Estimated read time : 5 minutes
Children are fun-loving and always high on energy. It’s often a challenge to get children to sit at a place, focus, and finish a task. The reason they lack concentration and get distracted easily is that their minds work differently to adults. As parents, the most common concern they have is, how to improve concentration in their children? Concentration is an important aspect when it comes to learning.
Here are a few tips that will help in increasing the concentration level in children, especially during the important years of early education.
A good night’s sleep is important for increasing concentration. According to research, adding 27 minutes of extra sleep per night helps in managing the moods and impulses of school-going kids. This helps in addressing concentration problems and increasing their focus on homework. Other than a good night’s sleep, a power nap of twenty to thirty minutes in the afternoon or after school hours also improves concentration in children. Memory consolidation, which is the ability to create stable memories, is enhanced during sleep. Proper sleep strengthens the neural connections that form our memories, thus helping in improving concentration.
Everyone knows the importance of a balanced diet. Poor nutrition is one of the reasons behind child concentration problems. A diet, high in sugar and unhealthy fats, affects the concentration skills of children. Some healthy food choices that can help in boosting concentration levels are milk, eggs, salmon, bacon and oats. Omega 3 fatty acids also help in boosting concentration levels. Dehydration also affects brain power. The loss of sodium and electrolytes causes acute changes in memory and attention. The human brain is made up of 75% water, but it cannot store water. Hence, water deprivation can affect brain cells and diminish cognitive performance in children.
Make sure that your child drinks enough water not only in summer but in other seasons too. Avoid junk food, caffeine, and energy drinks for children.
Involving children in too many activities can become tiring for them. Allow them to have fun and involve them in brain-storming games and fun activities. Get them to play some physical games. Give them games that require thinking and propel creativity. There are a variety of games available in stores that require planning, focus, and concentration. Games that require problem-solving, analytical skills, and critical thinking help in addressing child concentration problems. Some of the examples of thinking games are Memory, Uno, jigsaw puzzles and crosswords. Games like “Statue” or “Just Sit” give your child a challenge to focus and sit in a particular posture without moving, thus enhancing concentration and focus. Sequencing activities like assembling a table, following recipes, and arranging things in alphabetical order are great activities to boost concentration.
Getting children involved in small tasks helps them in getting disciplined and increasing focus. These tasks can either be home based work, or any other responsibility like drop off a packet to the neighbours. Whatever responsibility you give, divide them into small tasks. Step by step completion of the tasks leads to the complete project. This will keep them occupied and increase their confidence too. Small tasks are also easy to focus on, giving them happiness while making progress. Depending on your child’s age, give them responsibilities like sorting a bookshelf, arranging a cupboard, or making a sandwich. Also, make these activities fun and change them frequently, so that they look forward to doing some new tasks. You can arrange for a pleasant ambience at your home when you give them these daily activities like playing soft instrumental music in the background. Keep all the materials required for completing the assigned task within reach of the children, so they do not get distracted from their work, trying to search for items.
Children are going to enjoy their tasks only when it is fun and filled with love. To make any task fun, set a time limit. The idea of completing a task in a given time forces your child to focus and finish it on time. The time set should not be too short to give them anxiety, neither too long to make it easy-going. Setting rigid time limits could also affect their ability to focus. A time limit of 15-20 minutes is enough to keep them focused and not get distracted. A longer time limit may promote inattentiveness and distraction, thus defeating the purpose.
Concentration improves with training and discipline just like any other skill. Remember to be consistent while following any method of boosting your concentration. Give children time to work on these points.