Hands up who'd like a little (free) professional advice on improving their child's concentration?
If we're honest, we all would, right?
WhichSchoolAdvisor.com met with child psychologists and co-founders of H&A Parental Guidance, Muna and Marlieke, to find out more.
Why concentration is important
While many parents think that intelligence and academic skills are the most important skills in a child’s educational success, it’s actually just a small part of a much larger picture.
The ability to concentrate is a soft, but a crucial skill, that has a significant impact on the learning process. Many parents fail to realise that the lack of ability to concentrate in the classroom or during daily chores can be a serious issue, which negatively impacts your child’s achievements.
The home and school connection
Linking the home and classroom is really important if we want to ensure a coordinated and effective approach towards your child’s learning and development.
Regular and open communication between the parent and teacher can help a child thrive in both environments. Minor adjustments in daily routines can also make a significant difference for your child and his/her ability to concentrate during school hours and beyond.
Structure is key: it can prevent a child with poor concentration from losing focus
Obviously, as a parent, you only want the best for your child. We know it can be frustrating for you to see how easily your child is distracted when he or she should be focusing on schoolwork or his/her daily chores.
Remember that even though it may not be visible and apparent, your child may also be personally struggling with this. Research has shown that children learn best from positive approaches, compliments, positive instructions.
There is no better boost for motivation than hearing how well you did when you tried your best. Verbal rewards like praises are a healthy way to reinforce your children.
Support your child in every step – regardless how small – in order to improve their concentration skills, conduct and practice concentration exercises together, and show them that you are there to help them. And stay positive!
What can you do as a parent?
Make sure your child gets enough sleep: Ensuring your child has a good night's sleep will help them develop concentration and focus. (Please note that every age needs a different amount of sleep every night.)
Make sure your child has a healthy diet: Make sure that your child gets the right nutrition in order to gain the energy they need to study at school and home. A weak health status and dehydration could be an important reason for your child to lose focus and concentration.
Be honest and open with your child: Your children pick up on every little thing. If something is going on within the family, talk to your child about his or her feelings and try to be as honest as possible about your own feelings, it’s good to show that mom and dad have feelings too. This will help you to create a stronger bond with your child and will set an example about the importance of transparency. Any family stresses could very likely cause your child to act out in school and could be a significant cause of concentration issues.
Get them moving: Lethargy and laziness are the byproducts of those children, who simply sit in front of TV or on their devices for hours. Try to make sure your child’s TV time is alternated with physical activities. This way they will lose some of their redundant energy at home, instead of becoming too energetic at school. A lot of children need some distraction from time to time, this is normal. Allow them to move or act silly (feel free to engage) for a couple of minutes.
To truly evaluate and test children for poor concentration professionals will look critically at our lifestyles and the ways we teach our children. Many children can't pay adequate attention to tasks simply because they have not been taught the skill of concentration from early childhood? If you think your child has concentration issues, then simply focusing on the above may help you resolve the issues before needing to take it further to seek professional help.
H & A Parental Guidance offers inclusive parenting services and support, with a focus on SEND training. The company offers personalised training for parents, teachers, nurses, assistant teachers and nannies for those working with children who are both neuro-normal and special educational needs.