Why is your friend’s child able to focus on worksheets and craft projects, while your kid is always so easily distracted? Generally, a three-year-old child has a shorter attention span than that of a five-year-old, explains Jaslin Neo, principal of Hundred Thoughts Preschool.
But the opposite can happen too. It is also important to know that a child’s attention span also depends on his environment, the activities he does, and whom he spends time with.
Here, Jaslin shares ways to help your kid increase his attention span.
(Also read: 8 ways to improve your child’s memory skills)
Learn through play
Children enjoy play as it allows them the freedom to create. Play stimulates their minds and helps develop abilities such as problem-solving.
Understand your child’s learning style(s)
Every child has a different learning style. He may be able to spend long periods of time fixing puzzles, but might not be able to spend the same amount of time on arts and crafts.
(Also read: 4 tips to improve your child’s selective attention)
Have a consistent routine
This establishes his body clock. For example, he will not focus well on an activity if he has to perform it during a time when he should be taking a nap.
Appeal to his interest
A child interested in a topic naturally becomes curious about what’s he learning and will be more motivated to stay focused.
Eliminate potential distractions
An environment filled with distractions will excessively stimulate your child and affect his attention span. Create an appropriate environment where he can pay attention to the activity itself.
Provide activities of appropriate energy level
Too many high-energy activities consecutively will cause him to become tired, which affects his attention span. Similarly, too many low-energy ones can leave him feeling restless as he isn’t moving around much.
(Also read: Your kid can’t focus? He needs to learn this)
Ensure activities offer appropriate complexity
If an activity is too complicated for him, he will feel overwhelmed and gives up. Having activities that vary from simple to difficult can inspire him to process the new knowledge before absorbing more.
(Also read: 4 ways to spend quality time with your child)
Remind him to complete one task at a time
If he has too many, he will feel overwhelmed and become confused as to which to start on first. Break down the to-do list into smaller tasks; this boosts his self-confidence.
(Also read: What to do when your toddler misbehaves to get your attention)