All children have different levels of concentration. Some children can focus for longer periods of time than others. There are many influencing factors that can affect our levels of concentration. To help your child:-
Children are easily distracted. To focus your child’s attention, when doing homework for example, ensure to keep distractions to a minimum.
-Have a clear open space for them to use. An area free from clutter is best.
-Turn off all distractions such as tv or computer games.
-Tell others in the house to avoid coming into that room until you are done.
Give your child your full attention
It is tempting with our busy schedules to multi task but at least once a day spend quality time with your child.
-Turn your phone on silent.
- Avoid completing other chores while you are working with your child.
- Show interest in their work, commenting frequently on how well they are doing, thank them for listening and trying their best.
- Give plenty of praise and encouragement.
Have a target time
Visual egg timers are great to help young children see and respond to time. Use an egg timer or stop watch and set the time limit for an activity.
Reward your child for their concentration. Once they have successfully completed a task or met their target time give them a reward.
A good way to enhance concentration is to encourage your child to play games until completion. Children at a young age often flit excitedly from one activity to another before completing the previous. Begin with short games and reward and praise them for finishing. Progress to longer games.
Respond to their sensory needs
Some adults like to doodle while they concentrate, they tap a pen or their fingers. Find some fun ways for your child to have ‘ thinking time’. I find ‘silly putty’ a good resource. I tell my students to squeeze the thinking putty to help them remember a sound or number.
Sometimes homework / chores / activities become boring. As adults we need to recapture a wandering attention. Use your voice and facial expression to show your enthusiasm. Make homework into a game or race. Race your child to complete a set number of questions, clearly you will work at a similar pace, sometimes let them win, sometimes you win. This also teaches a valuable lesson that they cannot always come first.
Pretend you have forgotten how to do the activity or the homework question. Say :
“Can you show me how to do that? ” I cannot remember how we do that?.”
In this scenario the child loves telling the adult what to do. A similar approach is to use a puppet or teddy bear. Tell your child to teach their favourite toy or puppet.