Does your child’s teacher often complain that your child doesn’t pay attention in class? That he/ she is very distracted and never completes tasks on time? Before you consider scolding your child, blaming the teacher or rushing to a psychologist, you should think about what you can do to help your child at home. Believe it or not, it’s often the smallest changes that can make a huge difference.
1. Give and you shall receive:
Often, children don’t get the attention they need at home causing them to act out in school and other public venues. If your child is always eager to tell you about their day or show you a new toy or trick they may have learned, stop what you’re doing for five minutes and give your child your full attention.
2. All work and no play:
Encourage your child to indulge in free play. And by play, we mean the good old-fashioned way. Avoid video games and other gadgets. Identify what interests your child and then try to monitor how long they can say engaged in that activity. It could be anything from building a Lego house to putting together a puzzle. Then, slowly try to increase the time they spend on the activity by giving them fun challenges like build a Lego airplane or maybe a slightly more complex puzzle. Remember, if it’s something that interests them, they are more likely to stay on task.
3. The horrors of homework:
Do you notice a change in your child’s attitude when it comes to finishing their homework? This is most likely because they find it hard and need assistance in understanding the task. Ins
tead of telling your child what to do and trying to verbally explain concepts, break it down to smaller steps. This method is called Scaffolding. Start from the basics and build your way up. Show them how to do it and then assist them while they attempt to do it themselves. Soon, your child will be able to do the tasks independently. Additionally, you could use small rewards as motivation for them to complete their work.
4. Early to bed:
Lack of sleep often results in a lack of attention. Children need more rest than we do as adults and sometimes, even the default 8 hours may not be enough. Try putting your kid to bed thirty minutes earlier than usual and you may notice a change. Also, bed time stories are another great way to improve attention. Encourage your child to listen as you read without any interruptions. Choose short stories and maybe spend two minutes after you finish to discuss the story with your child. This will give you an idea of how attentive your child had been.
Attention is the first cognitive skill a child needs to excel in school and in life. If a child is unable to focus, it affects his/ her ability to follow instructions and in turn makes them seem like they have poor memory. So don’t fret if your child is taking longer than you expected to change their behaviour. Make sure you appreciate their effort and always remember, it’s little things that make up the bigger picture.
If you have tried many of these suggestion (and maybe much much more), but are concerned, it would good to talk us regarding your child, please feel free to contact us on 03 9853 3656. You can write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill out our Contact Form and we will get in touch with you soon. If you want to determine what is causing your child’s difficulties, you can book a cognitive skills assessment with us. We have years of experience dealing with students struggling with attention issues and our program has already benefitted over 96,000 students’ world over by improving their cognitive skills and making learning easier for them- which is our true mission. The program is non- academic and fun but at the same time challenging and has life long benefits.
Please note that the above article does not substitute any medical advice. Please consult your doctor or psychologist for a medical diagnosis.