What to do when your child struggles to concentrate on studies

This blog was written in collaboration with Yati Shah. Yati is a Counseling Psychologist and has been dealing with children for over five years now.

At Curiositi, we’re wholeheartedly dedicated to making learning fun for children. We’re here to help you, parents, identify problems and tackle them to make learning easy for your child. We recently conducted a survey to uncover the problems that children face while studying. With more than Five Thousand parents participating in the survey, we realised that lack of concentration is one of the biggest complaints across age-groups and locations. But we bet that you wouldn’t have thought about the perspective and solutions that we’re about to provide to you with. However, at the onset, it is important to note that before you (parent) call a problem “a problem”, you must know the root cause of it. Read on to know what these “problems” are and how you can effectively deal with them.

My child is not concentrating enough!”

Is it you who has noticed this pattern? Or is it your child’s teacher who has brought this to your notice? And, are you sure that it is not attention span, but concentration that you’re addressing? If the child is not concentrating in class, it could be the ‘attention span’ that the teacher is addressing. Attention is a part of the concentration. Concentration, on the other hand,  is a term that is casually used to describe attention. Attention span varies from child to child and age to age.

Most children’s attention span does not last beyond fifteen to twenty minutes (depending on the age)

If the child is fidgety, then it may appear that they are not ‘concentrating’ in class. Let’s say your child is attending a thirty-minute class and has been attentive for only fifteen minutes. Here, it is important to understand how much has the child grasped in those fifteen minutes. Maybe, your child has grasped everything taught in those twenty minutes as opposed to another student who has only paid half-hearted attention throughout the class. Let’s say your child has spent half an hour on homework. In the given half an hour, how many exercises has the child been able to solve? How many concepts has he/she learnt? If you’re going to compare this to the child who has spent one hour on the homework but hasn’t learnt much, then you need to rethink this. It is not the time, but how much has the child grasped in the given amount of time that matters!

Concentration is bringing down the attention to one particular task. In simpler terms, paying focused attention to a particular task. There are numerous ways in which you can help increase your child’s concentration. A few minutes of meditating; or focusing on your breathing till the count of five or eight in the morning, can work wonders for your child’s concentration. Set a routine for your child – so that their brain gets used to performing tasks and studying at pre-allotted times. If your child is finding completing an exercise difficult, then divide it into smaller parts. These basic steps will certainly go a long way in helping your child concentrate better. It is very important that you also become a part of child’s study process. If you actively participate in the meditation or focus activities initially, it will help the child.

“My child is lazy!”

To begin with, you must, under all circumstances, avoid attributing labels to your child. Attaching a label can reinforce a child’s belief about themselves

So, if you keep repeating it, your child will believe that they are lazy, even if they are not. And, even if your child is lazy, you can always work it. Labels attributed at a young age stay for a long time. Now, there could be numerous reasons why your child is not doing what they are supposed to. It is okay if your child does not like certain subjects which could be one reason for laziness. Instead of ridiculing your child for it, help them develop an affinity towards the subject. Maybe, the child is not comfortable with the teacher’s way of teaching. In this case, sit with your child and help them understand the concepts better. The lack of interest on the child’s part to complete homework could be attributed to the muscular or motor controls of the child and not laziness.There are numerous tests that your child can take to ascertain the motor issues. An occupational therapist helps to deal with the same. These are just a few case studies that we can address in this blog. However, it is recommended that you talk to the child to understand what the issue is. Or even better, talk to a counsellor to understand the root cause of laziness. It is important that the child confides in you so that both of you can work on this issue together.

“My child does not sit at one place!”

This is a common problem faced by parents of children across all age groups. But naturally, children are more attracted towards playing and everything else that seems to be more fun!

The teaching method in schools is mostly passive which makes understanding concepts difficult

So, most children may avoid completing the homework because they do not understand the subject in the classroom. Using technology, introducing the child to activity-based learning kits and other methods can make studying fun for your kids. Also, every child has a different learning method – visual, auditory, and kinesthetic (using touch and actions to understand). It is important to experiment and ascertain which learning method suits your kid. This could enable you to help them understand the subject and complete homework.

This subject is as deep as the ocean. The more one talks, the lesser it seems! As we deal with these issues, it is important to understand that you need to go beyond focussing on the child’s shortcoming. You must also make it a point to reinforce what the child has been able to achieve.

We hope that this blog has been helpful in addressing your concerns. You can post your feedback in the comments section or write in to us with your questions.We will do our best to solve your doubts at the earliest. We are also going to have a podcast on a similar subject, so stay tuned for more updates.

Nikita is a Social Media Marketing Intern at Curiositi. She supports content development. She loves to paint and sketch during her free time.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *