Quick tips to help kids focus
- Quick tip 1Make sure they’re actively listening.Make sure they’re actively listening.
Help kids focus by asking them to repeat back what you say. Then, follow up and make sure they remember it.
- Quick tip 2Remove distractions.Remove distractions.
Turn off the TV or go to a quiet area away from other people who are talking. Get rid of clutter in a work space. Or have kids sit away from the window when they work.
- Quick tip 3Get focused through mindfulness.Get focused through mindfulness.
Mindfulness exercises and deep breathing are great for focus. They help people keep their thoughts from drifting — before or during a task.
- Quick tip 4Ask what would help.Ask what would help.
Some people focus better when they’re moving or standing. Others find it easier when they listen to music. Ask what works for them.
- Quick tip 5Try using a fidget.Try using a fidget.
Having something to fidget with, like a stress ball, can actually help some kids focus. For others, though, it’s a distraction. So keep an eye on whether it’s helpful or making it harder to focus.
- Quick tip 6Use a signal to get them back.Use a signal to get them back.
To refocus kids when their mind wanders, come up with a signal they’ll recognize. It could be a specific word or a gesture, like touching your ear.
Sometimes, just being a kid can make it hard to focus. Other kids laughing when you’re trying to pay attention during class. Friends texting when you’re doing chores. With all the distractions that come with being a kid, it’s common to have trouble concentrating from time to time.
But some kids constantly have trouble staying focused, and it can cause problems in school and in everyday life.
Maybe their room is always messy because they get distracted when they’re trying to clean up. And people often notice the result first — like a messy room — instead of the behavior that caused it. They may wrongly assume that kids are being lazy or defiant.
Focus challenges are real. Kids may really want to focus and work hard at it, and still struggle to concentrate on what they’re doing.
Sometimes, kids have trouble focusing because of something that’s going on in their lives, like a fight with a friend or excitement over a party. Going through stressful situations, like a move, a death in the family, or a shift to distance learning, can affect focus, too.
Being hungry can have an impact. The same goes for lack of sleep. When kids are sleep-deprived, they’re easily distracted and more likely to make errors.
But when kids have ongoing trouble with focus, it could be caused by ADHD.