Your child seems to be distracted with anything and everything, whenever he/she sits down to study. This happens in spite of your repeated commands. Providing a nice, quiet corner, fixing a convenient time of study, avoiding distractions like TV and even yourself sitting with the child while studying don’t seem to help. You are exhausted. You are very concerned. You are wondering how your child’s concentration while studying is going to improve, as you are aware that without focused attention, consistently over the duration of study, your child’s academic performance, especially in higher classes, will badly suffer.
So, what can you do?
Your child’s lack of concentration upsets his/her teacher too. Your child may be inattentive, irritable, forgetful and show problems in reading and writing. Your child may also be aggressive, impulsive and hyperactive.
Here are few helpful tips to improve your child’s concentration:
1) In this age of burgers, pizza, chips and sugary drinks, weaning your child away from them may be quite a challenge for you but that is what you should do, most of the time. Ensuring a healthy diet rich in whole grains, fruits and vegetables keeps your child’s mental abilities in top shape. You should also consciously avoid artificially coloured foods for your child as they tend to aggravate hyperactivity in them.
2) Let your child follow a regular pattern of various activities during the day, especially after school, with time fixed for each. A fixed time for studying shall be squeezed in between. For example, as soon as the child returns from school, the child may unwind over some healthy and tasty snack of his/her choice for an hour or so and doing any activity that pleases him/her, followed by a two hour intense physical game with friends in the park. The child may refresh with a glass of milk and settle down to study for one or two hours, before going on to watching some TV of his/her choice for about an hour or so, followed by dinner, unwinding with some video games, settling in the bed with some story books etc. This type of routine followed as a ritual will help the child adapt to a pattern, letting him/her know what follows each, leaving less room for chaotic deviations that distract the mind. See that the child doesn’t spend too much time on TV or other gadgets in free time; instead, engage your child with some indoor games like carrom, chess etc.
3) Help your child during the study hour with home work and other assignments. Make it a stress free affair, treating the child lovingly and with understanding. No pestering, comparisons or show of your own anxieties or doubts. The trick is in making the child feel like studying, with no pressure on test marks or competitions or any other expectations to be fulfilled, during studying. A happy frame of mind while settling down to study will help your child to concentrate better.
4) Spending quality time exclusively with your child outside the study hour, having fun together and encouraging conversation about anything under the sun and beyond, will help your child to free his/her mind of any stress and open up with you, build up confidence and self esteem. This will spill over to a more concentrated effort while studying.
5) Show genuine interest in all of your child’s activities. Let your child feel the unconditional love flowing from you, even while being firm about following a discipline. Stay happy, cheerful and enthusiastic yourself. Celebrate your child’s achievements, however small, in your own little ways. Make studying an enjoyable experience for the child and let him/her know that a focused effort will be richly rewarding, especially in the long run.
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Ms. Rekha Jyoti is Behavioral Coach for Kids in our Day Care Centre
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