How to reduce distraction among kids constructively

Children are known to get easily distracted, and it has also been proved that an average child’s attention lasts on one thing for only a few minutes. Moreover, having so many sources of distraction nearby is not doing children any good since habits like television, electronics, and more are taking away all the attention if your child. Children who exhibit disorganized and distracted behavior over a long period of time open themselves up to lack of self esteem, perceived failure, and ineffectiveness to function independently in the world.

 Therefore it is very important for children to be removed from such harmful stimuli and be encouraged to focus more on the things that will help them throughout life. Right from their childhood, children need to be taught to develop a range of skills and habits that hones them to perform better in certain areas such as efficient organizing, time management, proper planning, and most importantly, impulse control. When children take part in activities that develop the above mentioned skills, they gain first-hand experience about the consequences of their actions.

As parents, you are the enforcers of these habits in your children. So how can you proceed? Begin by making all good habits come to them automatically. Give them the practice that they need to excel. Give them a structure that helps establish order in your house. Stop doing things for your child, and let them figure things out on their own.

Here are a few ways you can reduce distraction among your kids

  • Give them goals that are easily attainable: It is essential for you to keep realistic expectations and set goals for your children accordingly. One way to do this is break up a big task into smaller, achievable tasks that give your children a sense of accomplishment when they finish them. Giving your child too much to work on will confuse and overwhelm them, and ultimately produce the opposite results. Don’t forget to give your kid credit when they manage to successfully complete a task by themselves.
  • Be there for your kids: Kids are not accustomed to sudden changes. So when you give them a whole new routine it is normal for them to rebel against it, or be confused about it. The best way to take care of such reactions is to be there with your kids as they slowly get accustomed to the new changes in their life. Show your support for your kids as they tackle their tasks (but never do the tasks for your kids).

Your presence and support at the beginning of the routine will help establish it better in your child’s mind. Over time, you should take away your support so your kids learn to do things by themselves. Think of it as teaching your kid to ride a bicycle. You teach them how to ride it, then hold them as they try it. Once they start getting the hang of it you let the bicycle go so they understand that they are capable of doing it by themselves.

  • Engage your child in the new tasks: As children get bored very easily, make sure you keep the new tasks interesting for your kid. Even if it is something as simple as brushing his/her teeth, you can make it into a game/song so your child will have fun while doing the activity until it becomes a habit for them. Sometimes children may feel frustrated due to this sudden change in their schedule, and in such scenarios you should be the one to explain to them why these things are being introduced in their lives. It is important to conduct such discussions delicately without sounding angry or preachy, else it might have the opposite effect on children. Children are also enticed by visual stimulators, so keeping a schedule that is visually appealing can help children follow their new schedule better.

 

  • Change your strategies according to your child: This one is important- there is no one universal strategy to tell you how to help your child focus better. Just like each child is unique, so are the methods that they learn from. For an active child, make sure the breaks include some kind of physical activity like running, so they can spend their extra energy and come back to focus on their tasks. Some kids are easily distracted by what they “see”, for such kids make sure they do their work in spaces which are free of any visual distractions. When suggesting breaks, set limits on the break depending on what activity they’re doing. Keep making new strategies by tweaking the existing ones until you find one that allows your child to grow.

Your goal is to reduce distractions in your child’s life as much as possible so that they can finish tasks that are expected of them without thinking about it. For distracted children, setting an environment where small achievements are praised and skills are gradually built in a fun way, helps them become confident and happy, ultimately becoming organized and confident adults.