Focus is an area that we all struggle with from time to time, and some of us struggle more with focus than others. It comes as no surprise that children are the same. The good news is that when we set good habits and continually work on focus, we can help our kids increase their focus - the same holds true for adults. If you’ve had difficulty getting your child to focus on the task at hand, just know that you aren’t alone. In this article, we’re going to give you tips that have worked for other parents who want to help their kids focus. Here are 5 ways to keep your kids on task:
1 - Eliminate Distractions
The first way to help your child stay on task is to remove distractions. This means temporarily removing toys, tablets, phones, and anything else that could take your child’s attention off the task at hand. One of the biggest distractions is screens, so be sure to turn off the television, computer, and any other device that is not essential to the task at hand. Eliminating distractions can even mean putting the new puppy in another room.
2 - Set Realistic Goals
Let your child know what’s expected of him or her, but be sure to set realistic goals. You don’t want to set your child up for failure, but you do want to set structure through goals. This lets your child know what he or she should be working towards. Working towards attainable goals can be met by optimism by kids - just as by adults. When kids know that they are working toward goals they can reach, they will be more likely to focus on getting the task completed.
3 - Offer Rewards for Goals Achieved
When you set forth the goals for the task your child will be working on, let him or her know what they will receive once they’ve completed their job. Whether they are cleaning their room or studying for a test, offer a tasty treat, a dollar, some time with their favourite toy or anything that gives them an incentive for the work they are about to be doing. This incentive will help keep your child focused on their goals.
4 - Give a Time Frame for the Task’s Completion
To help give your child an extra boost for their focus, set a time frame for the task they’ll be working on. If your child knows that they only have thirty minutes to clean their room, or complete their maths homework, then they’ll stay focused because they want to reach their goal before the time is up. Make sure that you’re giving your child enough time to get the task done, but also be sure not to give them too long. A sense of urgency can help keep your child focused.
5 - Break Big Tasks Into Smaller Ones
Breaking bigger tasks into smaller ones is especially helpful for younger children, although it can be beneficial for kids of all ages. For instance, if you tell a child to clean the kitchen, they might not know where to begin if they’ve never cleaned the kitchen before. Start by instructing them to take the trash out first, load the dishwasher, and then wipe the countertops. This is similar to the way our Artventure Art Classes are taught where a child may be intimidated by trying to create their own artwork from scratch, by breaking it down into clear steps and stages, children move effortlessly towards completing the bigger task at hand. When your child has a few clear instructions, they’ll be able to stay more focused to get those tasks completed.
All of these strategies are beneficial for children of all ages. It’s important to remain consistent in any strategy you choose. If you offer a reward, make sure to follow through so that your child will stay on-task next time. If you have any tips or tactics that you use, share them with us!