Keeping the mind focused on a particular activity can be a tough task even for adults, so isn’t it unfair to expect kids, with overactive imaginations and curiosity, to focus on something for more than a few minutes? While adults can try meditation and yoga to build concentration, kids need a little more help to boost concentration.
Concentration in Children
Various studies have shown that when given a task, a child can concentrate for an average of three to five minutes for every year of their life. This means that a seven-year-old can focus on a chore for about 35 minutes, while a two-year-old can hold focus for about 10. Even though this is based on studies, the results can, of course, vary from child to child.
While some kids may be able to concentrate, there could be others who get distracted easily. Shorter attention spans could be caused by the child’s lack of interest in the activity or subject and external factors like the television, toys, smartphones or laptops.
Many parents, along with being overwhelmed by parenting challenges, are also very concerned about their child’s inability to concentrate on anything. But these concerns may be relieved with following some simple tips to boost concentration.
Tips for Boosting Concentration in Children
Remove all distractions:
Creating a distraction-free study environment is key. Make sure children are away from the television and their favorite toys, gadgets or anything that can grab their attention away from studying. It is also important to keep all required items nearby so that the child does not have to get up even for a glass of water.
Follow a routine:
Having a schedule to follow will help the child understand the essence of time and the need to manage it well. A regular routine will also help the brain to program itself to have time slots for studying, playing, sleeping and other activities.
Divide and conquer:
Just like bite-sized pieces of food are easier to eat, chores broken into smaller chunks are easier for the brain to handle. Shorter periods of time require less concentration and will help the child complete the task efficiently.
Power naps help both adults and children equally. A good night’s sleep and a short nap during the day, perhaps right after school, will help the child concentrate on after-school chores.
Feed them well:
Eating healthy is not only good for the body, but it’s also beneficial for the brain. Some common foods that boost brain power include almonds, lean meats, eggs, whole grains, peanut butter, berries, vegetables, and dairy.
Play memory/concentration boosting games:
Kids love games; incorporate puzzles, card-based memory games, “spot the difference,” or “finding the hidden object” games to boost memory power and concentration.
Understand your child’s learning skills:
Whether your child learns visually (flashcards, images), with auditory sources (reading aloud, audiobooks), or with kinesthetic methods (hands-on practices like making models of the solar system), provide the proper resources for best results.
Set up a reward or point system:
Provide the child with an incentive they cannot refuse, for instance, tell them they can play for 15 minutes or receive one point for every sum they complete and a gift for every 10 points they accrue. Mixing physical and mental activities will encourage the child to focus too.
It might be difficult, at first, to get a child to sit in a place for more than a couple of minutes. But when they do sit, have them close their eyes and imagine themselves doing something they love. This practice will help build focus.
Patience is key, especially when getting your child to be more focused. Try all or a combination of these tips, give your child some time to process it, and help them gradually improve their concentration skills.
Davis, J. L. (n.d.). Top 10 Brain Foods for Children. Retrieved from https://www.webmd.com/parenting/features/brain-foods-for-children#5
Concentration Building Techniques for Children with ADHD. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/5-simple-concentration-building-techniques-for-kids-with-adhd/
Concentration exercises for primary school children. (n.d.). Retrieved from https://www.theschoolrun.com/concentration-exercises-for-children
13 Mind-Blowing Tips to Increase Concentration in Kids. (2018, May 29). Retrieved from https://flintobox.com/blog/child-development/13-tips-increase-concentration-kids