You have planned meticulously a time table for your kid to prepare for his exams. He sits down to study being fully aware that this is his study time. Yet when you come in a few minutes later to check on him , he is making doodles , or fidgeting with his pen or just gazing into the blank.
Yes this is simple lack of concentration.
Concentration involves the abilities to focus, screen out distractions, delay gratification, and regulate impulses and emotional responses. Poor concentration is a common complaint by parents and teachers alike, and our all- time enemy. And the worst is, it evades us when we need it the most – studying at night for an important exam the following day, for instance.
To help our kids increase concentration here are some practices which you can undertake
1. Inculcate the habit of writing down :
Though most of the students shy away from this practice but it is definitely much more focused method of studying than reciting or just mentally repeating the text. You should encourage the child to understand the chapter and then make notes himself. This way he will have a better understanding of the content and since he will be more engaged analytically , he will pay full attention to his course.
2. Perform Mental Gymnastics:
Developing concentration is not a one day activity. You should be at it with your kid on a regular basis and you can make this a fun activity by playing games . Choose game that stimulate the mind, particularly those that make use of strategy, will build verbal skills, plus improve powers of concentration, perception and reasoning. Here are some recommendations for brain-building games you can do as a family:
· Crossword puzzles
· Word jumbles
· Mathematical puzzles
3. Give them the power of affirmations:
Like it happens with us adults , the thing we fear the most is bound to come along our way some or the other time , so it happens with the kids. If they dread a subject , they will find it haunting them , making them loose confidence and the will to study it. Make them believe that they can perform well in every subject . Make them say ‘ I love chemistry’ ( if that’s what they hate ! ) and you will see ,, gradually this affirmation helps them get comfortable with the particular subject.
4. Practice Meditation :
Yes of course , you can teach this to a kid as young as 2 years and elder ones are in dire need of it. Make it a routine that you practice meditation ( it can become a very good family event) together. Meditation will help them keep calm and get rid of anxiety which in turn will enable them to focus on their studies.
5. Active Body , Active Mind:
No one can negate the importance of physical exercises. When kids are allowed to play and outdoor game or take a walk or exercise during exams it helps open up their lungs making them feel lighter , more energetic and willing to complete the task taken in hand which presently are the exam preparation. Exercising increases blood flow to the brain and also stimulate hormonal responses that increase mental sharpness. Relaxing sleep of minimum 10 hours thereafter will balance out his physical requirements.
6. Keep away from sugar:
If your ward is having problems with concentration, the first place to look in is your kitchen! Check his diet – breakfast, snacks, Tiffin and dinner, for sugar content. Most of the times, kids consume a lot of sugar through their favorite snacks, breakfast and other food items, which results in them getting a sugar rush! Sugar rush is nothing but the presence of the excessive sugar in their bloodstream that makes them hyperactive which makes it difficult for them to concentrate on one singular thing at a time. Furthermore this sugar rush tends to fade away in a span of 3-4 hours and this leads to them becoming lethargic and irritated, further hampering their chances of having a good concentration
7. Balanced diet :
Macro biotic expert Tarika Ahuja , founder Sacred Swan who has authored the book Beautiful Children : a parent's guide to raise healthy children , suggests that including whole grains like brown rice and ragi are very useful in increasing the concentration of foods. Since these are whole grains , they take longer time to break down hence making the kid feel fuller for longer period of time which in turn decreases snack breaks and improves focus.
A great nutrient balance is the only thing that helps the brain function optimally.
So you should plan out a menu that is an ideal mix of carbohydrates, proteins and essential nutrients that will provide your child with enough energy and also help with optimal mental activity.
Some healthy food options that you can offer to your child include:
- Whole wheat peanut butter sandwich with a banana and a handful of nuts.
- Cereals dashed in with chopped nuts and raisins
- Dosa/ omlette / poha
- Buttermilk or fruit yougurt.
- Mix green leafy vegetable in roti dough.
- Roasted fox nut (makhana)
One thing that is highly recommended to all parents is to ensure your child has a few leaves of tulsi every day. It is a great tool to manage stress and also boost the immune system. Your kid falling sick is that last thing you would want this time.
So finally , just give all your support to your kid and they sail with flying colors this exam season.
All the best !