When was the last time you realised you had to improve the concentration power of your child? Possibly very recently! But before you start worrying, let us assure you that most kids struggle with issues related to concentration at some point in their lives. Experts believe that it could be because sometimes children require using multiple levels of functions like hearing, talking, watching, interacting, etc. at the same point of time which leads to losing focus. Imagine a situation where your child is trying to write while in class and her friend starts nudging her for attention, or the teacher is speaking to another child, or someone walks down the corridor in high heels.
With so many stimuli in her background, losing concentration on the work at hand is no wonder! Many a time, a loss of focus can also be caused when she is overstimulated, over exhausted or over-loaded. Therefore the need to improve concentration power and memory of your child.
Moreover, different activities demand different attention spans and the tender mind has yet to learn to master this difference. But this does not mean that concentration can’t be learnt or worked upon. We bring you tried and tested tips from experts to boost your kid’s attention. An improve in the concentration power of your child is also known to give better academic results.
1. Attend to her physiological needs to improve concentration and memory
Sleep patterns and food intake, especially sugar and protein consumption, play a vital role in determining the concentration power of children and teenagers. Good eating habits and sleeping practices enhance dopamine levels and can improve concentration. Make sure children eat healthy (less junk, refined foods, and sugar) and get ample sleep and exercise to add value to their concentration skill. Ever tried making a tired, hungry child do maths sums?
2. Attend to her psychological needs
Along with physical health, a child needs to feel uncluttered and relaxed, mentally too, to be able to concentrate well. Try and delve a little deeper to figure out if there is something that is bothering her, any moment when:
- You notice that your child is unable to focus on a particular task
- Isn’t listening while you are talking
- Is feeling low
Any small issue can lead to a struggle in mind, which then directly affects concentration. Addressing such problems with your child will help her learn to focus on the task at hand and improve concentration. This will also lead to better memory while studying.
3. Encourage sequencing and organizing activities: concentration exercises
There is a reliable and positive connection between sequencing and concentration. Daily activities at home like putting things in order, arranging bookshelves, setting the table, etc. are good for kids who struggle with concentration. On a regular day at home, engage your child in household sequencing chores. This will help her apply her mind in the processing of these chores, learning to start and complete a task. Think of it as a training session for her brain. With regular exposure to sequencing activities, when on ground zero (studies or artwork etc.), her mind will by default know how to start, process and complete the task at hand.
4. Divide lengthy tasks into shorter ones to improve concentration in kids
Break up a task into smaller bits for your kid until she sequences them correctly. Remember young children can’t remember long instructions. If you want to tell her to lay the table, go sequentially. Tell her first to lay the mats. Once done, she can check with you on the next step. Tell her to collect six plates, and put each plate on one mat. And so on. Then gradually you can increase the number of instructions and make her ease into the task set. By the end of two or three sessions, your child would not only master the art of starting and completing the task but also become self-motivated and responsible. This will lead to an improve in concentration.
Practising sequencing activities allows your kid to engage her working memory and help her remember the order or number of steps needed in one particular task, be it chores or math problems.
5. Activity time with your child for better memory
The most exciting way to improve your child’s concentration is to engage her in games. Be creative in performing various activities with your kid. Spend time together on a board game to help her focus playfully and with no extra pressure on her. Almost any board game (make sure you choose one that is age-appropriate) enhances attention skill of children.
But like any other parenting issue, this too requires commitment and patience from your end. Also, consider your child’s interest areas to determine her commitment and hence concentration to any task. Also, every child concentrates at different spans. So do not compare your child with other kids.