Struggling to concentrate is a problem that most people face in their lifetime. Lack of concentration in children is so common, as a child it is harder to focus as your imagination is constantly on the go and unfortunately sometimes, what's going on in a child's mind will be far more interesting than trying to learn their 7 x tables!
Children also suffer from "selective" concentration. Have you ever tried to talk to your child when their favourite programme is on? More often than not you will find they are so engrossed in their programme they won't even hear you, however if you call your child down for dinner when they are supposed to be doing their homework they will be down the stairs before you have even finished your sentence!
Although improving your child's concentration may seem like a difficult task, it is easy when you follow these few simple tips.
1. First of all, designate a place for your child to study. Make this place a pleasant place for your child to spend their time in, provide them with a desk and a comfortable chair. Make it clear that it is a place to study by not putting anything that could distract them in the room e.g a t.v or toys. Make sure this space is kept clear and tidy and that any books get put away on a shelf or bookshelf after they have been used so it doesn't become cluttered.
2. Teach your child how to sit properly when they study, if they sit upright they are more likely to concentrate as well as not giving themselves back pain!
3. Before your child begins their studies, make sure they take 15 minutes to clear their mind, as it is difficult to switch off from everything else that has happened throughout the day immediately. Make sure that they have 15 minutes to relax before they do their studies. This way when they do come to do their studies they will be in the right frame of mind.
4. Make sure they don't try and cover all of their subjects at once. It would be best for your child to spend their time focusing on one or two subjects really well rather than splitting their time up between lots of subjects and not really spend anytime on them. Also jumping between lots of subjects will confuse their brain as it can't fully engage with one topic it has to focus on 20 at once!
5. Ensure that nobody disturbs your child when they are studying. Frequent interruptions can disturb their thinking as well as being very annoying! Try putting a note on the door or explain to whoever is in your house that your child needs peace and quiet in order to study properly. Make sure that there is nothing else that your child has to do, as they may rush their studies so they can go and do it. Also it may play on their mind and hamper their studying.
6. Encourage your child to avoid letting their mind wonder, I know this is easier said than done but when they are studying they have to keep their mind awake and engaged at all times. If your child eats a light dinner it will help with their studies as eating a heavy dinner will make them feel sleepier than what they really are.
7. Help your child to believe in themselves! Self belief is the single biggest factor that will improve their concentration. When your child believes in themselves they will be able to achieve anything and they will find that they enjoy your studies as they know that they can do it!
Share these tips with your child, however don't expect your child to do all of them at once. This may take time, but with your support and encouragement you will find that your child will unconsciously bring it into their everyday life.
By Gemma Bailey