Teaching Your Kids To Concentrate
Are you a parent or a teacher in the education system teaching young kids? You will probably find yourself in a situation where you find difficulty in getting them to concentrate, and you are not alone in this. It is normal that children find it hard to focus on whatever they are doing. The best child care centre can help your child to learn how to focus, but you can get started on it at home.
What are some of the signs that your child may have issues with concentration?
- Struggling with tasks or schoolwork
Your child would be struggling to follow through with tasks and completing them on time because they lack focus.
- Loss in interest
They tend to lose interest in activities very quickly, even in games that they like.
- Always needing motivation
Since they lack concentration, they often need someone to guide them back on track or to stay focused on one task alone. They will usually switch activities a lot to keep them stimulated.
- Daydreaming or appear distracted
- Your child would be more disorganized and unable to follow rules
- Having poor memory
Every child has been postulated to need to develop three important functions:
Self-control means that children know what to do at the right time, instead of doing what they want to.
2. Working memory.
Children need to know how to develop their short term memory, such as holding information in their memory while they take in new information. Children should be helped in this area, especially if they lack concentration.
3. Cognitive flexibility
Since their minds are so impressionable at a young age, they should also learn how to think creatively.
Such functions can help your child with concentration because they deal with self-regulation in them. Your child learns how to overcome hurdles that distract them from being focused on the task at hand when they develop these skills. Your child will be able to listen and pay attention when needed, instead of always acting on their own will.
With self-regulation, kids learn the importance of their own will as well as their own hard work in determining success. Furthermore, they learn how to be accountable to figures of authority. Children with better self-regulation are more likely to face and overcome challenges instead of giving up. Studies have also shown that such children are likely to be happier and achieve more accolades as they grow up.
You can also help your children achieve milestones with self-regulation because you don’t need professional or external sources to help you to do so.
Any parent at home will have the means to help increase concentration in your children with these tips:
1. One instruction at a time
When your kids lack concentration, they will definitely struggle with many instructions at a given time. By reducing them, and instructing them one by one helps them because it is easier to understand and follow. Having them repeat the instructions can also help them to remain focused. After they are done, then you can proceed with the next instruction. This is often a good way to start building on your child’s concentration levels.
2. Head, shoulders, knees, and toes
This nursery rhyme is very popular among children for its catchy rhyme and melody, but it can also be used to help your child learn how to concentrate as well. Instead of touching the respective body parts according to the song, ask your kids to touch any other body part except the one mentioned. For instance, they should touch their head when the song asks them to touch their toes. Doing the opposite of the song can help them concentrate on what they have to do and be more discerning.
3. Simon says
‘Simon says’ is a classic game that can get your kids to concentrate on the instructions given, and have them follow the rules.
4. Training the mind
Practice makes perfect. Developing concentration in your kids is no exception to this mantra. It is possible to help your child to focus on one activity by having a lot of practice through activities such as puzzles, quizzes, games with patterns, and more. These have been shown to improve levels of concentration in children. Not only are these activities fun and engaging for your kids, but they also have the added benefit of improving their focus as well.
5. Day-night activity
This ‘day-night’ activity is an activity where you show the child a card, and get them to say the opposite of whatever is written or shown on the card. This tests their knowledge and ability to switch information and is effective in helping children to concentrate. For example, children should say ‘baby’ when they are shown an adult on the card.
Mandalas have been shown to be a great art therapy for kids who have trouble concentrating because they are anxious and stressed. Mandalas are circular designs with colorful patterns, which create a sense of balance. There are coloring books available with mandala designs that you can easily get for your child.
7. Giving your child more responsibility
Keeping your child active and engaged means getting them more involved. When your child gets more responsibility, he or she is more likely to focus on the task at hand. Particularly, when your child gets the responsibility of choosing, planning, and executing an activity or a game, it increases levels of interest and concentration in them.
8. Get rid of the distractions
If you find that your child easily gets distracted, then it would be better to remove them. Adults can get distracted too, but children, in particular, are more prone to being distracted. Thus, providing them with a conducive environment where they can concentrate without distractions will help them tremendously.
9. Matching chart
This is an activity where your child is supposed to match emotions and feelings with the right response. This explicitly teaches them ways of self-regulation. For example, the response to anger would be activities like coloring their mandala to calm them down. Involve your child by asking them what kinds of appropriate responses there are. You can then frame it up for your child to see so that it gets ingrained in them.
A lot of researchers have posited that role-play or make-believe is a crucial part of a child’s life because it helps with their cognitive development. Your child learns how to think of the appropriate responses, strategies, and scenarios. This gets their creative juices flowing and organizes their thought process.
11. Asking them to do chores
Research has shown that when your child participates in doing the chores at home, they can improve concentration. Your child develops responsibility and independence through chores. Simple chores can also help your child with confidence and the ability to concentrate as well.
When you tell stories to your kids, they are required to listen and focus on what they are listening to. This helps them to practice concentration, especially when you ask questions about the stories after that.
The game of freeze was proven to help with kids’ concentration because your child has to stop moving when the music stops, and continue and the music plays. This gets your child to concentrate as to when the music is going to stop, thus improving their concentration. You could either ask them to match their speed to the music or to do the opposite.
14. Good behavior
Acknowledging and commending them on their good behavior, such as when they are able to concentrate on an activity they couldn’t have done before, will encourage them to repeat them. These can come in simple ways such as words of encouragement, high-fives, getting them their favorite ice cream, and so on.
All of these activities and tips have been proven by scientists and researchers alike to improve a child’s level of concentration. They also can be done easily at home without requiring any special help. With these, your child will be able to become more focused and concentrated as they grow up.