It's natural for children to feel restless, and the pace of modern life can make it even more difficult for them to concentrate. Video games and the Internet provide constant stimulation and immediate gratification. Kids may struggle when it comes to listening to their teacher or performing any task that requires focusing on one thing and resisting distractions.
In fact, 87% of teachers said that modern technologies were creating a generation with short attention spans, according to a recent survey by The Pew Research Center. As a concerned parent, you may wonder what you can do to help your child extend their attention span so that they can grow up to be productive and peaceful. Consider the following suggestions.
1Serve Healthy Meals
Fuel your child's brain and stabilize their blood sugar with a balanced diet. They'll want to eat their vegetables if you cut them into fun shapes and dip them in colorful sauces. Keep soda, chips, and candy to a minimum.
2Encourage Exercise And Outdoors
Physical activity keeps a mind sharp at any age. Gather together for a walk after dinner. Nature has a powerful effect on our minds. A hike through the woods or an afternoon tending plants in a greenhouse will help your child to slow down and become more observant. You can also buy a gym membership for the whole family.
3Promote Rest And Relaxation
Their breathing influences your child's thoughts and feelings. Bring your child to a yoga class where they can receive instructions on fun breathing exercises. Buy them a harmonica or blow soap bubbles.
Pediatricians recommend two hours a day or less of TV and Internet browsing. Decide which shows you want to watch and turn the set off in between. It would also be beneficial to stick to consistent bedtimes even on weekends and summer vacations.
4Make Reading And Learning Fun
Maybe your son squirms after 10 minutes of doing homework, but you have to drag him away from his favorite video games. Turn schoolwork and chores into a contest that he'll enjoy. Furthermore, story time is an ideal opportunity to train your child to focus while you deepen your relationship and prepare for bed. Let your child pick books that interest them and take turns reading to each other.
5Stimulate Creativity And Imagination
Children love to immerse themselves in hands-on activities like arts and crafts. Visit your local library and browse online for project ideas. You can turn a milk bottle into a bird feeder or decoupage an old picture frame. For playtime, rely on toys and activities that stretch your child's imagination. Build a stove out of a cardboard box or act out a scene from a comic book.
6Let Your Presence Be Felt
Your child will appreciate the importance of concentrating if they see how it enhances your home life. Listen to them attentively when they describe their day at school. Team up to bake cupcakes or weed the garden. Try to communicate face to face; it's convenient to stay in touch by calling and texting, but kids need practice with in-person conversations. Plan for family dinners and weekend outings.
7Optimize Your Child's Peak Hours
Children usually have at least one time of the day when they're at peak performance. Studying or doing activities during this time will help your child focus better on the task at hand. Arrange for piano lessons before school or after lunch, so the timing matches their personality.
8Teach Positive Self-Talk
If your child is faced with a complicated task or activity that is too difficult for him, he will tend to feel overwhelmed, anxious, and gives up. Anxiety can cause a lack of focus. Guide your child on how to give themselves a pep talk when they face a challenging situation.
Helping your child improve his or her concentration means helping them succeed in school and the workplace. The power of focus will help them to live mindfully, harness their energies, and achieve more with less effort. Following the tips above will not help enhance your child's concentration but will also strengthen the bond between you and your child.
Jackie Wing is an Alaska native, who enjoys snowboarding more than is probably socially acceptable. She lives in Anchorage with her two dogs Reese and Peanut, or as she likes to call them "Thing 1" and "Thing 2."