As a parent you wish that your child would be able to stick to any one activity for more than 10 minutes. Or you wish that your child would be able to attend to his study material without being distracted by a hundred other inconsequential things. For any number of reasons, you may want to know how to increase average attention span in children, and here are some tips that may help.
Engage with your child
If you want that your child should retain interest in a play activity for a while, say a jigsaw puzzle, at first you can engage in that activity with your child. Guide and help him at first because seeing all those pieces of the puzzle may have been intimidating for your child. If she or he realizes that you are at hand to help them, this may retain their interest better. As you see that your child is able to manage or their own and seems to have figured out how to manage the activity you can slowly decrease your participation in that activity.
Create routines for your child’s day
Children respond well to structure, boundaries and set routines. If they know that they are supposed to do X activity at a particular time they are mentally prepared for it. If they have a set time for TV viewing, a set time for study and a set bed time they will offer less resistance to each of these activities (not that children are likely to baulk when told to watch TV). Not only will your child benefit greatly from a set bedtime by getting enough sleep, your child will understand that study time and TV times are non-negotiable.
Help your child organize
Whether it is study or play, better organization will help your child attend better to the task at hand. If it is homework, help your child break down the material into smaller, manageable tasks. Your child’s interest and motivation will be retained as more and more tasks get accomplished. Easy and systematic access to toys, board games and other leisure activities means that your child can engage in different activities each day without getting bored.
Be realistic with your expectations
And finally, don’t have unrealistic expectations. Don’t expect your child to diligently stick to any activity just because you think it is interesting – your child may have other views. Also remember that some children are naturally restless and curious; these could be positive traits if you can only channelize them properly!