How to improve your child's concentration
Your child probably gets distracted just by looking at a fly. You ask them anything and in no time at all they've lost track. Imagine asking them to do a specific task. This lack of concentration can cause a lot of stress at home. And logically also at school, which can lead to school failure in the medium or long term.
As the mother of a creative, talkative and exploratory child, teaching him how to concentrate on his homework and complete it without being distracted has been - and still is - a daily challenge. But even so, it is possible to help a child concentrate on a task and increase concentration skills over a longer period of time.
What can we do?
First of all, understand why. Children basically lose concentration when the task is not fun, because it does not interest them at all and because they naturally have an attention span equivalent to their age. Five years = five minutes alone!
We would like to give you some tips on how to encourage your children's concentration and attention, tips that we have put into practice and that we know work very well.
Games can be used effectively to develop concentration
Since children learn most by playing, it is always a good idea to try to make their activities a bit more fun. Any task, if done in a fun way, will be easier to do....
Ration the use of mobiles, tablets, TVs, computers and try to offer them games that improve their attention. We know that screens are easy - for everyone - because they allow us to entertain the child when we make dinner... but try whenever possible not to use them or if they do use them, use them to activate the body and calm the mind and not the other way around! The Soul Mates Kids Yoga game app was created for this purpose.
Prepare an environment (no distractions)
Some children respond well in relaxing environments, but others prefer busy environments (mine don't). Understanding what kind of environment your child prefers is the first step to increasing their attention span. Music and soft lighting help set the mood for studying. We have lists of children's mantras and calming music that work wonders. To lower the level of stimulation and enter into relaxation you can also listen to children's mindfulness stories on our Insight Timer channel or find relaxing sounds, music or mantras there.
Set a routine to follow for better concentration
Children love routine. Knowing what's on at what time: when it's time to eat, when it's time to go to bed, when it's time to play. For example, my son knows that after playing, he has to study and automatically goes into "study mode".
Look for precision in your words when you require their attention.
Your sentences must be easy to understand. Make sure he is looking at you when you speak and if possible, get down to his level. Give tasks or instructions one at a time, otherwise they will forget or get overwhelmed. Make sure, with questions, that they have understood your request and if they have any questions about it.
We also advise you to give them time for distractions.
Children are naturally energetic - giving them time outdoors to let off steam can help them concentrate better on the next task!
Help them with deep breathing and visualisation. It will be easier if you do it together and you guide them through the steps. The combination of simple relaxation techniques such as deep breathing helps to increase the brain's ability to improve or learn new skills. You can try bringing your attention to the point of the nose. Notice how the attention goes away but when you want it to come back, you can control it. With meditation you will not only avoid lack of concentration but also increase your bond with your child.
To receive more activities about yoga and mindfulness as a family, sign up our free weekly email "Omm-mazing Activities". It's free, forever! Do you have any more tips that have worked for you? Let us know, we'd love to hear them!