Parental Resources – Helping Distracted Children Become More Focused

In the real world, it isn’t exactly unusual for kids of most ages to present focus issues from time to time. In fact, it’s actually quite normal for children at various stages during their development to come across as quite spectacularly easily distracted. And of course, exactly the same can be said for the teenage years of most youngsters when even a 30-second attention span might be overly optimistic.

Helping Distracted Children

Nevertheless, there will always be thousands of children for whom distraction represents a significant and on-going problem that demands attention, or even professional intervention. The good news however is that in all such cases, there is always plenty that can be done to help on the part of both the parents of the child and professional service providers if required.

According to the experts at www.integratedtreatmentservices.co.uk, it is always prudent and advisable to organise a consultation with a professional if there is even the slightest concern that a child has a genuine problem with focus and concentration. More often than not, it will turn out that there is really not a great deal to worry about and advice will be provided to help address the issue. But if it turns out that there is a somewhat deeper issue to address, the earlier it is brought to the attention of the professionals, the better.

Here’s a quick look at just four simple tips from the experts on how to help distracted children become more focused and attentive:

Avoid Negativity

As a parent, it can be incredibly frustrating to continually reach out to and make efforts for a child who doesn’t seem to be willing to give anything in return.  The inability or unwillingness to focus on anything whatsoever for more than a few seconds can be infuriating for parents to say the least, but when it comes to negative reactions, they will only ever make things worse than they already are.

It’s the classic case of working hard to avoid the need to punish problematic behaviour and instead reward and incentivise positive behaviour. Or in other words, you are looking to play a role in their building of positive habits by giving them a reason to behave positively.

Timetables and Schedules

It’s been proven time and time again that to create daily and weekly timetables and schedules can be enormously helpful and beneficial for anyone with concentration and focus issues. It’s the same for kids as it is for adults – if you do not know where you are supposed to be, what you are supposed to be doing and how long you are supposed to be doing it for, you may find yourself and your actions/activities somewhat all over the place.

It is particularly effective in the case of children, however, as if you can establish a routine that they understand, accept and perhaps even enjoy, it will make concentration and time management much easier. The key in this instance being to make sure that the child in question is involved in the creation of the timetable/schedule in the first place, so as not to make them feel as if they are being forced into something they have no control over.

Rest Periods

While instinct may tell you that the very best way of approaching a child with concentration issues is to provide them with the task and not allow them to walk away until it is complete, this has the potential to do more harm than good. The reason being that if the child really is struggling with a genuine focus and concentration issue, it may be borderline impossible for them to perform in such a manner.

Instead, it is usually much more effective to provide them with tasks and ensure that they are given rest periods every 20 minutes or so – or wherever deemed appropriate. It can often work better to focus on initially encouraging the child in question to focus and concentrate on tasks and activities in short bursts interspersed with rest periods, as opposed to simply expecting them to instantly adapt to heavy and prolonged concentration.

The Right Setting

Lastly, in the case of children that are easily distracted and find it difficult to concentrate, you may find yourself in a situation where almost anything and everything in the vicinity represents a potential distraction. As is the case in a more formal classroom setting therefore, it can often be a good idea to think carefully about the environment as a whole and to ensure that distractions are limited or removed altogether.

Creating the right setting doesn’t necessarily mean an uninspiring and overly-formal room that feels almost like a prison cell. Instead, it’s about creating comfort, a welcoming environment and minimal distractions to take focus away from the activities/tasks provided.

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