We have heard so many parents around us complaining about their children who get distracted very easily and can’t focus on studies or other activities for a long time. It is because they are so full of energy and enthusiasm that they can not concentrate on one thing for a long time. It hampers their ability to learn and preserve the information. On the contrary, they can concentrate on television or video games for long hours without getting bored. So, do you have the same complaint? Are you always remain preoccupied with the thought on how to improve the focus and concentration in your child while studying?
SHORT ATTENTION SPAN IN CHILD IS COMMON:
Actually, you have to understand that when we do something that interests us, we become able to focus on that and concentrate on that for hours. When kids try to focus on something that does not seem interesting to them, they have to spend more energy to understand that and retain that in their memory. So, they get mentally tired and lose interest consequently. While watching their favourite shows on TV, they don’t have to exercise their brains because the shows are interesting. They feel relaxed and get engaged for as long as we don’t interrupt.
However, as parents, we can help our children to increase the focus and attention span to some extent by analyzing the reasons behind it. First of all, we have to understand why do children lose focus on some activities.
WHAT ARE THE REASONS BEHIND THE LACK OF FOCUS &CONCENTRATION IN YOUR CHILD?
- Your kid can not focus if something disturbing goes on in his or her mind. If he has a fight with a friend in school or gets punished by the teacher, it preoccupies his mind. As a result, he cannot concentrate on his studies or other activities. A child has a problem focusing when he becomes the prey of bullying in school or somewhere else by his peer groups or seniors as well.
- Sometimes, a child faces a low attention span because of excitement. A child can easily be overwhelmed with the thought of an upcoming birthday party or a much-awaited tour to his dream destination. He or she starts daydreaming about the event and fails to concentrate on studies or other activities.
- Inadequate sleep can be a cause of distraction in your child. A child needs at least 8-10 hours of sleep to get energized. If he becomes deprived of quality sleeping, he finds it difficult to focus and most likely makes mistakes.
- Lack of nutrition causes poor memory and concentration in a child. If a child does not get enough protein, vitamins, and minerals including iron, his ability to focus and concentration suffer immensely. If you send your child school without having proper breakfast, it can cause a lack of focus in the classroom. A hungry child is most likely distracted and loses focus on studies.
- Stress and anxiety can also be a reason for a terrible attention span in kids. Parental problems or a death in the family can affect a child lot and he faces problems to improve focus and concentration.
- If your child eats too much junk foods and foods rich in sugar, then there is a chance that he becomes lethargic. In this condition, he would face a poor attention span while reading or doing homework.
- If one of the parents or anyone of the family members had a problem in focusing (ADHD), then the child may develop the tendency of this.
However, as a child grows, his attention span increases at its own rate. Still, as parents, we can help them to develop this by following some activities or exercises which can modify the brain cells. Follow these ways to increase focus and concentration in your child by keeping him engaged for a longer stretch.
HOW TO DEAL WITH CONCENTRATION PROBLEM IN YOUR CHILD?
1. FIND OUT THE RIGHT TIME:
Some children prefer to study in the morning whereas some like it in the evening. Parents have to identify the time when their child stays refreshed and energized. Prepare daily routine according to that time.
2. PROVIDE THE RIGHT MOTIVATION:
Keep your child motivated and focused by creating an atmosphere of learning at home. Right kind of books, effective teaching techniques, appropriate learning apps- all are important to improve the focus and concentration in your child. At an early age, nicely illustrated books and fun activity books keep children focused on studies for a long time.
3. EFFECTIVE GOAL SETTING:
Instead of pushing, allow your child to set effective goals for himself. Help him to discover what he truly wants to achieve now as well as in the long run. It will motivate him to stay focused and help him to take responsibility for his own planning and learning.
4. SHORT TERM STUDY PLAN:
Help your child to break his big, long-term goal into small parts. Children get easily demotivated and distracted with a long term study plan or a large amount of homework. Breaking it into smaller parts or preparing a short term study plan balancing the short attention span in children can be beneficial.
5. REDUCE DISTRACTION:
Try to reduce distractions when your child is studying. Don’t talk over the phone or text messages sitting beside him. Turn off the television and other possible noisemakers.
6. PUZZLES & MEMORY GAMES:
There are so many games that require focusing and planning with a cool mind. These types of games and activities increase memory and concentration in kids. Crossword puzzle, jigsaw puzzle, scrabble, card games like “memory” – are some of the activities to increase the attention span of a child.
7. ENOUGH PHYSICAL ACTIVITIES:
Physical activities can help to improve the focus of your child. According to a study, even if a kid is suffering from attention deficit disorder, physical activities, and exercises stimulate the secretion of brain chemicals which are responsible for focus, memory, and concentration. There are many simple exercises for kids that boost up fitness as well as mental strength. Swimming is a great calory- burn exercise for hyperactive children. In addition to this, by practicing yoga regularly, children can improve focus and concentration remarkably. If done properly, meditation can teach us how to improve focus and concentration.
8. ENOUGH PLAY & FUN:
A lot of homework or activities can make a child tired and bored. So we have to allow them to engage in play and fun activities of their choice. Instead of a long study time, we should encourage them to take small gaps so that they don’t feel pressured.
9. PROPER NUTRITION:
Encourage your child to eat the brain foods to improve memory and concentration. These foods allow healthy brain function in your child and enable him to fight distractions with a longer attention span. Consumption of junk foods should be restricted.
10. TIME LIMIT:
Sometimes setting up a time limit to complete the assignment can inspire your child to engage with focus and attention. An urge to finish the work within the time limit helps to increase the focus and concentration of the child while studying.
11. CHANNELIZE THE ENERGY:
In the case of hyperactive kids, we have to keep their mind and body busy with some activities to channelize the energy. Parents have to find ways to vent out their energy and calm the mind. Giving time to vent out their energy may help them focus on the next task.
12. PRAISE AND APPRECIATION:
Appreciation from parents is the best motivation for any child to stay focused on his goal. Small rewards or words of praise for achieving small success ( even after fulfilling a short term learning target ) can boost the confidence as well as focus and concentration of a child.
13. KEEP AWAY GADGETS:
As online classes are new normal now, we can’t completely stop the use of computers, tablets, and mobile phones by our children. But we have to restrict the use of them. According to studies, gadgets reduce the attention span and memory of children. We have to encourage them to play with regular toys.
Moreover, the most important tip on how to improve the focus & concentration of your child is, to provide him with a distraction-free environment where no unrealistic expectation or pressure can upset the young mind. Nutritious foods, enough rest, a loving, caring, and secure atmosphere are the necessary prerequisites to improve a child’s overall mental health as well as focus, memory, and concentration.