Whether you are a teacher or parent, dealing with a restless and fidgety child can be a tall order. When a child lacks a strong attention span and focus, it can result in problems --- ranging from an inability to learn new concepts to difficulties in sitting still to complete homework assignments every night. Help a child concentrate by teaching him how to focus.
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Establish a reliable daily routine for your child. Teach your child how to concentrate by making studying and paying attention a regular part of his day. If he has siblings, organise a group activity to encourage this behaviour. After snacks, you can suggest play time and then studies. Keep the routine consistent, so that your child knows exactly what to expect every day.
Provide your child with a suitable workspace. Allowing your child to do homework in the den may make it more difficult for him to concentrate, as he might associate the room with fun and downtime. To prevent this problem, create a comfortable "study section" where he has ample room to organise and access his materials and where he can work without distraction. You may wish to put his desk in his bedroom.
Allow your child to release his energy. Many children feel active and restless, especially after sitting in a classroom all day. Encouraging physical activity --- such as cycling, shooting basketball hoops and swimming --- before buckling down and working on homework will improve the child's concentration and focus.
Teach your child the concept of self-control. Test your child's concentration by instructing him to sit down without moving. Observe how long your child is able to stay still. Try this exercise a few times a week for a month to monitor his behaviour. You will probably notice in a short time improved self-control and the ability to sit still without fidgeting and behaving restlessly.
Stimulate your child's concentration and brain with games, crossword puzzles, the card game "Memory" and Scrabble. These types of activities require the child to pay close attention and focus for an extended period of time.
Set a specific time frame in which he needs to complete his assignments. This schedule may help him to get serious and work. Throughout the assigned time period, approach your child occasionally and ask for an update on his work --- to keep him focused and on track.
Tips and warnings
- Show support for your child. Avoid insulting him when he has trouble with concentration. Comments such as "You can't ever sit still for even a minute" will only discourage him. Instead, praise him when you do notice improvement. Positive reinforcement can go a long way in helping a child make a big change.
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