Today’s generation of children faces an increasing number of distractions in their daily life. With the expansion of technology and how integrated social media has become with our day-to-day routine, children can easily lose their focus when it comes to school and other academic activities. Here are some tips to help your children pull back from scattered attention and focus better in the classroom.
Childhood Nutrition is Important
The most effective way to maintain your child’s focus is to ensure their diet is balanced and healthy. Nutrition has a huge impact on our concentration and short-term memory, both of which we commonly associate with focus and academic success. Unfortunately, many children do not have an adequate diet to meet their brain’s needs. Making sure your child has a regular meal schedule full of fruits, vegetables, healthy fats, and whole grains will go a long way to improving focus. It’s also important for your child to have a regular sleep schedule, as rest helps the brain recharge.
Another way to help your child focus is to encourage them to take notes in class. Teachers already encourage students to take notes under the presumption that it helps them learn, but that isn’t necessarily the case. However, taking notes does force a student to pay attention to the lesson plan. It’s more difficult for students to be distracted when they have to listen to their teacher and process the information given to them. All it takes is finding the write note-taking style for your child to become comfortable and tune into the lesson.
Meditation and Mindfulness For Children
It may be hard to imagine any child meditating when it’s already difficult for an adult to try it out, but mindfulness is one of the best ways to teach your child how to focus. Meditation and other mindfulness practices can help a child learn how to eliminate distractions around them. Simple exercises like deep breathing every day can be enough to help your child learn to bypass the more primitive part of the brain devoted to reacting to our environment and strengthen pathways to judgment and higher cognitive functions. While practicing mindfulness, your child will focus on observing one sense at a time. This helps them fully take in small bits of information, and this skill can be translated into the classroom.
Puzzles Are Good For Focus
Children (and many adults) nowadays love playing video games, many of which involve puzzle-solving instead of action adventures. Playing with puzzles can help your child learn to focus as they must commit all of their attention to solving a specific task. Jigsaw puzzles and Rubik’s Cubes are familiar to all of us, but there are also cellphone apps and websites that provide puzzle activities for your child directly in their pocket! Playing more of these games makes children focus more, so it becomes second nature when it comes to focusing in the classroom.
Location, Location, Location
This last piece of advice may not apply to all situations, but classroom seating location greatly affects how well your child can focus. Many schools implement a seating plan, either randomly assigned or in alphabetical order. Ultimately it’s up to the teacher to decide where your child can sit. It can be fruitful to ask the teacher or have your child request a seat where they can better focus. There are fewer distractions at the front of the class and away from any doors or windows. Being placed front and center where the teacher can better observe them can discourage them from doodling or playing around.
Keep Encouraging Focus
Helping your child learn how to focus in class takes a lot of work outside of their school schedule. It’s hard to keep an eye on them while your child is in class, but by teaching them some of these skills and encouraging activities that improve focus, they can learn to focus much better!