Help your child to focus

Help your child to focus

Help your child to focus

Do you ever wish your child could focus for longer periods?

Is she easily distracted?

As parents, we understand that this is normal. We get distracted too.

But we also know that focus is a superpower. It will help our children to thrive at school and in life.

Wouldn’t it be nice if we could get more of it through play, in a fun and pressure-free way.

The good news is that it’s easy. Here are a few simple ways to increase your child’s powers of concentration.

Create a distraction-free environment

Turn off the television, turn down the radio. Make the your home a haven of calm. It’s hard to focus in a cluttered, noisy room.

Play is the child’s work. Let’s show our children that we value it by giving them a space where they can do their best work.

Read more about the perfect playspace.

Try a visual timetable

Time passes slowly when you are a child. But by creating a timetable of the day you can help your child to make sense of the passing hours. Use photos of each activity and stick them to the fridge.

First we go to the shops, then we play, then it’s time for lunch. In the afternoon we visit Granny.

Four pictures telling the story of the day. Google ’visual timetable’ for inspiration. They are a staple of the early years classroom, and for good reason. They help children stay on task during otherwise seemingly interminable days.

Rotate toys

Toy rotation is a simple yet powerful idea. Put most toys away and only get a few out at a time. Every few days, rotate them. In other words, swap them for others that had been stored away.

The reason this is so effective is that familiarity breeds boredom. The things we see every day no longer excite us. When toys come out after a brief hiatus, your child plays with them as if they were new.

Read more about toy rotation.

Establish a routine

Consistency is essential for young children, as it helps them feel secure and understand what to expect. Establishing a daily routine with set times for meals, play, and rest will help your child develop a sense of structure and predictability, making it easier for her to focus on tasks at hand.

Make learning fun

It’s hard to motivate yourself for pointless tasks.

Ask a preschooler to complete a worksheet or any other formal activity and you will be met with resistance. But offering something fun is the easiest sell in the world.

Offer praise and encouragement

Positive reinforcement goes a long way in motivating young children to stay focused. Be sure to praise your child's efforts and accomplishments, no matter how small, and provide encouragement when they face challenges. This will help build their confidence and self-esteem, making it easier for them to concentrate on tasks.

Final word

Learning to focus doesn’t happen overnight.

Try implementing a few of the above ideas and see how your child gets on.

Better focus helps with work. But for our children it’s all about having more fun. Concentrating for longer means getting deeper into play. Ideas are explored more fully and challenges overcome.

Keep it simple.