Parents want to see their children excel in their endeavors, develop their talents, hone their skills, and improve and apply their knowledge. When children are well-rounded, they have a greater chance of growing up able to build positive relationships, make important contributions to society, and maintain opinions, beliefs and perspectives that help them make more informed decisions and better choices.
A world full of distractions
However, it can be challenging for parents and teachers to effectively motivate and guide young ones through a fruitful learning processes when there are too many distractions that can take their attention and focus away from productive pursuits and learning opportunities. Video games, social media, TV programs, popular trends, mobile devices—all these (and more) can prevent a child from properly concentrating on essential tasks and demonstrating good judgment and decision-making abilities at school, at home, and in the general public.
A solution that starts at home
If you’re a mother or a father (or both) to a child with plenty of potential for future success, you’ll be happy to discover that there are a number of ways to help improve your child’s focus and guide him toward the right goals. Here are five simple thing you can try:
Develop a positive work ethic
Most parents will not think there’s anything wrong with praising a child for being naturally and effortlessly smart, but this practice could be wreaking havoc on a child’s ability to focus and work toward a specific aim.
When children maintain a fixed mindset that they have only a specific level of intelligence (which cannot be raised), they are not inspired to work harder and to welcome challenges that would help them rise above their perceived level. If a parent were to praise a child’s efforts to achieve a goal, on the other hand, a child learns that working harder can help them attain better results, and will thus be more focused on constantly improving themselves.
Adults tend to do several things at the same time—talk on the phone, prepare breakfast, sift through mail, etc. Kids may mimic these actions, thinking that multitasking is the more efficient way of getting things done. On the contrary, multitasking causes you to pay little attention to each task, leading to poor quality results. Aiming to concentrate fully on each task at hand is the better strategy for getting things done.
Set an example
As parents, you should remember that children follow your speech and movements closely and believe that your way of doing things is the right way. Be mindful of practicing being more focused with your own tasks so that kids can see how much more beneficial it can be.
Organize exercises that can boost attention
Take every moment together as an opportunity to teach kids to pay more attention to things. Make up games that would have them searching for specific plants at the park or remembering names of people they’ve just met at a family reunion. Recruit them as your assistants in baking cookies and teach them to measure out ingredients and follow instructions accurately.
Engage in activities that help the whole family focus on each other more
Finally, nothing teaches a child to be focused more than cultivating a home environment that values and respects each member. When you eat dinner, watch a movie in the living room or get ready for school and work, take time to check on each other, tell each other stories, follow up on concerns or problems, and offer to help with projects or activities. Paying attention to each other’s needs and wants helps your child become more perceptive and responsive.