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As parents, we may find it a challenge to get our child to focus and see through a given task, such as completing worksheets or homework. Children’s attention span is tied to their age, and their ability will progress as they grow older. For example, a 1 year old child’s attention span would range from 3 to 5 minutes while a 2-year old child would then be able to focus for a minimum of 6 minutes. While children’s attention span is very well dependent on their age and developmental growth, we as parents could help to nurture better concentration to complement their learning journey.

Below are some methods that we as parents can initiate to help our children stay focused on their tasks, be it for studies or even learning a new skill:

  • Ensure that the environment is conducive

Cluttered, disorganised spaces can be a major cause of distraction for children as they are unsure what we expect them to focus on. Ensure that they have a dedicated workspace for homework and revisions and ensure that this space should be cleared after each use. Similarly, there should also be a dedicated area where they are allowed to play with their toys or participate in other activities. This is also a good opportunity to nurture them to put away their belongings after use, as this would in turn cultivate a positive habit in the long run.

  • Set a Study Routine

Setting aside a specific time for activities will help guide your children to have better time management skills and to remain focus in completing tasks. A fixed routine would also allow them to commit to these various activities. Not only will a set study routine allow children to remain focused and have regular revision sessions, practice time for a new skill (such as learning a new musical instrument), but to also further harness their skill set.

  • Plan study breaks

Not everything revolves around homework and their studies. Good concentration is also harnessed by remembering to set aside time for children to rest, relax and recharge. Scheduled study breaks allow children to catch a breather and be disciplined to return to their tasks. Separately, scheduling a short nap (20 to 30 minutes) after school is also a great way to give them a quick energy boost before continuing on with their day.

  • Smaller Steps

Breaking down tasks into manageable steps reassures your child that the task at hand is doable, further building their resilience to tackle more challenging tasks in the future. This also provides children with a sense of accomplishment by being able to complete a task independently and accurately. This in turn would boost their confidence level and nurture their ability to self-learn.

  • Explore Fun Activities

Fun activities that promote critical thinking such as completing puzzles, crosswords, and building games help children to improve their cognitive development. This would be a great opportunity for children to apply their critical thinking skills that they have harnessed at Kumon and apply them in games and other non-academic activities.

  • Reward them for a task well done!

Children are often motivated when they are able to see a tangible end goal in mind. Why not take the opportunity to get creative in your forms of reward and encourage your children to work harder to achieve these rewards? For example, parents can implement a “Gold Star Reward System” where children would be rewarded with a Gold Star sticker for every task completed. At the end of each month, these accumulated stars would lead to a gift or a trip to a new adventure. Additionally, simple words of affirmation also goes a long way and promotes positive communications between you and your children!

All in all, it is also important to have open conversations with your children to understand their challenges and needs as you help guide them to develop better concentration.

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