When it comes to your child’s education, is a lack of focus getting in the way? Does it feel like, no matter how many times you try to read material with your child, he or she can’t seem to pay attention? Is he or she constantly moving about, fidgeting, daydreaming, or struggling to stay on task in class?
You’re not alone.
Over 11% of children ages 4-17 struggle with focus. Whether this is because of ADHD, a learning disability, or another factor, finding strategies to help your child stay alert and engaged will help him or her feel more successful in and out of school.
Here are five little changes you can make to help your child focus:
1. Create a quiet homework space.
For many children (especially those who struggle with transitions), the shift from school to home can be tough. In order to create a more peaceful home learning environment, create a quiet space for your child to work on homework.
It’s important that if this space is within the bedroom, it’s clean and distraction-free. If it’s outside of the bedroom, removing toys or anything that would make this feel like a ‘play’ space is important.
2. Set up a regular routine.
Once a quiet place is established, it’s easier to create a regular routine. Routines help children, especially those who are easily distracted, know what’s expected. If there is a consistent plan for where and when to do homework, it will help your child focus and be prepared to do his or her work.
3. Establish breaks and rules about when they happen.
Breaks are meaningful, especially for children who have issues staying on task or completing their work. A rewards system can be a useful tool to help your child during his homework (and during school, too).
Talk to your child beforehand, and establish rules about when breaks happen and what they look like. For example, after a certain amount of time on task, your child could play with a fidget, toy, or electronic device, or be able to take a walk. As a parent, you’ll have to figure out what works best and be reasonable about what you offer. However, this break can create an incentive for your child to manage his or her focus more independently.
4. Be supportive rather than critical.
As parents, you’re the closest people to your child. It’s important to show your child that you’re in support of him or her, especially if you suspect a learning disability or other factor getting in the way of attention.
Although a lack of focus can be frustrating, try to be less critical of your child’s behaviors, especially as you navigate different rewards systems, behavior monitoring, and other strategies. Some things will work, and some won’t. It’s important to be your child’s advocate, not critic.
5. Get a consultation for additional strategies.
If you suspect a learning disability or ADHD, a great way to help learn more about your child’s specific needs is to set up a free consultation. This way, you can talk about your concerns, see options, and get next steps to help your child learn best.
Even if you don’t suspect a learning disability, but still want to help your child focus and be more successful at home and in the classroom, getting a free consultation will help you know what you can do to support your child and understand the way he or she learns.
Call now to set up an appointment! (858) 367-5428 Or send us an email for more information.