Concentration is the raw ingredient that gets stuff done, but being able to concentrate is far from straight forward. It can be an elusive quality, hard to conjure at will – even for adults who are more self-aware and have access to fresh coffee! Here are the 7 best ways to help improve concentration in your child:
Concentration is important and necessary for life-long learning. So it is a good idea to make sure that our children have help, even from a young age, to ensure that they can achieve their maximum level of concentration for all subjects like Maths, Science and Languages.
How Parents Can Help
We sometimes forget that our children spend all day in a class with up to thirty other kids. Individual attention is often in short supply. This means your child will probably get more one-to-one attention from you at home during homework time than all day at school.
As parents, we can have a big impact on education and we can do much to ensure better concentration. Here are 7 of the best ways we can help influence their ability to concentrate:
An obvious easy-win in the concentration battle is getting enough sleep. As a thumb of rule, we’re talking about 10 to 12 hours per night for a child of 5 for 11.
Establishing a bed-time routine always helps and makes an early bedtime easier to implement.
You might enjoy reading 5 Sleep Routines for School
#2. Try to Allay Worries
When it comes to concentration nothing gets in the way more than worry – so if your child is worried about something find time to talk it through with them.
It may be pretty trivial and easy to resolve, but if it’s persistent and happening in school consider talking to the teacher.
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#3. Plenty of Water & Food
Water is very important to the brain and dehydration has a clear impact on concentration. This is something we often consider only in summer time but it’s really worth ensuring your child is hydrated in winter too.
A balanced diet helps maintain concentration – after all if your child is hungry or fizzing with sugar they’re unlikely to be thinking straight. There are a few foods that are worthy of a special mention:
- Oat Cereals, such as porridge, release their energy slowly – so breakfast keeps children going through to lunch. The opposite is true for sugary cereals (confession here – my kids recently rejected their porridge for weetabix but it worked while it lasted!)
- Omega Fish Oils – If your child has issues concentrating or is coming up to an important exam I’d consider this supplement simply because it’s cheap, harmless and there’s growing evidence supporting the benefit to concentration and learning.
#4. Help Avoid Distraction
For younger children the kitchen table is the ideal place to do homework – because you are are likely to be around to help. It’s worth remembering that TV, radio and even telephone conversations can be distracting.
As learners reach ten or older and become more independent, consider a desk in their bedroom or another room and it may be best not to allow devices during homework time.
Also try asking them to set a target time to complete the work – this can help them focus.
Aside from the obvious health benefits of exercise it’s useful to know that it’s good for concentration too. Sending the children outside to play for 15 minutes during a long homework session could be a win-win situation.
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Rest and relaxation is of course important for concentration – so balance home learning with down-time.
Some forms of down-time such as console games or games on devices are actually exhausting in terms of concentration. So encourage other forms of non-technology relaxation.
#7. Concentration as a Good Habit
By setting up the environment and conditions for learning at home and instilling the idea that learning is important we can improve concentration.
If we do this consistently then it becomes a good habit – and perhaps even a lifelong one.
Over to you now. What do you do to help improve concentration in your child? Tell us in the comments below.