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The Secrets to Raising a Smarter Child
- By Inderbir Sandhu, Ph.D


Improving Your Child's Attention Span - Useful Techniques and Methods

By Andrew Loh

If you find your child is unable to concentrate or focus on a given task, do not despair or lose your heart. So many methods and techniques can help you train your children develop focus and concentration. The following suggestions can be very helpful for parents, who have children with short attention span.

#1 - Look and gaze at your children's' eyes when giving instructions. Children tend to obey their parents when they gaze at their eyes. This could be a factor that relates to the psychology of the children. Short commands with a firm voice may compel your child to listen to your instruction. This technique works very well for those children, who are unruly and undisciplined. Make sure that you are giving one or two short, but firm commands at a time. Ask your child to answer back to you aloud so that you can check if they have understood the instructions well. This will help your child upgrade memory power and enhance auditory powers.

#2 - Try to establish a daily routine with all activities and schedules. A child with short term memory span tends to do well with a rigid work schedule. Make sure that you allot a specific time for your children work on their tasks. Steer your children away from specific types of noises like TV and video game sounds. Other distracting sounds could be people talking in a loud voice, sound that come out of kitchen and disturbance caused by other children.

#3 - Restrict study time to shorter bursts of 20 minutes, so that children can regroup their senses and minds back to the study activities. Children who have short attention spans tend to develop boredom very easily. To avoid this, you can keep study time short, while moving from one subject to the other, with some time gap in between two sessions. Provide breaks to move around and take a short break.

#4 - Allowing children to move around the house during study time can help your children develop concentration. This will help them stimulate attention areas of the brain. Give a soft ball for playing; this will help transform the frustration and disappointment that resides within the brain to evaporate slowly.

#5 -Make sure that your child uses a clock or timer to complete certain assignments and tasks. A timer will help your children stick to the set schedule and work according to a definite duration. This will also speed up the learning process.

#6 - Post a to-do item sheet on the bedroom and kitchen wall. Ask your children to look at the poster every day. This poster should contain all common activities like eating breakfast, taking a shower, doing homework, reading etc. This simple activity will help your child develop independent thinking and self-motivation skills.

#7 - Reinforce positive behavior and award such behavior. There are times when your children behave in a normal and disciplined way. A positive reinforcement will go a long way to develop long attention span. Some examples are:

  • "I noticed that you were so quiet when I was talking to my friend on the phone"

  • "I heard that you were so patient enough to hear what your teacher was saying about homework"

  • "I was so surprised to see that you were cleaning your room all by yourself"
    A reward could be a simple hug or saying thank you. Or, it could even be a small ice cream cone!

#8 - Broken rules are common in all homes. Never ever, start a blaming game or scold or ridicule your children for those broken rules. You can spoil your children by doing so. Make sure that you are patient enough to hear what your children want to say about those broken rules. Listen to their problem and try to find out a solution.

#9 - Provide age-appropriate activities to your children. This will help your children master the assigned tasks in an easy manner. Children always feel good about helping you with small tasks.

#10 - Make sure to restrict TV and video games to a bare minimum, so that they will not result in your children short attention spans.

#11 - Help your children read story books, sing songs or play outside in your garden or in a park. These simple activities will help them release stress and tension.

#12 - Play chess with your children. Chess is a great game and it helps your children streamline long term attention span and memory. It also helps your children develop intelligence and cognitive powers.

#13 - Music is a great smoothening agent to calm down nerve cells. Music also helps your child develop listening abilities, memory, thinking power, academic learning, social skills and sensory integration.

Featured Resource

10 Days to a Less Distracted Child: The Breakthrough Program that Gets Your Kids to Listen, Learn, Focus, and Behave
By Jeffrey Bernstein, Ph.D

A fresh, practical, and completely original take on handling inattentive/hyperactive children! Anecdotal examples throughout help parents understand their kids, improve focus and organization at school, and eliminate other distracted or inappropriate behaviours at home.

This wonderful book has everything that a parent can do to teach and train their children to increase their attention span. A highly useful book, parents can use some of the most effective techniques available.


Featured Resource


Child Development

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