22 Jan 8 Tips To Improve Concentration
8 Tips On How To Improve Concentration In Kids
( a + b) ^ 2 = a^2 + 2ab…
B… Bees… Honey… Mmm sweet… Hungry…I should get a snack… Break time!
Does the above example remind you of your child? Does your child’s attention waver easily when he tries to focus on the task at hand? Is concentrating a challenge?
Well, every parent has experienced this at one point or another. It seems impossible to get the little ones to finish their homework without getting distracted!
Children are naturally energetic and vivacious. It would be unrealistic to expect that they do not get distracted at all. However, it is possible to improve their concentration skills over a period of time.
Before we dive into various child concentration exercises and concentration techniques, we must understand what concentration means. Concentration refers to the mental effort we direct towards whatever we’re working on or learning at the moment. There are several factors that affect our ability to concentrate. For e.g. – age, sleep, or stress. Apart from common distractions, underlying physical or mental conditions may also contribute to a lack of concentration. Some of them are :
• ADHD ( Attention-deficit / Hyperactivity Disorder).
• Developmental delays or disabilities.
• Brain injuries.
• Concussions or head injuries.
• Far-sightedness ( Often accompanied by headaches ).
Here are some tips which teach you how to improve concentration skills :
1] Focus Games & Exercises :
It is an established fact that children learn more by playing.When children are bored, they’re easily distracted. Therefore, as parents, we should incorporate fun games and exercises that improve attention and concentration. Let your child play with regular toys instead of iPads. Scientific evidence suggests that gadgets reduce the attention span and memory power of children. It is wise to use these devices sparingly. Instead of gadgets, your child can be entertained by several concentration exercises such as :
– Thinking games:
Games that require thinking, planning and the use of memory will strengthen your child’s focus and concentration. Sudoku, crosswords, puzzles, word searches, card games, and activities like colouring improve your child’s attention for words, numbers, and pictures.
– Sequencing :
Sequencing is one of the concentration techniques that greatly benefits children. Tasks such as setting the table, following a recipe, or arranging things in the alphabetical order help children improve their focus.
– Sit / Statue / No Blinking! :
These effortless games also help your child concentrate on the task he’s performing. A simple activity like asking him to sit without fidgeting for as long as possible will ultimately work wonders. You can switch things up with an interesting game of Statue or a game where you blink as little as possible during a given period of time. E.g. 3 minutes.
2] A Conducive Environment :
An atmosphere that is calm and soothing might assist your child in concentrating.
– Soft instrumental music ( such as baroque classical music) and soft lighting set the mood for studying.
– To minimize distractions, all gadgets should be out of sight. If you can’t see them, you won’t think about them.
– All the materials required by your child should be kept nearby so he doesn’t need to get up for anything. This sharpens their focus and attention.
In addition to the artifical environment that you create at home, a green, natural environment would also boost concentration tremendously . The benefits of nature have been emphasized since time immemorial. Simply strolling in a park for 15-20 minutes would refresh your mind and increase productivity.
3] A Healthy Diet :
The food your children consume affects their concentration powers. Junk food and foods that are high in sugar make your child sluggish and lethargic. On the other hand, food items such as almonds, eggs, fatty fish, lean meat, blueberries, and spinach raise awareness and simultaneously improve concentration. Greens and fruits contain potent antioxidants that enhance brain functioning.
4] Sleep Well :
Sleep deprivation easily disrupts concentration as well as other cognitive functions, such as memory and attention. The average adult should aim for 7-8 hours of sleep during the night. Most children are also able to concentrate well after a good night’s rest. The power of a 20 minute nap should not be underestimated. When children are well rested, they’re keen and energetic. This affects their focus and attention positively and helps them study better.
5] Divide Big Tasks Into Smaller Ones :
Performing big tasks in a go can daunt your little one. They may never come around to doing it. When you divide a large task into several smaller ones, your child will feel a sense of accomplishment every time he completes a small task. This will motivate him to do more. It will also be easier for him to focus on a small task rather than a large one. For e.g. Instead of asking your child to finish studying an entire chapter, ask them to finish a few pages or a few paragraphs.
6] Understand How Your Child Learns ( Visual, Auditory, Kinaesthetic) :
Every child learns information in his own, unique way. Some children process information easily when they see it, some when they hear it, and some when they have practical knowledge and can touch it. As a parent, you should understand your child’s method of learning. When you use the method that suits him best, his learning will be better and long-term.
– Visual learners understand information better when they see it. In this case, your child’s concentration will improve when he reads and writes down the learning matter. Repeatedly using flash cards will help your little one understand concepts faster. You could also ask your child to draw what he has been studying. This helps him visualize the matter.
– Auditory learners prefer hearing the information. Such children learn better when they read things out aloud or when they listen to somebody else reading. As a parent, you could use audiobooks more than paperbacks in this scenario. Listening to soft music while studying might also improve their concentration.
– Kinaesthetic learners are tactile learners. They need to touch and feel the subject matter in order to process and understand it. Here, practical applications are more useful while trying to increase the ability to concentrate.
7] Prepare Your Child For The Next Task :
When your child is busy, let him know what he has to do next a few minutes in advance. This especially helps when your child is doing something he enjoys. Undoubtedly, he would be reluctant to stop the activity and start something new. A small heads up prepares your child for whatever is next in his schedule. E.g. Let your child know play time ends in 5 minutes. Then, he has to finish his homework.
8] Meditate :
One of the multiple benefits of meditation is improved concentration. Meditation doesn’t only involve chanting mantras with closed eyes. Yoga, deep breathing, and other activities help you practice meditation and mindfulness. Simple relaxation techniques coupled with positive imagery help the brain learn new things. Ask your child to close his eyes and imagine he’s paying attention in class. You can ask the following questions :
– Which subject is being taught?
– Which chapter are you studying?
– Who / What is distracting you?
– How will you deal with this distraction?
The above tips on how to improve child concentration may work for some and may not work for others. You should consider giving a range of approaches a try. This will help you understand what works best for your child. Even if these tips don’t work, they won’t reduce concentration or cause harm. Consistent efforts have usually paid off. An added bonus is the special time you get to spend with your child.
If nothing works, you should consult a doctor. We shouldn’t overlook the possibility of a serious condition such as brain injuries.