How to help your child concentrate better
Concentration is like a muscle – if you want it to grow stronger, you have to exercise it. Some kids are born with stronger concentration powers, but all of them need to learn some strategies and practice focusing in order to improve this ability and sustain their attention. After all, good concentration skills are essential for all kids, not just because of their classes and school, but for higher self-esteem and better skills later in life. Luckily, there are plenty of strategies and exercises you can do with your child in order to help them develop strong focusing skills.
One thing at a time
Many people brag about their multitasking skills, but the research has clearly shown that it reduces concentration and performance. It is important not to force multitasking onto your child because that is something they will develop as they grow. Rather, you should focus on practicing mindfulness and doing one thing at a time. If your child is rather young, you can teach them the alphabet by singing the song together and looking at the letters. On the other hand, if your children are a bit older, you can complete one long division problem at a time and focus on just that one thing. Don’t look too far ahead and force other problems, because there is enough time for everything to be done and learnt.
Homework time and space
In order to help your child concentrate better on their tasks, you should dedicate a special place for doing homework and other tasks. Multitasking and distractions will impair concentration and one desk in a quiet room will be enough for your child to practice their concentration. Also, remember to remove any distractions from that room or area, such as phones, TVs, laptops and so on. You can even tell your child that they can watch TV or use their devices after they have completed their homework assignment. By doing this, you are preventing your children from getting sucked into the world of Internet, Facebook and Snapchat while doing their tasks, which will only increase their focus and productivity.
Practice belly breathing
Some tasks will be more complicated or your children might have trouble focusing because they have plenty on their minds or their anxiety has spiked their heart rate. Your job here is to help them clear their mind so they can concentrate. To do so, you can practice belly breathing together. Practice steady diaphragmatic breathing that will slow their heart rate and eliminate anxiety and your children will never avoid their tasks or procrastinate.
Play some music
It is well known that music can have relaxing effects on our minds and anxiety levels. So, if your child gets nervous because of a complex task and loses the ability to focus, try playing some music. However, you should avoid playing music that is too upbeat; rather look for something that your child likes, but has calming effects. If you have two or more children who use this strategy, you can buy noise cancelling headphones for them and let them play different music themselves without distracting others. This way, they will be calm, they will listen to music that soothes them, and their concentration and performance will improve.
After a while, some of these strategies might become boring to your child, which can be counter-effective. In order to keep practicing concentration and still keep your child engaged and interested, you can play some memory games. There are plenty of board games and ideas on the Internet that are fun, and will provide a nice exercise for your kid’s brain. Don’t forget that your child is still young and that they always prefer to have fun.
Learning how to concentrate is essential for every child because it is a valuable skill. Try out some of these strategies and see how they affect your child. However, you must never forget to have some fun from time to time.