The Real Reason Why Your Child Struggles to Focus and Concentrate
It’s natural for young children to have a relatively short attention span. In fact, an average toddler’s attention span is only between 3 to 6 minutes! Children are easily distracted, aside from the fact that they are most curious in their toddler years and would always find creative ways to explore the world around them.
Focus and concentration, on the other hand, are quite a different story. Though it’s normal for kids to easily get distracted, some children struggle to focus and pay attention more than others. If you are a parent of a toddler, and you find yourself in the same situation, you are not alone. This blog reveals the real reason why your child struggles to focus and concentrate!
Recent studies show that the number one reason why more and more children have declined focus and attention is because of the increase in screen time. The 2022 Ofcom report on media use, found that one in six children ages 3 to 4 years old has access to a mobile phone or a tablet. In the same report, it was found that among kids aged 3 to 17 years old, using video-sharing websites (VSPs) like YouTube or TikTok was the most popular internet activity (at 95%). And, it’s alarming to know that only 4 in 10 parents know the minimum age requirement to access these video-sharing platforms.
In the 2019 Ofcom report, children in the UK aged 5 to 15 years old spend an average of 2 hours a day watching television, and four hours of screen time. Some parents reason that gadgets keep their children behave, so they use them as “babysitters” so they can work on house chores or do work-related stuff.
The mere presence of a smartphone or a gadget that has access to the internet affects a person’s ability to focus. An average adult would get distracted by a single notification from social media and would spend minutes scrolling when they did not intend to do initially. Gadget distraction doubles or even triples in a naturally curious child.
Too much screen time and free access to gadgets are the reasons why your child struggles to concentrate. The good thing is there’s still something that you can to do improve your child’s focus and concentration.
How to Improve Focus and Concentration in Children
Reading books is still one of the best ways to improve concentration in children. When you read a book with your child, you develop their concentration by focusing their attention on the story alone. When your child gets hooked on the story that you are reading with them, they become more attentive, thus, training themselves to sit down, behave, and finish a whole storybook with you.
However, transitioning from loud gadgets to quiet book reading time can be quite a challenge, especially for the little ones. The first step is to find the book that will get your child interested in reading. Books with personalised elements give the child a sense of direct personal ownership, an important element in seeing oneself as a reader (Dymore and Griffiths, 2010). Moreover, personalised books also influence the child’s attention and emotional attachment to the story (Schiefele, 1999 as cited by Clark and Phythian-Sence).
The child’s focus and concentration are very crucial to effective learning in school. When the child lacks focus, he/she will not be able to fully grasp ideas in class and in the books in school. In preparing your child for school, focus and concentration are keys areas of development that you need to work on with your child.
Improving focus and concentration means increasing their chance to learn more!