My son has an attention span of a goldfish. He would flee away or zone out to a different world when he is forced to set his mind on something more than 8 seconds. This is a common behavior pattern in kids that triggers concerns to parents. Every time we bounce off our advice or teachings to their sprinting mind, there is always an instant pressure to finish the sentences faster. They can immediately move to something catchier if anything lasts for more than 2 minutes. This juggling attitude applies to all the activities, including their favorite ones like games, puzzles, or stories. This seems to be an impulse that most of the kids invariably possess.
How a lack of attention span of children affect them
Lack of attention span can lead to high anxiety levels. And constant immobile activities dampen their interests. They are more interested in something that will invest their surplus energy to maximum exhaustion. They have so much power in them to put to leverage, that outburst of all their pent-up vigor is necessary. As parents, we can groom them to use that force in productive activities.
Although this comes with degrees of variations like the commonly known ADHD, the normal wavering of focus seems to be a common issue in most of the young ones. If this issue is nipped in the bud, the repercussions would mellow down as they age. In some cases where it is left unattended, most of them grow out of this disorder as they age. However, some children will still have to put up with their wavering focus, leading them to limitations in their learning.
The need for suppressing the wavering focus
The formative years in children’s learning contributes to a larger extent in shaping up their interest and talents. We tend to investigate and probe their inherent capabilities and fine-tune them to excellence. This process of determining their innate flair for anything becomes a little tedious with children who have a lesser attention span. Studies term this as a short term problem in kids, as it is bound to dwindle with aging. But a slight push from the parents could alleviate this niggle to offer them a more stabilized growth. Also, profound knowledge of subjects leads to mastery. Competence in any activity requires patience and immense focus to comprehend its intricacies. Hence, any little effort to retain their minimal focus could upgrade their proficiency in their talents and lead them to excel in their later years.
Some ways to control short attention span of children
1. Keep Them Busy
If children with attention disorders can be put to some random action every time, it can help them immensely. A little amount of idle time might revert them to their restless ways. Children who suffer focus issues generally shut off their brain or divert it to something that pulls their attention. Thus, activities that will keep them occupied is still an efficient way to have a hold on their focus. If that mind is left to wonder, there is a chance that their focus might get scattered for a long time. And funneling back their energy to anything will turn out to be very difficult. They get used to this scampering brain and in turn, lose their grip on focus. If we constantly pose them with activities to their challenging brain, even for shorter intervals, we might see a faster improvement.
2. Engage in Physical Activity
Some amount of physical exertions in the middle of their activities could channelize their juggling brain. This will give them sufficient calmness to their inquisitive mind. That calmness in turn will lead to a stimulation of focus in their lessons by lowering their shunting energy. Sometimes proper balancing of their energy is needed to stabilize the focus. An abundance of energy makes them constantly shuffle from one activity to another.
3. Do Not Stress
Taking their minds off from targets and competitions would destress their mind to a larger extent. Having an interest in something requires a lesser hold on validating their capacity at their age. Any child who is compelled to excellence will lose interest in his/her endeavors big time.
The need to stabilize focus with fun learning:
Although schools have adapted activity-based learning to their maximum extent possible, it is still inadequate for children who have a wavering mind and are too energetic. Zoning in their attention will be very difficult with anything that lacks vibrancy and entertainment. They have to be immediately captivated by the exercise at the sight of it. Anything colorful and engaging is needed to set their mind on something.
In recent times, there has been too much pondering on fun ways of teaching. Every school and parents have buckled up their creative minds to spruce up their teaching methods.
We will look into some of the fun ways to streamlining children’s focus.
Examples of Fun Learning to Steer Focus on Children
1. Make Learning Fun
Recently, a parent forum shared an exciting idea to get the child to do his revisions of lessons learned. The parent designed a snake and ladder game. It listed every cell with activities the child has to do when reaching that particular position. It was filled with different tasks like reciting the tables, narrating the story, and reading a book. This way of creating an atmosphere where the child has to put up with his lessons along with a gaming mode induces a fantasy in his actions. It will keep the child motivated at least for some time until their energy wires out.
Children lose concentration easily if learning is too theoretical. Every lesson to be imparted can be mended in ways that elevate their mojo. Memorizing the tables or learning any sequences could get monotonous and boring. What if it is encompassed with fun and laughter or physical activities? Any hyperactive child could be drawn to it. An excellent way of teaching them would be to thrust them into real-life challenges. A famous Montessori in Bengaluru conducted a workshop where they created a virtual fake shopping experience for children to understand the application knowledge of addition and subtraction. They also designed a fun app for children to play-learn mathematics to their potential.
2. Read Books for Role Play and Interaction
Reading books is mandated in every school nowadays. Very few turn out to opt for that choice, as the world is too visually inclined. And with social media, and the digital world streaming everything to be accessed by children, reading habits or writing has seen a decline in the current generation of kids. Recently, a famous institution just embarked on a scheme to put children to read books, by enforcing them to act out the parts they read. This way every child was keen on reading the books as they prepared to narrate their parts by play-acting the scenes they read.
As children are tempted with activities that challenge them, a group of psychology researchers conducted a recent study. It involved kids who perform role play as teachers. The research showed that such kids generally score high in understanding subjects, as they get to vent out their knowledge. This way, any child can be imparted their lessons where they get a chance to demonstrate their understanding. This would keep them enticed and focussed enough to get their lessons.
These are some of the methods that have been tested and trialed in recent times. When children are taught in these inquisitive ways, they have seemed to have adapted to their lessons faster with great focus. Some children are gifted with extreme patience and good focus. Thus, they immediately master and grow out of attention disorders effectively. Some children need external tuning from parents although casually, to drive them to excellence in their growing years.
Constant monitoring and help from parents can help kids excel. Please leave any tips that you have in the comments. We look forward to them!