With the increase in the usage of modern technology, experts are getting a bit worried that the attention span of children is decreasing. They claim that, on average, a 4-year-old should be able to stay focused on some task for at least 2-5 minutes. Meanwhile, in primary school children should be able to concentrate on one activity for about 5-20 minutes. If you are suspicious or worried that your child's attention span may be too low, we prepared for you 3 simple tips how to increase it. Try and let us know what you think about them! :)
1. Exercising body = exercising mind
Children are eager to move around and be active and when it comes to attention spans, there is strong mind-body connection. Lack of physical activity is the number 1 thing that can hurt the growth of one's brain, so think of ways how to ensure it for at least 20 minutes a day. It can running outside with your pet, or some active indoor game or activity, e.g. playing with big building blocks like GIGI! :)
2. Turn off electronics to turn on the focus
When children use electronics like a tablet, phone, or computer, they instantly turn off their brain. They are being entertained without having to think or lift a finger. As follows, this is not the activity that will benefit in increasing the attention span. So try replacing this time with other fun things to do, that have positive “side effects”. Or leave it to children to decide what they will do, as “boredom always precedes a period of great creativity” (Robert M.Pirsig).
Numerous psychologists and child care experts have invited parents to stop providing children with ready-made solutions, so firing up children imagination. Practice shows that children will be bored for like 5 minutes or so and then they will run off and start doing something else. Most importantly, that will most probably be something that will benefit more than just by increasing their attention span.
3. Allow your children to be...children
Yes, there are times when boundaries are good, but for the most of the time you must remember that children are simply children! They need to be active to express themselves. Allow your child to find what he likes to do and we are pretty sure that he will get carried away for even more than 2-5 minutes. Even better if you can ensure your children communicating and playing with others, as that is another kind of activity that steals away time and develops the ability to concentrate on one activity (e.g. when they will play hide and seek, your child will most probably play until others do). He won't notice it, but he will get carried away with one activity for a longer period of time.
Overall, these 3 tips are not revolutionary, but that is the key to success - to use simple tools in order to attain big things.
If this is something your mind is occupied with, share your ideas and let others know about what has worked for you and your family - share your experience and let's work on this together!