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Why You should Care About your Child’s Focus

Paying attention to the task in hand with complete focus brings out the best outcome. Teaching children early to focus sets the stage of life.


Are you a parent who’s constantly struggling with your child’s lack of focus and interest in studies?


Explore these tips to help your children concentrate and pay attention.


Tips to increase focus

Photo by Compare Fibre on Unsplash



Making children study is a constant struggle for most of us. At that time, we wished to have a Doraemon gadget that could induce self-motivation in children.


“When my son sits to study, he keeps fidgeting and constantly looks for a reason to move away from books” said Mena.


Our children feel that their study is our responsibility. Mainly because we constantly push them, but what options do we have otherwise?


We keep chasing them and they keep avoiding taking ownership, leading to endless scuffle.

Focus is a gem lost in the world full of distraction, so we can’t really blame our children. When we adults struggle to stay focused, imagine how hard it is for children.


Take the example of Pia - “She opened her books with a determination to study for an hour. But after a few minutes, her mind started wandering, her attention moved away from the book and hopped from one thought to another, ‘what her friend said today? what she’ll wear to the party.”

Then an urge to peep and check the phone took over her. Instagram notifications lure her to constantly check the updates. After two hours, she realised, even with the opened books in front of her, she hardly studied for more than ten minutes.”


Can we improve focus? Yes! But before that, first we need to understand our children:


  • Our children have high energy level

  • They have shorter attention spans

  • They like fun and engaging activities

  • They want appreciation, and reward to feel motivated

  • They enjoy novelty and challenge, and

  • They get bored quickly with repetition


Children have a whooping energy level. Most of the time study fails to keep up with their high energy level.


The attention span of children is shorter than adults. Young children (age 4-5) can usually concentrate for somewhere between 5 and 20 minutes unless they find novelty and challenge in the task.


Otherwise, holding their attention for a longer duration is tough.


Fun and engaging activities help in holding the attention. They retain information better when information is presented through engaging activities.


How can we make use of the above information?


We can try explaining the concept with the help of stories, real-life examples. There are numerous learning resources available online.


Reward, appreciation and responsibility, encourage them to perform better. When they perform, acknowledge their effort and appreciate to give them a motivational boost.

“You completed your work, very nice.”


“You solved problem A, good! Now you can solve the next one.” Even minor encouragement matters.”


Giving ownership and responsibility to them – Make children feel responsible for their work-they need to develop ownership.


Initially it’s a struggle, but slowly they learn.


When they have unfinished work, or incomplete homework, explain how all us work and do things. Act as a role model and help children learn to take responsibility for their work.


Why focus?


Paying attention to the task in hand with complete focus brings out the best outcome. Teaching children early to focus sets the stage of life.


After all, it is an ability to set aside all distractions. Our children need to learn to give all attention to one thing that they are doing. Because even with genuine intentions, lack of focus could upset the outcome. It doesn’t matter what they do, but when they do, with full attention, it pays off.


Why don’t we train how to focus?


We talk about focus, but no one formally teaches us how to focus. We keep asking our children, why can’t you just concentrate? Because no one taught us how to do that.’


Focus improves with practice. It’s like muscles, which keeps getting better with each use.


Why do children avoid studying?


In spite of evolution, our primitive mind sticks to take control of the situation whenever it feels threatened. It asks us to fight, flight or freeze. When anything looks challenging or tough our brain gives us signals to run away from it.


That’s why, when children do not enjoy studying, their mind considers it as a threat and acts in a similar way it will act if it sees a tiger. Both create similar reactions in the body. It prepares the body to fight or fly. Unless children enjoy the work they are doing, they will keep turning it down.

Distractions:


Distraction is the major culprit in eroding focus. Sadly, staying focus in the world full of distractions is hard.

There is no dearth of distractions around and our minds crave distractions. In the world surrounded by technology, gadgets, and unlimited entertainment choices, a whole day could pass in a blink.


Imagine how difficult it is for children staying focused while studying when surrounded by pleasure, giving distractions all around.


It requires determination. Even when they study their minds, keep wandering - It’s hard to concentrate. But there are strategies which help in improving concentration.


RELATED: How to deal with concentration problems in children

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
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Somya

Hi there! I’m Muzna, the Founder and Editor of The Bliss Key, I live in San Francisco with my family and by profession I’m an eLearning consultant with more than a decade of experience, and a degree in Business Management and Instructional Design

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