With so much going on in the world, it’s no wonder some kids are easily distracted in school and at home. In any normal year, kids can struggle to remain on task. But this school year may be drastically different, with disruptions presenting brand new struggles. Concentration, like any skill, needs to be practiced. Here are our top tips to help kids concentrate.
Set aside 5-20 minutes to practice concentrating on a task. Fun and engaging tasks will you’re your child’s attention for longer, though switching things up with more tedious tasks will help widen your child’s abilities to focus on even the most arduous assignments.
No More Multitasking
Multitasking is a lauded skill in the workforce, but it’s been proven to lower productivity. Focus on one thing at a time.
Create an environment that will be conducive to concentrating by removing distractions like electronic devices and TVs. Quiet instrumental music (no lyrics or catchy songs) may help kids focus easier. Experiment to find what works best for your child and get their input too!
Take A Break
Schedule breaks for every 20 minutes for younger children, every 40 minutes for older kids. Keep breaks short, 5-7 minutes and allow children to burn off some energy by stretching, walking around or doing some jumping jacks! Get them up and moving, step into the back yard for some sunlight. Once break time is over, dive straight back into work.
Belly breathing is when you breathe in deeply so that the belly expands, chest expands and shoulders rise. Belly breathing can help reduce anxiety significantly. By teaching kids how to self-soothe and regulate stress, you foster resilience and arm kids with the tools to help them face challenges in life.
Break It Down
Break tasks down into manageable parts. Sometimes big tasks or projects can be overwhelming and it’s easier to view it as several smaller goals. This can also help reduce anxiety and give a sense of accomplishment with each goal completed.
As with any skill, focus takes time to develop. Teach kids to be patient with themselves by modeling patience for them as they learn to concentrate. Remind them gently to refocus if their minds drift, take breaks if they’re struggling and give positive reinforcement and praise for a job well done!