increase concentration in children

Tips to increase concentration in children

If there is one thing that has taken a beating these days with adults and children alike, it has to be concentration, the ability to focus! With multiple gadgets around, just about everyone is multitasking and has split-second attention spans. Children, of course are filled with a natural curiosity for things and flit from one task to another. While free play is important for their development, as they grow up, it is equally necessary to develop concentration spans.

Few benefits of good concentration power in children are listed below:

  • A child with good concentration power has better control over his thoughts and actions.
  • A child with good concentration power has a greater ability to focus on his studies
  • A child with good concentration power has good memory
  • A child with good concentration power is able to build more confidence
  • A child with good concentration power has strong will power
  • A child with good concentration power is always free from annoying and disturbing thoughts
  • A child with good concentration power is always good in studies and other activities
  • A child with good concentration power has good visualization

Here is what you can do to help:

  1. Playing helps to build concentration

Since children learn more by playing, it is always a good idea to try and make their activities a little more fun. Keep away gadgets, tablets and computers and allow children to play with regular toys, activities that improve concentration, and concentration exercises.Studies have shown that gadgets actually reduce attention span of children so they should be used sparingly or not at all.

I. Thinking games – You can train and strengthen a child’s ability to concentrate and focus by playing concentration games that require thinking, planning and the use of memory. Crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles and card games such as ‘Memory’ and ‘Uno’ actually improve attention for words, numbers and pictures, while picture puzzles—in which your younger child has to look for things that are ‘wrong’ in the picture or look for hard-to-find objects—also improve attention and increase concentration.

II. Sequencing – The link between sequencing and concentration is a strong one. Following recipes, setting the table and putting things in alphabetical order are great activities for kids who have concentration difficulties.

III. Just sit – This game involves challenging your child to sit in a chair without moving or fidgeting to see how long he can do it. Another concentration game in this category is ‘Statue!’ Through repeated play, the child’s brain is ‘exercised’ and challenged, which strengthens mind-body connections and improves focus.

  1. Screen out those diversions

It is absolutely imperative that you give the child an environment that is conducive to the task at hand. So Ideally, all gadgets including televisions, iPads, cell phones etc. need to be switched off or kept in a different room to avoid distractions. If you need to use a computer to study, make sure that it is used only for studying and nothing else. An atmosphere that aids the child can go a long way not just in him completing the task on time but also remaining motivated enough to finish it.

  1. Divide a Big Task into Small Tasks

A big task requires too much concentration and discipline, so it would be a good idea to divide it into smaller tasks. This could be applied to homework, housework and learning new skills. Doing small projects, which lead to the completion of a major project, give the feeling of progress and movement, making it easier to focus.

A big task that requires time, dedication and focus, might seem intimating and overwhelming and can awaken reluctance to tackle. A small task seems easier to carry through and there is less resistance.

  1. Establish a routine

It helps to set up a routine where the child does the activity every day at the same time, turning it into a habit. So, a fixed time for doing his or her homework, for example, works well as the child is prepared for the activity.

  1. Follow the body clock

It isn’t a great idea to push the child to study late into the night when he isn’t a night person and the body clock does not really permit it. Similarly trying to get the child to do some work when he is overly tired can only be counterproductive, not just in terms of him not being able to complete the task well, but also putting him off as far as the activity is concerned.

  1. Allow enough time for physical activity

Ensure that in the zeal to get the child to study you do not cut off the hours where the child goes out to play. In fact physical activity will allow the child to focus on his work better. The next time you think the child is wasting time playing, think again! In fact, some amount of free time goes a long way in recharging the child. Ever so often the child being bored or distracted is also on account of the fact that as parents we have overwhelmed them with too many structured activities.

7. Set short time goals for better concentration

Set a time limit for the completion of a goal. If it is studying, then you can say that a certain number of pages need to be done within twenty minutes.

Keep in mind that the average time for an adult to concentrate completely is about 42 minutes and so the concentration span of a child would be much less. Therefore, it would be wise to have shorter time limits such as 15 minutes to 20 minutes.

Another thing to keep in mind is that while some children thrive under time goals, other children might feel pressurized and may start feeling anxious and lose focus.