How do I help my child focus in school?

Helping Our Children Focus in School

As a parent, it can be discouraging to see your child struggling to keep up in school. It feels disappointing, upsetting, and frustrating when you believe that they don’t make enough effort to concentrate. Yet, oftentimes, there are other explanations why a child doesn’t like going to school, has difficulties concentrating, and has poor grades. Getting to the root of the problem is the key to understanding how to help your child focus and get the most out of their experience.

Possible Obstacles to Concentration

To begin, let’s look at some common reasons that children are not to be able to concentrate in school.

  • It’s important to understand that the traditional school system is not easy for every kid. While some have no problems following the rules, keeping quiet, and studying when they have to, others feel completely lost and disoriented. The traditional school system does not take into account the fact that we are all different and that there are many different ways to learn. As a result, many kids have to deal with a lot of confusion and frustration. 
  • Even though we are privileged to receive an education while, it can also feel like an unwanted obligation Take a moment to remember your own experience.  Was going to school your favorite thing to do in the world? If you’re lucky, it may have been. For many others, though, it is a struggle. If your child thinks of going to school like a constraint, chances are they are not approaching it with the best mindset to excel.
  • Is your child shy? Do you know if they have friends in school? Do they have a hard time when it comes to speaking in front of the other pupils to answer the teacher’s question? Shyness can have a great impact on your child’s academic performance. If your child has low self-esteem or doesn’t know how to behave with others, they probably don’t feel at ease in school. This all impacts their ability to concentrate.
  • The competitive spirit we have to deal with in school can be motivational for some but very unsettling for the others. Students that have learning difficulties, can experience great stress, especially when they are compared to other students by the teachers. 

How can I help my child with their self-confidence, and how to help my child focus in school?

The first step is to empathize with your child. For your relationship to grow in a positive way, it is crucial to put yourself in their shoes. Try to look at them as an individual with their own specific needs, rather than reflecting upon your own needs in childhood. Listen to them carefully, with full attention and love. Oftentimes, we feel like we do not fully understand our children. However, we can learn a great deal by simply listening to them. When we make an effort not to assume we already know what our children think, we can uncover important details of their personalities. In this way, we open ourselves to truly understand them and to help them better understand themselves.

It’s also important to avoid embarrassing your child because of poor academic performance. This damages not only their self-esteem but also your shared communication and trust. Instead, try having open, understanding conversations about their performance. Talking about the difficulties you encountered when you were in school and the way you overcame them can be a great bonding tool. To learn effectively, we need to believe that we have the capacity to do so. emphasize your kid’s strengths, even if they are not related to school. The confidence they build, learning to master one small task at a time, will make them feel capable to learn whatever they want or need to in the future.

Another way of supporting your child’s ability to focus in school is teaching then about the way their own memory works. As most of the children have no idea about the workings of this process, it can be quite exciting for them. As parents, we can help them identify their memory type by asking the following questions:

  • What helps you memorize a lesson?
    • The teacher has told personal stories related to the lesson. (kinesthetic memory, linked with emotions)
    • I took notes and we had visual supports. (visual memory)
    • The short explanations are the easiest for me to memorize. (auditory memory)

There are many ways to identify your child’s memory,  teach them memory techniques, and give them advice and tricks following the results. Their self-confidence will be greatly improved when they realize they are not the only one with their memory type and that there are many practical tools for support. 

How can meditation help my child with their studies?

A growing number of schools have begun introducing meditation into the kids’ daily school routines. Meditation has been shown to improve many children’s concentration, memory, self-esteem, self-regulation, improved communication, and a sense of well-being. A meditation practice can be started at home, incrementally, with short 5-10 sessions. If you don’t practice meditation yourself, this could be a very good opportunity to begin and to experience peaceful moments with your child, every day. 

By helping your child build their own personality, with as much calm and self-control as possible, you will give them the tools to understand their weaknesses and embrace their strengths. This way, they will find balance, accepting the uniqueness of who they are and, by extension, improving their performance in school and beyond.

We would love to hear about your personal stories. Has your child had problems concentrating in school and how did you manage to help them? 

Translated by: Leslie Merle
Edited by: Angela Boltz

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