It’s perfectly natural and quite normal for the vast majority of kids to show signs of focus issues when growing up. After all, it’s hardly a secret that most children go through extensive periods of their early life with attention spans of about 30 seconds – something that only seems to then return with a bang when they hit their teens.
However, for a much smaller minority of kids there can be issues with focus and attention that are altogether more severe and prolonged. There comes a time in every kid’s childhood where it becomes necessary to hone their focus and attention skills as a means by which to facilitate their development. The importance of focusing attention when attending school for example cannot be overstated, so what’s to be done in the instance of a child for whom focus seems to be a much more severe problem?
Well, according to the experts at www.integratedtreatmentservices.co.uk the first and most important thing to do is seek the input of a professional. Initial consultations are usually sufficient to identify if and when there’s a problem, in order to then establish an appropriate course of treatment or therapy. But at the same time however, there’s also plenty any parent can do to help their own child’s focus issues and give them the best chance of overcoming their obstacles.
For example, there’s really nothing worse that scolding or chastising a child for not paying attention as this will do absolutely zero to help combat the problem. It can be very difficult not to snap when a child just seems wholly unwilling or unable to pay attention or focus on anything of importance, but the more negatively you react, the more negatively they’ll respond.
Instead, work hard to be as positive as possible by not focusing on the consequences of poor focus, but by communicating the positive side and the benefits of paying attention when needed. It’s a little bit like incentivising their positive habits in order to help build habits that will eventually set in for life.
Create a Schedule and Stick to It
When children have focus issues, it’s generally found that they find it harder to pay attention when and where they don’t have something of a set schedule or routine to follow. By contrast, when certain times of the day are set aside for certain activities and tasks, the fact that the child knows what’s coming allows them to prepare mentally for what’s to come and thus stand a much better chance of paying attention.
If you do decide to go ahead and create a schedule, it’s imperative that you involve your child in the process as this in itself is a fantastic lesson in organisation, time management and indeed focus on any given task. Allow them to have some input into what they do and when – this way they’re more likely to stick to it without undue fuss.
Encourage Frequent Breaks
One of the most common mistakes made by parents with distracted children is that of sitting them down with any specific task and having them stay put until it’s done. If they have a genuine focus problem, chances are this will do nothing but frustrate them and make it nigh-on impossible for them to complete the task.
By contrast, if you allow the child to take frequent breaks after every set period of time – 15/20 minutes for example – they’re only required to focus in much shorter bursts and are therefore much more likely to succeed. It’s a case of building up slowly, rather than throwing them in at the deep end head-first.
Last but not least, it’s worth bearing in mind that when a child has trouble focusing on anything of importance, it’s usually because they have…or at least think they have…more important/fun things to focus their attention on. As such, one of the very best ways of encouraging them to focus on anything in particular is to limit the number of other distractions around that may steal their focus.
Obvious examples would be the toys and games around, but also bear in mind that if a distracted child can even see a TV or hear a radio, chances are their mind will wander soon enough. It’s not a case of locking yourselves in a dark and lifeless room with no sounds, windows or objects whatsoever, but rather keeping their primary distractions out of sight, out of mind.