Having children who have problems concentrating and staying focused can be frustrating for parents, but it can also cause frustration and self-esteem issues for kids, according to Psychology Today website. These problems can be caused by big life changes, stress, anxiety, learning disabilities and disorders, such as ADHD. No matter the cause of poor concentration and lack of focus, there are things parents can do to help improve the situation.
Healthy Food Choices
Feed your child a well-balanced, healthy diet, since proper nutrition is crucial for good overall health. Kids need to get their recommended servings of protein, dairy, fruits, vegetables and grains each day. Ensure your child is eating breakfast before he heads off to school. Kids who eat breakfast perform better in school, have more energy and can concentration better, according to HealthyChildren.org. Try feeding your child some brains foods to boost concentration, suggests WebMD. These include fish, whole grains, avocados and plenty of water.
The Perks of Organization
Make sure your child is getting plenty of sleep on school nights. Preschoolers need 11 to 13 hours of sleep each night, while school-age kids need 10 to 11 hours and teens need 8.5 to 9.25 hours, according to the National Sleep Foundation. Help your child to focus and concentrate better at school by working with his teacher to eliminate distractions. Ask that your child be placed in the front of the class and away from windows, doors and other busy areas of the classroom, suggests ADDitude magazine. Don't allow your child to use his phone or other distracting electronics at school. Help your son get better organized at school. Show him how to keep track of assignments by writing them down in a planner or a notebook, suggests Kids Health. Purchase a binder with dividers that can be used to keep school work neat and organized.
Help your child at home by making it homework friendly. Have a designated area set up especially for homework and establish a set homework time for each day. Choose a quiet place without distractions, with plenty of good lighting and no television, radio or other electronics nearby. Before having your son sit down to homework at night, encourage him to spend some time outside playing or getting some exercise, suggests Additude magazine. Spending time outdoors can improve concentration. Your child could join a sports team, have a play date with a friend or go for a walk with the family.
Encouragement and Support
It's important for parents to be supportive of a child who's having trouble with concentration and focus. You should be patient with your child while he's learning to improve these skills, Oprah.com recommends. Continue working with him to help him develop good study habits and concentration skills. Offer him praise when he does well in school or at home and practice positive reinforcement by creating a reward system for your child. Set goals together and when your child meets or exceeds a goal, celebrate together and reward him with a fun activity, such as a family trip to the park, a movie night or something else he might enjoy.
- Psychology Today: Raising Self-Esteem in Kids with Focusing Problems
- HealthyChildren.org: Feeding Guide for Children
- HealthyChildren.org: The Case for Eating Breakfast
- WebMD: Slideshow: Brain Foods that Help You Concentrate
- Scholastic: How Kids Learn to Concentrate
- Empowering Parents: 5 Simple Concentration Building Techniques for Kids with ADHD
- Oprah: Grab Their Attention: 11 Ways to Help Kids Get Focused and Stay Focused
- Kids Health: ADHD
- Kids Health: Organize, Focus, Get It Done
- ADDitude: Focus the Attention of Distracted ADHD Children