ADHD and concentration do not necessarily coincide harmoniously, but as a parent, there are tips, tricks and tools to help children learn to focus. Attention deficits can cause high levels of frustration within a home but consistency and practice can help your child to overcome difficulties with homework concentration, battles with established routines, distractions from chores and more.
Create a Structured Environment
Foster better concentration in your child by providing a structured and consistent plan for the day. Establish a set of routines for bedtime, meal times, chores and homework that are easily predictable so your child knows what to expect every day. Limit, or better yet, eliminate distractions such as side conversations on the phone or background television noise while tasks are being completed.
Offer a reward for completing routine tasks in an appropriate manner. Something as simple as a sticker, an ADHD-friendly treat, or selecting a game for the family to play before bed can go a long way in motivating your child to stay focused and complete tasks as desired.
One undeniable truth about children with ADHD is they seemingly have an endless amount of energy. Channel this natural resource into a physical game or formal exercise to enhance concentration and focus. WebMD recommends 60 minutes of medium to intense exercise, per day, for children with ADHD. Include activities that require keen focus on how they are moving and what they are doing. Dance, gymnastics and martial arts are some good options.
Team sports can also hone concentration skills as children are put in social settings that offer their own set of distractions to perform the exercise and they must remember, and follow, the rules of the game they are playing.
If your schedule doesn’t allow for elaborate exercise routines or structured team sports, taking your child outside to play catch for 20 minutes can help, if done strategically. Rather than simply tossing the ball back and forth, mindlessly, challenge your child to spell a word, or solve a math problem each time the ball is thrown. This will make connections between an activity your child enjoys and solving the problem at hand, so they can recall this at a later time.
Board games, card games and games of strategy are all great for emphasizing strengths within your child and working on expanding the attention span and staying focused on tasks for longer durations.
- Crossword puzzles and word searches: Build vocabulary and strengthen concentration with customized word puzzles. Use words that appeal to your child and spark interest as they continue to discover words and phrases they can relate to and get excited about.
- Bingo: This is a great game to help slowly build your child’s attention span. Start with completing one game each day and building on to the number of times you can play. Then, as they learn to sit and complete multiple games, challenge them to play using more than one bingo card at a time.
- Puzzles: Again, build up your child’s tolerance for length of time spent, but also work on fine motor skills and problem solving. Let your child select the picture they would like to build, to help keep them engaged longer. Choose puzzles with an appropriate piece count, to avoid setting you and our child up for failure.