How many times have you argued with your kids because they couldn’t concentrate on their schoolwork? It almost feels like a mental torture for you to persuade them into doing their homework. It does not help that they only meet their teachers and classmates online because of the pandemic. The burden is on you to teach them their modules. Concentration and focus are lost on kids who never learned it from the beginning. But it is not too late to improve your kids’ attention.
What makes Stephen Curry one of the best shooters of all time? Science and practice, that’s what. Though some may argue that such accuracy is a God-given talent from birth, one cannot deny the amount of money, time, and resources that athletes put into their work. Mr. Curry, for example, practices dribbling and shooting consistently. He once said that shooting as accurately as he does is all about muscle memory. But to build muscle memory, he needs to practice shooting from the same spot for hours. The muscles in his arms, wrist, and down to his hands will remember the best form to shoot that ball. That’s what makes him such a great shooter.
Now, apply that same principle to your kids. If you want them to learn how to focus and concentrate, you have to put it into practice. That will not happen overnight or even in weeks or months. The struggle will be more challenging, but constant practice and reminders will help your kids gear up for the future.
Allot a Specific Space
It’s easy to get distracted by other things when they don’t have space to do their work. If you let them do their homework in the dining area, they will be distracted by the sounds from the kitchen and the bowl of candies in front of them. You don’t need a big extra space for them, but deliberately allot space in your house for their schoolwork. If you are not using your garage, why not turn that into a work area for you and the kids? Make sure to install a garage door that can be soundproofed so that your kids will not hear what’s happening over with their playmates next door.
Set Aside a Reasonable Amount of Time
Your kids cannot focus on a task for 30 minutes or more? That’s okay. Kids can only concentrate for at least five minutes. You can work your way from there. Depending on the task, they can focus more on fun and entertaining activities than more challenging tasks. It is up to you to make those challenging tasks enjoyable, too.
Focus on one task at a time. Adults are so used to multitasking that they end up bringing the same concept to their kids. Studies already show that multitasking doesn’t work at all. It reduces concentration and makes you less productive at work. Your performance will not be at par with others when you are doing other things while also trying to focus on a given task. The same thing can happen to your kids. Focus on one task at a time, whether that’s memorizing the alphabet, learning how to read, or practicing long division.
Give Them Breaks
No one can work at full speed without breaks. Have you ever felt burned out because of work? That happens to your kids, too, even if they’re just doing their homework for 30 minutes or less. Make sure to give them time to breathe. Let them take a break because they will concentrate less if they feel exhausted. They will be more productive after that break. Toddlers can eat snacks during their break time, while teenagers can check their social media feeds.
Break Tasks into Smaller Pieces
Approach each task in manageable pieces. For example, if you are trying to teach your kids to eat on their own, first is to teach them how to scoop beads from one container to another. When they can finally transfer the beads without many of them falling from the spoon, then you can transition to trying to make them eat on their own. Apply this principle to all tasks you want your kids to learn.
It’s bad enough that you can’t concentrate yourself, but to see your kids struggle with focusing, too? Toddlers are inquisitive and curious. They fail to focus not because they’re not interested but because they are interested in many other things. Guide them and be patient with them. It will take some time for them to learn the art of concentration. But when they do, you’ll see them do many great things such as become one of the best shooters ever.