Have you ever got the feeling that your child just wasn’t listening to you? Every parent has experienced the moment when they’re talking to a child and the child’s eyes slide away towards a TV screen, a game console or whatever is more interesting than what you are saying. When this starts to happen, what can you do to help your child regain focus? After all, learning to pay attention will help your child with learning and will be an asset all through life. Here are some suggestions for helping your children to concentrate for longer periods.
1. Reduce screen time
The amount of recommended screen time for children is no more than a couple of hours a day, according to a policy statement from the American Academy of Pediatrics — and it’s none at all for children under two. Compare this with what’s actually happening — several children watch four or more hours of television a day — and you’ll see why this can cause problems. Watching too much television can inhibit some areas of development making a reduced attention span more likely.
2. Do More Reading
Read to your children whenever you can and for at least 15 minutes a day. When kids are following a story and looking at pictures then they are concentrating. You also know they are paying attention because they will ask you questions about what’s happening or point out things they have noticed. Encourage your children to develop mind pictures of what is going on in the story. This will help them to develop the visual memory skills that they will need in school.
3. Go Outside
Playing outside is not only fun but it develops hand eye coordination and keeps children fit and alert. We all know that when we go to the gym, once we get into our work out, we begin to feel energized. That works for kids too. Telling your kids something important after they’ve run around is more likely to grab their attention, so encourage them to get out to that garden playhouse. But there’s something that you have to do first…
4. Feed Kids Appropriately
Give your kids the right foods to promote good health and development. Reduce their intake of sugary foods, snacks and drinks in favor of healthy fruit and vegetables. Keep meals light and nutritious to avoid the fatigue that usually happens after a heavy meal.
5. Get a Pet
Caring for a pet will help your kids to focus on something other than the TV or themselves. The routine of brushing, cleaning, feeding, petting and playing will improve your kids’ focus — not to mention their sense of responsibility. And as a side benefit, they will have a lot of fun -and that’s a key part of the final tip.
6. Inject some fun
Finally you can encourage your kids to undertake fun activities if it looks like their attention is waning. Drawing, skipping, using building blocks, dancing and other similar activities will get the blood flowing again and have your children to be able to concentrate.
What tips do you have for helping kids to focus?
This was a guest post by Ben who works with a nursing wear company called Milk Nursingwear.