to work before having a quick snack or taking a play break. You can increase the amount of time little by little as your child gets better at focussing.
9. Set up a reward system
Rewards don’t necessarily have to be tokens such as chocolates or toys. They can also be in the form of praise , healthy treats or outings.
A child’s self-esteem can be harmed by difficulties with focus or any other skill. To help your child focus, praise his or her efforts. Make a point of pointing out even minor improvements. Also, let your child know that his or her ability to concentrate can improve.
Remember to focus on your child’s strengths rather than his or her flaws. Celebrate all of your focus victories, large and little. When youngsters know what they excel in, they gain confidence and are better able to stay motivated when things get tough. This is sure to help build and increase concentration, right?