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6 Parenting Tips: Helping Children Develop Concentration Skills + Video
By Jean Tracy, MSS
Concentration troubles prevent kids from focusing. I remember a student who stared into space during class. His mind definitely drifted to something other than math. Perhaps your child experiences a similar problem. It's tough to succeed in school and life with scattered thinking.
Today I'll share 6 simple ways you can help your child learn to focus in this busy, distracting, and noisy world.
Below is a brief video for helping your child develop concentration skills.
Concentration means learning to focus and paying attention. Teaching your child to discipline his thinking improves his developing brain. You may call this process self-discipline or self-regulation.
6 Self-Discipline Tips for Teaching Children Concentration Skills
1. Set Limits.
To set limits you must be the parent. Sometimes it's hard. Sometimes it's tiring. Often it's repetitious. So what do you do?
Be aware of what distracts your Jacob. Is it TV, music, or video games? These activities can consume your child's full attention as he bobs on the sea of distracting noise. Being the parent means setting limits on when and how much time he spends on these and other pastimes.
2. Increase Your Child's Memory.
Imagine your Wendy saying, "I know. I know," to stop you from giving her the instructions she needs. Do you stop? No! Be like the parents who say, "Look at me." Repeat in your own words what I just said." If she can't repeat it, tell her," Listen again." Expect her to repeat it correctly.
If you let her stop you, you won't know if she listened, focused or got it. You won't know if she paid attention and heard you.
3. Promote Order not Chaos.
As a parent, strive for order in your own schedule. Avoid as much as possible, unnecessary changes. If every day is different, unscheduled, and without order, your Amy's thoughts could be scrambled. Her mind needs the quiet necessary for clear thinking.
When you provide a routine that your child can depend on, you give the gift of "knowing what to expect." Your child won't have to waste thoughts figuring out how to deal with disordered living.
4. Be Consistent.
If you count to 3 one day or give your David one chance to follow through but change your rules the next day, don't expect cooperation. The challenge for you is to think before you speak.
If you say, "Come here now," but often let your child dawdle, he'll know he can take his time and do what he wants. This in turn can frustrate you. When you're tired and your patience is thin, your voice may turn to yelling. You could even end up with a dose of guilt.
It's much easier to think before you speak, consider the consequences of what you might say, pick the best words, and follow through. This could all happen in 30 seconds or less.
Being consistent is good for your child's brain and for your patience.
5. Speak Respectfully.
When parents scream a lot, children turn them off. Instead of doing what they're told, they spend their thoughts on inner grumblings tinged with bitterness and anger.
Respect begets respect. It turns off your child's angry inner voice about your actions. Respect turns on reasonable thinking and positive esteem for you.
6. Be Firm.
Sometimes parents treat their kids like little soldiers. They are too firm. Other parents dismiss their child's misbehavior. They are too easy. Being balanced between the two helps your kids know you mean what you say.
The balanced firm approach helps kids listen, follow through, and regulate themselves. It offers a sense of security too.
Conclusion for Helping Your Child Concentrate
Limiting distracting activities, improving attention with, "Repeat what I said," providing an orderly lifestyle, being consistent, speaking respectfully, and being firm will help your child focus. These strategies turn thoughts and feelings away from confusion to a sense of order. Order is great for concentration. And concentration is great for life.
The brief video for helping your child concentrate is below.
Watch 6 Ways to Help Your Child Concentrate You CAN Raise Focused Children!
Pick up your copy of Parents As Teachers - 137 Teaching Ideas from Birth to 9 Years and enjoy the fun of teaching your child the tools for success.
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