How To Improve Focus And Attention In Your Child
I started my teaching career in 1991 after I got married and called it a day in 2011. During all those years I taught kids of all age groups from nursery level to class 12th and that too throughout the country. I found each child different with their individual strengths and weaknesses but one thing that I found very common in all age groups was; restlessness and lack of focus. (especially among boys) As a teacher whenever I thought of handling this issue of lack of focus among senior level kids I realized that like all other behavioral problems this one also needed attention at a very young age. Now here I would like to clarify that focus and concentration are ADHD related issues but not all lack of concentration and focus are related to ADHD. Some are just childhood related behaviors so as parents you need to observe your kid very carefully to jump on to any conclusion.
Focus; The problem
There are kids of all ages who have trouble sitting still and paying attention to the instructions being given to them and my own son had been one such kid. Though his was not a major problem yet I tried my best to solve this concentration problem of his at my own level but now I realize that I lacked that skill and streamlined effort to help him and make him a better focused adult.
It is very important to work on your child’s concentration skills from a very young age, and for that you need not wait for the problem to come to the fore as a child’s brain is most receptive up to age of 5. So earlier the better.
So after a lot of reading done on internet whenever I had to handle any kid with concentration problem, finally I have zeroed on a few very important steps which must be taken if you feel that your child is a bit restless, jittery and lacks concentration.
Here are a few steps to help your child stay focused:
Focus- The Key Skill For Life
Exercising and moving around motivates the brain. Make your child walk and play a lot. Make him/her help you in chores around the house. Make sure your child has had a chance to run, walk, or jump around before getting down to study as an over active mind needs to calm down a bit to improve concentration.
Stop Over Loading
When you instruct your kid to do some work, break it into smaller sequences. So that the kids brain is not overloaded with instructions to do various tasks all together. Do not overload with information and instruction before the child has completed one chunk of work fully.
Create peace and harmony
Before your kid starts homework or does anything that needs concentration, it is better either to turn off the television or ensure that the child is far enough to not get distracted. Computer and cell phones should be kept away as these two are the modern worlds’ biggest boon as well as bane both.
Have a To do list ready.
Always keep a To do list of work ready if there is a lot of work to be completed in one go. Having a lot of work to do in a short span puts kid under pressure affecting his/her concentration in a negative way. So the best way is to help the child do the work in parts and then let him/her cross off each task as he finishes it.
Give a break
During homework time, make sure your child takes a few breaks in between. If the kid is very young then there should be a break after every 15 to 20 minutes. Give your baby some reason to leave the seat and move around a bit. But it is very important that the child should not start doing some other work during that short breather.
When children with concentration problem begin to grow up a bit and become independent they have to learn self- monitoring. For this child should be made to use an alarm or timer. When the timer goes off, the child can check whether or not he is paying attention to the given task. Remember self -regulation is the most important value that every child must be taught.
Meditation can help children and adults improve attention, focus, and self control. The last school I taught was in Bhubaneswar. I was mentoring Upper KG kids and we began our day with 5 minutes of meditation. Kids were motivated to sit quietly for five minutes with eyes closed noticing their breathing. Some of the kids I realized used to actually struggle staying quiet and it was during these sessions only, I realized that two kids were having real trouble quieting their body and later were diagnosed with ADHD. But as I said earlier if your kid is finding difficult to sit at one place and concentrate, is there any harm in monitoring and working on this most important skill from a very young age?
Ps. All the steps mentioned and described in the post are based on my personal experiences as a mother and teacher, and that makes it more than 20 years of experience. You have the right to agree or disagree at any point of time while going through this post. Happy Parenting.
Do you think this article was helpful to you in any way to improve Focus- The Key Skill For Life?
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Kanan is a writer, broadcaster, painter, educationist and a motivational talker but above all a mother of two adults. She had always loved to be a hands on mom and believes that in today’s world it is not important to groom children to be successful and rich men and women but most important is to help your children grow up into happy and positive minded human beings first.
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