Are you worried your squirmy, silly, but so sweet preschooler will never learn to sit still and pay attention?
You’re not alone.
Many small children struggle with concentration, and allowing them to engage in social and active play is vital to their development.
However, there are ways you can foster concentration in your young child without forcing him or her to be still and quiet. Livestrong.com notes:
While a 3- or 4-year-old child can’t yet sit and pay attention for extended periods of time, developing focus and concentration is vital for later classroom success. As your child grows closer to starting school, focus-building is a must for kindergarten readiness. According to clinical psychologist Dr. Valerie Muter on dysTalk.com, parents can gradually build their child’s focus by providing activities that require several minutes of concentration and then add on to that time as he develops his focus skills.
3 Simple Tips to Develop Concentration
- Eliminate noise. We already live in a very distracting world, and for a preschooler, background noise such as the television, music, or talking can be very distracting. By giving your child a quiet place—or a white noise background—you are training him to recognize this is a time to focus.
- Plan breaks. When engaging in an activity that requires concentration, use a timer to alert your child when it is time to take a break. Brain breaks are beneficial, and, after a time of less controlled activity, your child will be able to refocus and complete his task. Plus, this has the added bonus of keeping you from having to answer every kid’s favorite question, “Are we done yet?”
- Don’t interrupt. When you observe your child concentrating, resist the urge to offer help or ask how he is doing. Instead, allow your child the space to problem solve and work at his own pace. By promoting activities that challenge but don’t frustrate, your child will be more likely to work independently and naturally focus on completion.
How do you know your child is concentrating? What activities do you see him or her engaged in and focused on?