We’ve all been there. You’re talking to your kid and out of nowhere, they just drift off. It’s like you’re not even talking anymore. As a parent it’s so frustrating. We worry that they won’t learn well enough in school, or that they will miss an important detail, or get hurt because of their lack of attention.
As a parent myself, I have the same concerns. That’s why I put alot of effort and time into learning techniques that will improve my daughter’s attention spans and focus. Here are 6 things you can do right away that will start improving the focus of your child!
- Divide and Conquer: Of course we all want our children to keep their rooms clean. But starting smaller will improve their focus on the activity. If their room is really messy, it may seem like a very daunting task to clean the whole thing. Try saying, “clean off your desk please.” Just start with one area of the room. This will make the task seem far easier. Here’s the key… give them a completely different task after they complete the first one.
“Great job with the desk… go ahead and play for a little while.”Then, a short time later, ask them to clean another part of the room… rinse and repeat. Before you know it.. the room will be clean and your child will say it felt easy!
- Develop a Routine: Let’s face it. We are all more efficient and focused with a routine. Your kids are no different. Try to develop a schedule for them. This way they are ready for what comes next. Very few people like surprises. And its easier to stay focused on one task when you know a new one is just a few minutes later.
- Healthy Eating Habits: There’s plenty of scientific evidence that connects healthy eating to solid brain function and focus. Make sure your child is eating healthy snacks, fruits, and veggies. This will give them the right amounts of energy to help their brain develop and stay on task. On top of that, it will help them avoid unhealthy weight problems as well.
- Specific Goals: Be specific with your goals. A good idea is to have your child repeat back to you what you asked. This will help cement the goal in their minds as well as help you know they heard you correctly. Keep the goals short and basic. The more basic, the better to understand and the more likely they are to be successful. In fact, this is a great thing to do with your coworkers too.. it turns out our adult brains like simplicity just as much as a kid do 🙂
- Give them Prep Time: Imagine your kiddo swimming in a pool. Splashing and having fun. Then, out of nowhere, mom says it’s time to come in and do piano. Not only are you not gonna want to get out of the pool… you’re mind is still going to be on the pool for a while after you start the lessons. Here’s an idea to try.
10 minutes before it’s time to get out of the pool…tell your child they have 10 minutes left and what the next task will be. Their mind will already start thinking about piano lessons. Now, when it comes time to get out of the pool… your child will be ready for it and already in a mental state to begin the lesson. This is a powerful tactic…give it a shot.
- Focus Based Activities: There are a plethora of games and such that will help aid in focus. However, I recommend an activity that stimulates the mind and the body simultaneously. Sports are ok with this. However, team sports (despite being an awesome thing to do) tend to focus on social interaction and don’t develop the same level of individualized focus. Try an individual sport or activity.
Jiu-Jitsu is amazing for this. Kids minds learn to focus on doing several tasks at one time to develop balance, coordination, self awareness, and agility. In addition, the disciplined atmosphere is structured and relatively distraction free, making the ideal place to develop razor sharp focus.
There you have it. 6 Great ways to help your child get more focused! Let us know if this was a helpful article to you!
See you on the mats,
Bill Jones, Owner