The ability to concentrate varies from degree to degree in different individuals at different times, while doing different tasks. There can also be a direct relationship established between concentration and liking. Usually, an individual will better concentrate on things that capture their interest and, contrarily, would find it difficult to concentrate on things that they don’t like.
It won’t be wrong to say that concentration is similar to a muscle that needs regular exercise to be strengthened. Even though some individuals have a better concentration power since their childhood, most lack it intrinsically. It is for this reason that there exists a need to increase concentration in kids.
Besides their academics, extracurricular activities, sports and other day-to-day tasks demand their concentration. It is difficult to make the most out of long stretches of time spent at school if a child lacks concentration. Not only does it help them learn better but also helps boost positive self-esteem and self-confidence. Studies show that children with improved ability to concentrate are often self-motivated and have an increased appetite to learn.
It is not difficult to increase concentration in children for things they’re naturally interested in. However, the real challenge comes where focus is required for challenging or boring activities.
For such instances, here are some tips to boost concentration in children.
Schedule time to strengthen the concentration game
Concentration resembles mindfulness on many levels. Just how mindfulness is crucial to focus on the present moment, concentration is necessary for individuals to focus on a specific task. For children of ages five to ten, practicing concentration for 5-20 minutes depending upon the given task, is sufficient.
Even though multitasking is practiced by adults, studies have proven time and again that it reduces concentration. Especially, during the growing years, it is advised to refrain from encouraging children to multitask. Even the concept of mindfulness preaches that one should focus on doing one thing at a time to be in the present moment.
Schedule time and space for homework
Just as it is important to schedule time for activities to minimise distractions due to multitasking, it is important to assign a space for the same. For instance, if your child is doing her homework with the TV or phone or laptop beside, chances are, she’ll get distracted. Unless it is absolutely necessary, avoid distractions due to gadgets while studying or eating. This would also help them to be mindful. As and when your child gets older, use softwares to monitor their time on social media.
Schedule breaks in the routine
Breaks are often given less importance or ignorance in most cases. It is highly essential to schedule breaks in your child’s routine. As hyperactive brings, kids need to move around, do things that aren’t too taxing or just sleep for a while if not anything else. To increase concentration in kids, it is essential to give them time off activities that demand too much attention. Varying from age group to age group, the break time can be decided upon considering the day’s schedule. Also, even though it’s important to set a routine for your child, do not tie them to the clock all day.
Practice breathing exercises
It is not easy to get children into meditation, thus, one can easily incorporate five to ten minutes of belly breathing in their days. The steady, diaphragmatic breathing tends to slow down the heart rate and clear the mind which facilitates better concentration. This habit, if developed over time, can also keep anxiety and depression at bay. Eventually, this can be developed into mindful meditation.
Break complex task into simpler ones
Children often lose concentration when the tasks are either too boring or too challenging. Complex tasks can be made less challenging if broken down into simpler and easily manageable pieces. For instance, if you want to teach your kid to tie her shoelaces, the first thing to do to avoid complexity would be to teach her how to tie the first knot over and over. Once that’s done, they achieve a sense of gratification that further motivates them to move on to the next challenge (or next knot, here).
It is said that the wiser ones are good at observing. This is because, the more one observes mindfully, the more clarity they gain. Children are naturally good at observing as they learn most things simply by observing the elders around them. Thus, be mindful of what you let your child observe.