Exercises and tips for parents
Attention is a skill, that needs to be encouraged in childhood already and in the child's domestic environment, where they feel safe and accepted.
Problems of active and focused attention
In modern times and the fast pace of our lives, both adults and children are exposed to a multitude of stimuli in the environment and in ourselves. That is why it is important for us to learn how to calm down and focus on these stimuli, to become aware of them. It is the active attention that is of utmost importance for pupils at school, they have to gain it and build it up.
This way they can consciously direct and maintain attention on just one stimulus or goal which is most important to them at that moment. Active attention is necessary not only at school while gaining knowledge, at the learning process itself, but also later on in life.
Signs of inattention with children:
- They do not pay enough attention to detail.
- They make mistakes while doing schoolwork or during other activities.
- They have trouble maintaining attention at guided exercises or games.
- They cause a feeling as if they are not listening to us, although we are speaking to them.
- They do not follow instructions, they do not finish their exercises or tasks.
- During schoolwork or other activities, they have trouble with organization.
- They often refuse to take over exercises that require mental effort.
- They often lose things(toys, school things, slippers ...).
- External factors disrupt them easily.
- They often forget about their obligations.
Exercises and tips for parents
How can parents motivate and strengthen attention with their children at home on a daily basis?
- Regardless of everything, try to plan your daily routine so that it does not include too many different activities. The child should focus on one thing only (if possible, do not visit the zoo and the museum, go swimming and invite friends over for dinner on the same day).
- Try to get the child used to focus on one thing or activity at once (for example, at lunchtime, there should be no watching TV or browsing the internet). Set them an example. Even the body of an adult person requires focusing on one thing only.
- Encourage them to observe nature and the surroundings when on a walk, while driving in a car, ask them questions where 'yes' or 'no' is not enough.
- Encourage your child to move; when training how to keep one's balance and coordination, we train attention in general. Children learn through moving, so there is nothing wrong if they get dirty from time to time if they fall down or get into a fight...
- Try to get the children used to looking you in to your eyes or onto your mouth when you explain something to them or when giving instructions.
- Play games with the child that train their attention (finding differences, memorizing words, memory ...).
- Make sure the child's food is as diverse and as little processed as possible.
- Make sure the child gets enough rest and sleep.
- The instructions you give to your child should be short and clear.
- Set realistic expectations for your child which should have clear and logical consequences (by means of punishment and threats there will be no effect in the long run), but above all, notice the child's progress and effort and compliment them on it.
- Regardless of everything, make way for quality time with your child and give them your attention.
Tips for children attending primary school:
- When studying, they should take short breaks which, if possible, including moving.
- Their study place should be organized and should include as few disturbing factors as possible.
- The child should create a schedule for studying and activities, which gives them an overview of everything that they need to do.