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How to Help Your Child Concentrate: 8 Tips for Parents

Being a parent and teacher, Chitrangada writes about parenting issues with practical knowledge and experience and also provides solutions.

Parents can help their kids increase their concentration skills by creating a good study space, encouraging them to be physically active and more.

Parents can help their kids increase their concentration skills by creating a good study space, encouraging them to be physically active and more.

What Is Concentration?

In my opinion, one of the most important characteristics of a person is their ability to concentrate. But what is concentration, and why should we develop it?

Concentration is a skill that enables a person to focus on a particular thought or subject while eliminating distractions from their conscious mind. When we concentrate on something, we do not engage our mind with anything else. This allows us to be in complete command of that thought or subject, and eventually it leads us to be more efficient. When your mind obeys you and you are in complete control, no irrelevant thought or worry will bother you.

Why Is It Important for Students to Concentrate?

Students often try to pay attention to too many things at once. There are lot of distractions that divert their focus, and when they sit to study, they become restless. The distractions may come from TV, phone calls or messages from friends, a favourite movie, a cartoon, computers, food, siblings or something else. As a result, although their textbooks are open, their minds are elsewhere—and after a few hours have passed, they find that they haven't learned anything! Therefore, it is very important for students to develop their concentration and focusing skills to facilitate learning.

Teachers (and parents) often complain that their students don't concentrate and thus don't perform well in their studies or earn good grades. Sometimes, children might even be punished for their poor grades. However, this has a negative effect, because then the child becomes averse to developing their concentration skills. Concentration should be made fun and should be achieved with a positive mind. It should be cultivated with great understanding and optimism.

How Can Parents Help Their Kids Develop Concentration Skills?

To develop the ability to concentrate, the mind needs to be trained. Even young children can learn concentration skills easily if they're taught correctly from the very beginning. Both parents and teachers have important roles to play in this regard. Here are eight useful tips that can help:

  1. Create an Environment Conducive to Learning
  2. Plan Study Times
  3. Use the SQ3R Method
  4. Incorporate Physical Activity
  5. Allow Breaks
  6. Promote Healthy Habits
  7. Make Learning Exciting
  8. Teach Meditation, Yoga and Brain Games
Students need a proper study place with adequate lighting and few distractions.

Students need a proper study place with adequate lighting and few distractions.

1. Create an Environment Conducive to Learning

Make sure that your child has a designated place for their studies, whether it's a room, a desk, a table or another space. This learning space should be properly lit and adequately ventilated. It should be neat, tidy and well-organized, too. Distractions—such as TVs, phones and computers—should not be present in or around the learning space.

Ideally, the study space should be situated away from your living room so that your child does not get disturbed by other family activities or conversations while they're studying.

2. Plan Study Times

Planning time to study is crucial. Create a schedule for each day, week or month, as applicable. Additionally, set study goals for one hour, two hours, three hours and so on.

Sit together with your child and make a list of the assignments and learning for the day. As they finish their tasks, ask them to check them off as "Completed" on the list. This gives your child a sense of achievement and helps them to concentrate on their remaining work.

3. Use the SQ3R Method

SQ3R is a study method introduced by Francis Pleasant Robinson in his book Effective Study. It's widely used by educators and students at various levels. The term stands for:

  • Survey
  • Question
  • Read
  • Recite
  • Review

If followed effectively, this method has been found to increase efficiency in studying and learning. See the video below for an example of how to apply the SQ3R method.

4. Incorporate Physical Activity

Children are very active mentally, and they have a lot of physical energy as well. It is important to convert all that energy! Allow them to run, play and be physically active. If it's possible in your area, consider walking or riding bicycles to school together with your child, since physical movement stimulates the brain. Have them play outside, join a sports team or engage in any other activity that keeps them both physically and mentally active.

It is important to make some time for your child to run around or play before they sit down to study. An active body leads to an active brain, and this helps them to concentrate better.

5. Allow Breaks

Different children have different attention spans. Depending on your child's age, allow them to have some study breaks or breathers. Encourage them to move around or have a glass of water or a snack. Just make sure that they do not get distracted during the break.

6. Promote Healthy Habits

A healthy child can concentrate better. Encourage healthy eating habits by providing nutritious snacks and including plenty of time for meals. Also, make sure your child gets enough sleep and stays well-rested.

