14 tips and tricks to boost attention span of your child - Hindustan Times
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14 tips and tricks to boost attention span of your child

By, New Delhi
Apr 02, 2024 02:10 PM IST

Younger children have shorter attention spans, but it should gradually increase with age. Here's what you should do if your child's attention span is too short.

In the digital age, attention spans are diminishing due to multiple distractions in the form of notifications, videos and other captivating content. Children, in particular, struggle to maintain focus on tasks, which makes it imperative for parents to inculcate healthy habits in them to prevent digital overexposure. Attention span is the amount of time spent focussing on a task before becoming distracted. Younger children have shorter attention spans, but it should gradually increase with age. Here's what you should do if you feel your child's attention span is too short. (Also read | Screen time dilemma decoded: New study explores risks and benefits of digital engagement in children; what expert says)

How to increase your child's focus: To boost attention span of your child, it's important to introduce your little one to mindfulness practices and meditation. (Freepik)
How to increase your child's focus: To boost attention span of your child, it's important to introduce your little one to mindfulness practices and meditation. (Freepik)

To boost attention span of your child, it's important to introduce your little one to mindfulness practices and meditation. These practices help improve concentration and remain in the present. It is important to assign a separate study area to your child which is free of distractions so that your kid can focus on the task without breaking their attention. Encourage your child to participate in sports or play outdoors as physical activity can improve brain function.

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Dr. Prashant Moralwar, Consultant Paediatrician, Motherhood Hospital Kharghar says additionally memory games, taking regular study breaks, and outdoor games can help improve attention span of a child.

TIPS TO BOOST ATTENTION SPAN

1. Mindfulness: One effective tip to boost your child's attention span is to practice mindfulness practices. Teaching your child simple breathing exercises or incorporating meditation into the daily routine can help to calm the mind and improve concentration. Mindfulness can train the brain to stay present and avoid distractions, enhancing focus.

2. Minimising distractions: Another approach is to create a controlled environment that minimises distractions. Did you know? A designated study space for your child with 'no' visual and auditory disturbances can help them stay determined when it comes to any task or studies. This will help the child to increase his/her attention span and complete any given tasks successfully.

3. Taking breaks: Even a routine with scheduled breaks can prevent burnout and maintain sustained attention throughout the day. It is essential to take breaks from studies to rejuvenate and feel better. Doing so can help you feel relaxed.

4. Physical activity: Engaging your child in physical activity is key to increasing their attention span. Encourage regular exercise or outdoor play as it helps release to improve cognitive function. Physical movement stimulates brain activity, leading to proper concentration and better grasping of the information. Incorporating movement breaks during long periods of studying or screen time can improve your child's focus and productivity. The child needs to do regular physical activity. Hence, opt for walking, running, swimming, cycling, or gymnastics of course under the guidance of an expert.

5. Memory games: Are you aware? Playing memory games can do the trick. Yes, that’s right! Memories games help interestingly sharpen that focus for kids so that they can focus during a challenging situation. So, having regular times in the normal school day where the class plays memory games can improve the attention of children. It is a good idea to add memory games to encourage this type of play during free time. Parents should try to engage in memory games with the child and they will surely be able to concentrate on their studies or any other task assigned to them.

Dr. Jyoti Kapoor, Founder-Director and Senior Psychiatrist, Manasthali suggests establishing healthy routines for your child, limiting screen time and fostering a healthy lifestyle.

6. Establish clear routines: Consistency is key when it comes to improving attention span. Establishing clear daily routines helps children anticipate what comes next, reducing anxiety and increasing their ability to focus. Ensure that routines include dedicated time for activities that require concentration, such as reading, homework, or creative play.

7. Limit screen time: Excessive screen time can hinder attention span development in children. Set reasonable limits on TV, video games, and other digital devices. Encourage alternative activities that engage their minds and bodies, such as outdoor play, board games, or arts and crafts. When screens are unavoidable, opt for educational and interactive content.

8. Break tasks into manageable chunks: Long, complex tasks can overwhelm children and cause their attention to wander. Break tasks into smaller, manageable chunks, and encourage your child to focus on completing one part at a time. Celebrate their progress along the way to boost motivation and reinforce their ability to sustain attention.

9. Healthy lifestyle: A balanced diet, regular exercise, and sufficient sleep are essential for optimal brain function and attention span. Ensure your child receives nutritious meals, stays physically active, and maintains a consistent sleep schedule. Avoid sugary snacks and caffeinated beverages, as they can negatively impact concentration and behaviour.

Dr. Tanushri Mukherjee, Consultant – Paediatrician and Neonatologist, Cloudnine Group of Hospitals, Mumbai, Malad says that parents must support their child by giving clear instructions, make learning fun and setting age-appropriate screen time.

10. Be supportive: Be a patient, supportive, and empathetic parent. Recognize that attention span varies with age and as children grow, they develop the ability to focus for longer time. Repetition of a task or practice makes it better.

11. Help them with instructions: Give clear, concise, simple, step-by-step instructions. Make a realistic goal. Let them help with small household chores.

12. Make learning fun: Encourage active fun learning, like reading favourite books together, solving a puzzle, playing chess, and making a Lego. Be a role model. Be with them physically.

13. Avoid distraction and over-stimulation. Set age-appropriate screen time.

14. Use praise and positive re-enforcement: The rewards should be age-appropriate and preferably not materialistic. Like a star chart, stickers, small toys, and a little extra playtime. Encourage their efforts even if it's incomplete.

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