There are many factors that can contribute to poor concentration.
Lack of sleep, hunger or thirst, disinterest in the task at hand, or external distractions are just several possible constituents that may lead to a wandering mind. So, what is a parent to do when their child is clearly struggling? Get Creative!
Here are some things you can do at home to help your child get unstuck and back on track.
- Get Them Up and Moving Around
Our brains need oxygen to function, which means that blood needs to be continuously flowing. When anyone sits for too long, the lack of oxygen can cause lapses in concentration, among other issues. By moving around, even for a couple of minutes, the brain is able to replenish its oxygen and improve its overall performance!
As far as activities go, something as simple as a brisk walk around the house, up the stairs, or around the yard is often enough to wake that thinker up again so that your child can finish the task at hand. If you really want to have fun with it, why not invite the entire family to a two-minute dance party in the living room?
- Make A Healthy Snack
There is a reason the term “brain food” came into existence, but it doesn’t refer to just any old snack. In fact, the key word above was “healthy!” Many people often turn to junk food as a quick and easy source of sugar and fat to tide the tummy over until the next actual meal, but there are many foods that will actually do your child’s body good (yours, too) and don’t take any longer than a junk food option!
Here are several quick and tasty options for a healthy snack:
Blueberries — A handful of these juicy, tangy berries will not only satisfy the craving for something sweet, but it will also give your kid a beneficial boost of antioxidants! These are extremely important, as they defend the cells in their bodies against free radicals.
Nuts and Seeds – Assuming your child isn’t allergic to any of them, a handful of nuts and seeds is a great way to deliver vitamin E and a little protein to their systems. Not only does the Vitamin E act in the same way that antioxidants do, the protein should help to curb their hunger until meal time.
Dark Chocolate – Once in awhile, you just need a little chocolate! As it turns out, a small piece of dark chocolate delivers a fresh dose of antioxidants, as well as a small amount of caffeine, which can stimulate the brain and help it wake up.
- Eliminate Distractions
Especially in today’s society of goldfish-like attentions spans, it can sometimes feel that multitasking is the only way to get things done. When it comes to true productivity, however, it usually turns out that the fewer distractions there are, the better.
Having the television or music playing in the background while your child is doing homework may not seem like a big deal, but it can be extremely hard to tune out, especially if they are working on something that is difficult or uninteresting for them.
By making sure your child has a neat, well-lit and distraction-free workspace for their assignments, it is more likely that they will finish their homework quickly and accurately!
- Make Time Goals
Sometimes, one of the easiest tricks to getting something done is to add a little urgency. If your child is dragging their feet to finish an assignment, try setting a timer! An oven timer, phone timer, or a fun, old-fashioned egg timer is all you need to give your child an extra spurt of motivation.
Try assigning a certain amount of time to each task that seems realistic and see how well your child stays within that limit. After all, it really is true that some people just work better under pressure!
Staying on track can be tedious at times, but these four simple steps are sure to help your child break free from their focus fog and move on to better things!