7. Make Learning Exciting

Why is it that kids can spend hours concentrating on a video game but not on their school books? The video game is much more exciting. However, there are things you can do to make your child's studies more interesting and fun, such as using visual aids, doing experiments or trying other innovative methods. Make sure to incorporate hands-on objects and real-world examples into your child's studies.

For another idea, make learning more interactive. Invite your child's friends over for a group study session and create a quiz game. Occasionally, reward the students for their correct interpretations or answers.

8. Teach Meditation, Yoga and Brain Games

Breathing exercises can help kids develop their focus and attention. You can also teach them simple yogic exercises and basic meditation, following the advice of experts in these fields.

Brain games are also very helpful. Word games can help a child increase their vocabulary, and number games help them develop their math skills, if practiced regularly. There are also logic puzzles students can do to help develop their reasoning power and analytical skills.

Developing good concentration skills early will help children throughout their lives.

Developing good concentration skills early will help children throughout their lives.

Concentration Skills Offer Lifelong Benefits for Our Minds

Education is about strengthening one's mind, not just about collecting facts. There is no limit to the power of the human mind. When the ability to concentrate is strong, the mind obeys more readily and does not engage in futile, negative thoughts or worries. This ability plays an important role in meditation and allows us to gain mental mastery.

A child's willingness and ability to concentrate may be impacted by several factors, including their mental abilities, linguistic abilities and motor skill levels. If an activity seems too difficult for them in any one of these areas, they might give up on it too quickly or avoid it altogether.

The role of parents (and teachers) is to support each child as they develop the necessary concentration for the subjects and activities they enjoy. At the same time, we need to encourage them to experiment and to stick with the harder subjects that challenge their skills.

What Do You Think?

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2014 Chitrangada Sharan

Comments

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on September 18, 2014:

Thank you teaches12345, for sharing your valuable opinion!

Obviously you understand the children behavior so well, being a teacher yourself.

Appreciate your views and support!

Dianna Mendez on September 17, 2014:

Your suggestions are sound and will help children to gain concentration skills. I always encourage parents to allow their child breaks and to provide a method of relaxation for the mind and body.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on September 16, 2014:

Thank you Michelle, for your kind visit , support and share!

You are right, there are too many distractions these days. Thanks!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on September 16, 2014:

I agree with you completely. Often I have observed the domestic birds making their nests and their sense of picking up small pieces of wood and weave them in such a way as to form a beautiful and strong nest, which can hold its eggs safely is really impressive.

Many thanks for your visit and comments!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on September 16, 2014:

Thank you Nithya, for your kind visit and positive comments!

You are learning should be fun and we should adopt some innovative methods for the child to retain interest and concentrate.

Thanks!

Michelle Liew from Singapore on September 15, 2014:

Attention spans are shorter with the advent of the net. Sharing!

Deb Hirt from Stillwater, OK on September 15, 2014:

It sure is hard for the young ones to concentrate with all the other stimulus going on around them. Birds also concentrate on what they are doing, too. I am working on a study right now that proves that birds are sentient beings, along with other animals, so don't completely dismiss those wise little minds. They may be small, but their brain capacity is every bit as large(if not larger) than our own…food for thought!

Nithya Venkat from Dubai on September 15, 2014:

Great hub as you say learning should be exciting and fun along with play and games.

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on September 14, 2014:

Thanks word55, for your kind visit and appreciation!

Glad you liked this hub!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on September 14, 2014:

Thanks MarleneB, for your kind visit and positive comments!

I am glad you liked the tips!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on September 14, 2014:

Thanks DealForALiving, for your visit and positive comments!

Thanks for sharing as well!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on September 14, 2014:

Thanks billybuc, for your kind visit and encouraging words!

Once a teacher, always a teacher! You are still guiding so many of us. Thanks!

Chitrangada Sharan (author) from New Delhi, India on September 14, 2014:

Thanks Devika, for your kind visit and encouraging words!

Glad you liked the hub!

Al Wordlaw from Chicago on September 12, 2014:

Very good article Chitrangada Sharan. Many families can benefit from this.

Marlene Bertrand from USA on September 12, 2014:

These are ALL great tips. The one that I find most valuable is having a designated place to study.

Nick Deal from Earth on September 12, 2014:

Another great hub with strong points. I'll be sharing this one~

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on September 12, 2014:

Excellent suggestions here my friend. I was once a teacher and I know how important this is.

Devika Primić from Dubrovnik, Croatia on September 12, 2014:

Children need just what have explained here. You attitude towards such topics have shown me another interesting side of your thoughts.