Children these days have so many distractions and may have difficulty with focus and concentration when it comes to schoolwork and learning. Many kids will act out because of stress and anxiety when everything is in constant disruption. It’s important to give your child balance in their daily lives so that you can increase your child’s concentration and focus which will help them grow into healthy adults.
These 8 ways to help increase your child’s concentration will be a major benefit to them throughout their lives.
1. Daily Routine – Make sure your children have a decent daily routine, such as regular wake-up & bedtimes, meal times, homework time, exercise, and playtime. Routines are incredibly important to a child’s emotional development, and the younger they are, the more important. From the time children are infants they need security and one of the major points that parents often miss in giving their kids security is routine. This is also why kids like to watch the same movies over and over and read the same books over and over – because they know how it’s going to end and it gives them security. Routine gives children trust and security which reduces stress, makes kids happy, and makes it so they can concentrate better.
2. Enough Sleep – Make sure they get enough sleep! This is also super important for growing minds and bodies. How much sleep does your child need for their age? This might surprise you!
All kids, even within the same family, have different developmental needs, and this is a simplified guide:
Here’s more of a breakdown by age from the Sleep Foundation.
For kids up to about age 4 their sleep should be broken up into about 10-12 hours a night and a 2-3 hour nap in the middle of the day.
It’s extremely important to keep a solid sleep schedule for kids and a regular routine. This helps them to focus and concentrate better, gives them much needed security, and helps them grow and develop properly. Letting them have their way with sleep times or constantly breaking their routine can cause them to act out, focus poorly, and not develop properly both physically, mentally, and emotionally.
3. Plenty of Physical Activity – When kids don’t get enough physical activity they end up not being able to rest properly, which causes them to not be able to concentrate.
Kids, and even adults, need time to process information they’ve accumulated or they get brain-overload. The best way to combat this is to make sure kids get daily exercise, even if it’s just running around in the yard playing a couple hours each day. Then they can sleep better and go back to schoolwork with a fresh mind. Also, from one homeschool mom, she found that her kids thrive in their schoolwork if they run each day before starting school. She found it gives them an energy release so they can sit still for school time without any fidgeting and everyone’s more focused.
Regular playful exercise keeps kids from stressing out, makes them happier, eat better, sleep better, and concentrate better.
4. Set a Timer for Small Tasks – When children are old enough and have a reasonable concept of time, say from 6 and up, giving kids a time to complete short activities helps them learn to accomplish goals. This helps increase your child’s concentration by giving them a little bit of urgency to complete the task. Just make sure that you offer positive reinforcement and that the time goals are reasonable for the child’s age and never overwhelming.
5. Play Board Games – It’s very simple to play board games that require kids to learn focus and concentration in a fun and easy way. Just be sure to play games that are age and skill level appropriate. Some kids as young as 4 can play games such as chess, but other kids might do better with checkers or even start with things like tic-tac-toe until they’re ready to move on to something more difficult. The more kids play board games, and build up to more challenging games, the better they’ll be able to concentrate on any task.
6. Remove Distractions – phones, TV, movies, video games, and loud music all have their place, but when your child needs to learn concentration these things are not helpful to them. They can’t possibly learn to concentrate on a specific task if they’re constantly being interrupted.
7. Quality Background Audio – Classical music in the background is something that has often been recommended to help kids learn to concentrate not just because it’s soothing, but it stimulates hundreds of positive effects in children’s brains – Read More Here.
Audio stories are also very helpful to increase your child’s concentration. When they have to listen to find out what’s going on in the story, instead of watching, they have to concentrate. Also a wonderful side-effect of this is that they become more quiet. This works amazingly well and you can find lots of free kid’s audio stories online – such as StoryNory.
Classical music and children’s stories in the background are perfect during activities such as artwork, schoolwork (only classical music during homework), playing with play-doh, Legos, or any other quiet activity. Having quality audio playing in the background during kids quiet play time, not only helps children in hundreds of ways, but also increases your child’s concentration for later activities where it’s needed.
8. Help Divide Their Work – When you show kids how to divide up their work so that they can do smaller bits at a time this reduces overwhelming and stressful feelings, which leads to procrastination and lack of focus. Dividing their work into manageable portions also gives them a sense of accomplishment when they’ve completed one portion and builds self-esteem, which helps them to tackle the rest with success in mind.
Building self-esteem is an important goal for children, but real self-esteem comes from accomplishment. Children need to be able to learn how to accomplish tasks in steps and portions so that they can concentrate better on each part, and then see things through. Self-esteem and confidence will increase your child’s concentration and help them to reach their goals.
A great way to start this is with cleaning their room. You could do it by showing them how to divide the room into sections and do each section at a time. Or, you could make a bit of a game out of it and say “First get all the stuffed animals and toss them on your bed!” and then “Try to find all the dolls or action figures and put them in the bin!” Then after that, “Let’s find all the Legos next!” And so on, until they’ve cleaned up the whole room and they can look back and see what a great job they did by focusing on one toy group at a time.
All large tasks can be divided into smaller portions that will help increase your child’s concentration each time they complete them, and at the same time build self-esteem.
There are lots of easy ways to increase your child’s concentration and, though some may take some work on your part, it’s well worth the effort. You’ll also probably find that life becomes more peaceful all around when you implement these simple activities into your child’s daily routine.