8 tips to build your children’s attention span

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How do you improve you children's concentration? Experts from Marshall Cavendish Education share tips on how to build concentration in your children.

“You need to pay attention!” is a phrase that we often use as parents.

We are constantly telling our children to remain focussed, no matter what they are doing: studying, playing the piano, painting, or swimming.

But what benefits can children, or for that matter anyone derive from paying attention and concentrating? How does concentrating our attention aid learning?

Education experts from Marshall Cavendish Education answer these questions from readers of theAsianparent.

Marshall Cavendish Expert Panel

How does paying attention help in learning?

According to Chitra Pillay Chua, English Associate Lecturer at Marshall Cavendish Institute, “Attention is our brain focusing on something to the exclusion of other stimuli around us. It enables us to apply information that we have learnt. Learning is the process by which our brain memorises, integrates, internalises and applies new information. Thus, we can see that both processes lead to the same destination. Simply put, pay attention, if you want to learn effectively!”

During the learning process, we often handle a great amount of information. Attention helps retain the information and translates it from short-term to long-term memory.

In other words, information that is temporarily held in our brain will soon be lost unless a conscious effort is made in retaining it for more permanent storage. By simply paying attention, we can greatly increase the chances of long-term memory.

So, if our children do not pay attention in a lesson they will only be able to recall bits and pieces of what was taught. If we were to ask them familiar questions about what was asked in class, they would struggle to give a comprehensive answer.

So how can we help our children remain focussed?

Here are some tips that you can easily implement at home.

Tips To Improve Children’s Concentration

Avoiding multitasking and removing all digital devices helps build concentration in children.

Avoid multitasking

Before we tell you how you can actually encourage attention in your children, we tell you what not to do.

One of the things to avoid is multitasking. According to Chitra Pillay Chua, over time multiple studies have proven that contrary to popular belief, multitasking lowers efficiency and productivity.

She adds, “In fact, a study by the University of London has shown that multitasking lowers participants’ IQ the same way drug abuse or a sleepless night does! So switch off that TV or computer and put away that smart phone during homework time.”

So what should we do instead?

“Focus on one thing at a time,” she says.

Get rid of digital devices

Michelle Choo, Maths Associate Lecturer at Marshall Cavendish Institute shares her opinion too.

She suggests getting rid of digital devices. According to her, “We, as parents, often fall prey to babysitting our little ones using these digital gadgets without realising the highly possible detrimental effects in the long term.”

Once you have eliminated the multitasking as well as the digital devices, here are six other things that you can do to build your child’s concentration.

What are the tips to improve children’s concentration? Click on next to find out.

Ages & Stages Toddler Kids Preteen