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How to Improve a Child’s Focus at School

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A child’s attention span is less than an adult’s, but there are some surefire ways you can maximize your child’s ability to focus.

Even though you can’t control what goes on at school, you can optimize your child’s home life and environment with the right foods, activities and habits. If you invest in the development of your child’s attention span and concentration, it will be easier for your child to achieve school success now and in the future.

 

How to Improve a Child’s Focus at School

Child's Focus at School

1. Minimize your child’s stress.

Emotional problems at home translate into distractability at school. Talk through any issues, so they don’t continue affecting your child outside the home.

 

2. Get your child into the habit of concentrating.

Provide a quiet place with limited distractions for your child to work on homework or a specific task. Set clear expectations and allow your child to take short breaks.

Heaping on the praise after every achievement will act as positive reinforcement for good concentration both at home and at school.

 

3. Feed your child a nutritious and hearty breakfast.

Not only is a balanced diet important for optimal mental health, but researchers in a February 2007 study from the journal “Physiology & Behavior” also demonstrated that children who ate larger breakfasts had better attention spans during class. If there’s no time for a big morning meal, send your child off with a snack.

 

4. Encourage your child to read.

Reading is a healthy pastime that allows your child to develop the kind of attention span they need for school success, while researchers in the journal “Pediatrics” in August 2010 report that television and video games contribute to attention problems that may continue through to adolescence.

Take your child to the library often, so they have a limitless supply of entertaining age-appropriate books.

 

5. Keep your child moving.

Physical activity increases blood circulation to the brain, which can improve concentration and even academic performance. Sign your child up for organized sports and involve your child in active chores like sweeping or washing the car.

Integrate physical activity into your daily family life by walking or cycling together instead of taking the car.

 

6. Incorporate art into your child’s life.

An artistic outlet is a therapeutic form of expression, promotes creativity, and allows a child to develop and maintain focus. There is a wide range of artistic activities that may interest your child, including music, dance, drama and painting.

 

7. Teach your child to meditate.

Develop body awareness in children 8 years or younger by asking them to move different parts of their bodies. Ask older children to observe their breath, guide them through basic yogic postures or teach them a yogic mantra.

These meditative techniques cultivate relaxation and clear the mind, allowing for better focus and concentration.

 

Tips & Warnings

  • Contact your doctor if you suspect that your child’s inattentiveness may be due to a medical condition such as sleep apnea or attention deficit disorder.

 

Building Activities for Adolescents

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