Focusing on a task for any length of time isn’t easy. Helping your child learn to Focus is a very important life skill. Here are some Ideas we use in our classes at Dragon Gate.
Set Age Appropriate Task: A lot of times children lose focus because the task is either too easy or too hard. Take a close look at the task and make sure it is age appropriate for your child.
Divide Big Projects Into Small Tasks: Big projects can overwhelm. Divide big task into smaller achievable successes. This will increase your child’s confidence as they complete each smaller version of the bigger project. As confidence increases so will there focus.
Minimize Distractions: Children do not have the ability yet to block out distractions. So setting them up for success is important. Find an area for them to sit quietly and do homework and projects. At Dragon Gate, we teach our students how to perform with distractions. But this takes time, it doesn’t happen overnight.
Teach How To Set Goals: Goals can be a great way to increase your child’s ability to focus. When your child sets goals (with your guidance and rewards for reaching them) they can become a great motivator.
Use Praise, Correct, and Praise: At Dragon Gate, we use Praise, Correct, Praise, Some children have a hard time being corrected. Before you correct them praise them for doing something right. Then you correct the mistake and when you catch them doing it right praise them again. (The worst thing to do is miss it when they do it right and then correct them again for doing it wrong) We find that praise goes a long way with getting our students to strive for excellence.
Memory Games: Memory games are great for teaching concentration. We use a lot of these to get our students to focus. The ability to focus is like a muscle. With practice, a person can learn to focus for longer and longer.
Avoid Overscheduling: Kids that are taking from one activity to another can feel overwhelmed. Be sure to allow for downtime. Their young minds and bodies need time to recover from an activity.
Let Your Child Know Ahead Of Time Before Changing Activities: When you want your child to switch focus from one activity to another, give a few minutes warning time. For example, if a child is playing a game but will need to begin practicing karate soon, give him a five-minute warning. The transition will be easier and your child will be able to refocus on the new task faster.
Set a Timer: I did this with my son. I play to beat the clock. He did not want to do his homework. So I set a stopwatch to show him that if he focused on doing his homework it took less time than complaining about it and then doing it.