How can you help your child concentrate better in school?
Is your child’s lack of concentration at school troubling you? Here are 3 key tips that can help you improve your child’s focus.
Many kids find it hard to concentrate at school.
There are many contributing factors to this problem: tonnes of homework, extra-curricular activities and enrichment classes, school projects, long school days, and going to bed late. And when you add the effects of all these, it results in a tired and sleepy child at school the next day, struggling to focus in class.
The vicious cycle continues day after day, taking a toll on the child’s health and alertness. But it’s not just a child’s daily concentration that suffers. They may also perform worse than expected in exams.
As parents, naturally you will be concerned about them. You might even enrol them in extra classes with the hope that this will improve their grades. As a result, though, your child will have even less time to themselves and may end up more exhausted than ever.
How can you help your child improve their focus, but at the same time, ensure balance in their lives?
Before you can take steps to help your child, you will need to understand the signs of lack of focus in children, as well as the reasons behind them.
According to Dr Margie, paediatrician at the Royal Children’s Hospital Melbourne, the following signs may indicate attention difficulties in children:
- is unable to sit still
- is easily distracted
- has problems following instructions
- has problems organising themselves, or is constantly losing things
- has difficulty completing school work
- has poor handwriting compared to other children of the same age
- is experiencing learning difficulties
- displays aggression, moodiness or irritability
- experiences difficulty making and keeping friends
- shows clumsiness
The reasons for these attention-related issues could be many: a poor routine and not having enough hours of sleep, a diet high in sugar and fat, and excessive screen-time (especially prior to going to bed), among others.
1. Ensure your child is getting enough sleep. Most primary school-aged children still need 10 to11 hours of sleep and kids over the age of 12 need eight to nine hours of sleep.
2. Let your child use mobile devices sparingly. Set some limits and make a deal that there will be no screen-time until the weekend. For school-aged children, the recommendation is no more than two hours per day of screen-time
3. Ensure that your child is eating a balanced diet with minimal processed food, or foods with added sugar.