Helping kids learn how to focus isn’t always easy. Whether they’re in public school, homeschooled, or doing afterschool activities, some kids can have trouble staying on task. If you’re the parent of a child who struggles with focus, you already understand how challenging it can be.
Luckily, there are plenty of ways to help kids stay focused. There are many factors that influence a child’s ability to stay focused in any given situation. External stimuli like sounds and sights from outside their immediate area can be irresistible to some children. Internal sources of distraction like an overactive imagination or racing thoughts can all have an impact as well.
However, by helping your child develop strategies for staying focused in everyday situations you can support them in their learning and development. These can be life skills, helping them grow up and mature into a responsible adult who is able to complete tasks and meet their responsibilities with ease.
Before you can start helping your child stay focused, you’ll want to gain a better understanding of what contributes to their focus problems so you can address them as effectively as possible. If your child is struggling to stay focused because of external distractions, you can help them learn to block out those distractions and stay focused.
If their attention is internally divided by racing thoughts and overactive imagination, you can help them learn to focus their attention on the task at hand and quiet their mind. If your child is struggling with focus because of anxiety, then you’ll want to find ways to reduce their anxiety so they can focus better.
Although kids thrive on new experiences and excitement, there’s actually a lot to be said for routine. By helping your child establish a school or homework routine, you can help them stay focused on their task throughout the day. Start by figuring out when your child’s best time of day is for doing homework and schoolwork. Is it mornings, afternoons, or evenings? Once you know your child’s best time of day, try to build their school and homework routine around it.
While we know kids thrive on surprise and new experiences, they can also be a major source of distraction. By helping your child stay focused on their task by providing advance notice of upcoming events, you can help them prepare for the distraction and stay focused on the task at hand.
Whether you’re talking about a trip to the doctor or a visit from a friend, advance notice helps kids stay focused on the task at hand. You can also let your child know in advance when you’ll be setting aside time for their homework or studying.
While there are plenty of experts out there who say that rewards and consequences aren’t effective ways to motivate a child, there are also plenty of people who swear by them. At the end of the day, it comes down to your child and what works best for them.
If you notice your child struggling to stay focused on their homework or schoolwork, try implementing a reward and consequence system. You can use a timer to help keep track of how long your child has been working on a given task. For example, if your child is supposed to be working on their math homework and they’ve been working on it for 30 minutes without making any progress, they lose their reward. If they’re making progress, they get to keep their reward.
Music can help us do everything from falling asleep to exercising. You can use music to help your child stay focused when they’re doing homework. Try listening to classical music or something that has no lyrics. Music that has no lyrics helps your child stay focused on the task at hand. By helping your child stay focused on their homework, you can help them achieve better results and make fewer mistakes.
You can also try to help your child stay focused by limiting the number of distractions they have available to them while they’re doing homework or studying. You can do this by turning off the TV or internet (unless needed for their schoolwork), or even taking their phone so they aren’t tempted to pick it up. Limiting distractions will help your child stay focused on their tasks and make progress more quickly.
Kids are easily distracted, that’s just a fact. If you’re concerned that it goes above and beyond what’s considered normal for a child, it may also be worth having a doctor check your child for ADHD. There may be additional strategies or medications that can help your child succeed despite a diagnosis.