Kids at any level or age can have a hard time focusing in school and on tasks at home.
Understanding and knowing the expectations of your kids is also important. Kids naturally have more energy, are more curious and you can’t expect them to focus completely as an adult would.
Here are some signs that your kid may be losing concentration:
- Eyes darting around (looking around constantly)
- Easily distracted by little things
- Thoughts going on many tangents, unable to maintain a train of thought
- Difficult to follow instructions
Struggling to focus can have a large impact on learning and in their performance. Learning to focus like many things, takes time and a lot of practice. Helping your kid practice focus will make it easier to do eventually.
Here are 5 ways to help you kid to focus:
1. Break Down A Goal Into Smaller Tasks
Breaking down a project into smaller tasks can improve concentration by making it more manageable and easier to comprehend. Bigger projects/goals may have too many components that they aren’t sure where to begin. A way to help break down goals is to make a physical list of step by step tasks. It may not be the issue of being unable to focus but rather not knowing what to focus on. By creating a step-by-step list, it gives a clear direction on how to achieve the goal at hand.
2. Create a Designated No-Distraction Work Zone
At home for homework, create a place where there aren’t distractions like cell phones, TVs, tablets, etc. Understanding what environment helps your kid focus is highly important. Some kids need a calm, quiet environment to focus while others need white noise to concentrate better. Create the environment right for them, if they need a bit of music to help them focus, then provide them with the tools. An organized designated work zone will help them have fewer distractions when everything is in its place and everything that they may need, like crayons, markers, notebooks are all reachable at arms-length.
3. Stay Satiated and Hydrated
As we know, water is so important for our bodily functions. Water helps regulate body temperature as well as bring nutrients and oxygen into the brain and help remove any toxins out. Staying hydrated has been linked to helping maintain concentration and helps improve cognitive functioning. Just like us, kids will lose concentration if they feel hungry as they might start feeling frustrated, aka hangry. Helping your kid feel satiated throughout the day is so important to help them actually focus on the task at hand and not their tummy.
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4. Keep a Routine & Scheduled Breaks
Most kids do best on a scheduled routine, from morning wakeups to bedtime, which they can be familiar and stick to on a regular basis (as much as possible). This helps with mindset training so they can be prepared and know when it is time for them to settle down and focus on projects and homework. This does not mean that every minutes need to be scheduled. Make sure there is a designated time for work, study breaks and play time. Scheduled breaks are important for kids to use up some of their energy so they can actually settle down when they need to. Kids have high energy and that has to go somewhere. Schedule a few shorter breaks between worktime or a longer break, see what responds with your kid the best by trial and error.
5. Play Focus Games.
Practicing to focus doesn’t have to be boring or work! It can be fun and games too! There are so many focus games out there designed for kids that will keep their attention while practicing concentration. Puzzles,spot the difference, and memory games are a great way to engage with your kids to play but learn at the same time. These games are problem-solving and practice thinking.
With these tips, you can start helping your kid learn to focus on a daily basis.
Photo Credit: Jessica Lewis on Unsplashed.