“Hello, are you still with me?”. This is a question parents often find themselves asking their children.
Young minds are on the front burner of multitasking these days — from surfing the net, to texting, app games, messaging and listening to their ipods – all are grappling for their attention.
With so many potential interruptions in this exciting world we live in, trying to do anything that requires concentration often brings intense frustration, anxiety, and demoralization. Yet, helping children to develop concentration skills at an early age, with effective focus strategies can be a basis for long-term success because they cannot describe what they are experiencing and don’t know how to ask for help.
Here are some practical and useful tips to help your children get better focused -
Go Step by Step – Encourage children to take up one activity at a time. We often think multi-tasking results in more speed. But, more often than not, we end up spending the same amount of time with the quality of work being compromised. A single task in hand results in more focus, which in turn reduces total completion time.
Avoid Procrastination – Expectations should be set early. Children should be made to understand the importance of “now”. When things pile up, they won’t know where to begin, that’s why they should understand that everyone has their own responsibilities and that they need to give immediate attention to their own individual tasks. As a matter of routine, all members of the family should try to do what they have to, as soon as possible. So everyone stays focused.
Remove Distractions – When children work, they are distracted by their surroundings and other omnipresent gadgets, thanks to modern technology. Instead, encourage them to work in clutter-free environments, keeping their gadgets away when they’re doing something important. Once distractions are out of the way, they’re more likely to behave like horses with blinkers and concentrate better J
Establish rules and set up a regular routine – When children sleep, wake up and have their meals at the same time regularly, their body clocks remain synced and they perform their daily activities in a more focused way. It’s a well-known fact that sleep-deprived children or those who sleep too much tend to be more confused and unfocused.
Ensure a Healthy Diet – A well balanced healthy diet works wonders on the focus and concentration of young children. Inclusion of various coloured fruits and vegetables along with lentils and greens in the daily diet of children is sure to improve mental skills.
Give Importance to Exercise – Who doesn’t know the benefits of exercise? Kids who are physically fine sleep tighter and are able to handle physical and emotional challenges in a better way. Whether it’s studying for a test or preparing for a debate, a fit child will always concentrate better and score higher.
Engage in Mentally Stimulating Activities – There are many fun activities which help improve concentration such as Memory Games, Sudoku and Board Games comprising of mazes and puzzles. If you join your children in playing such games, you’ll have a great time too! Also, a regular practice of yoga and meditation techniques will help a child’s mind stay focused for longer periods.
Be a Role Model – No matter how much kids are advised, they’ll fall in line sooner when they see their parents practicing what they preach. Try to make every activity timely and organized. Once children get used to everything being well planned, they won’t want it any other way. Unconsciously, they’ll work systematically and stay focused.
Get Help from a Specialist – Sometimes, in spite of all endeavours, you may find that your child simply cannot seem to focus on a task in hand. In such a case, you might need to see an expert. He could advise you how to resolve the issue in the best possible way.
Being able to focus is an all important life skill that will set your children up for success in whatever endeavours they choose to pursue – including the ability to pursue goals, manage setbacks and know what it takes to achieve.