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Tips for parent to help kids with concentration

March 17, 2014
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1.  Parents should follow the speaking and listening models that are being practiced in the classroom, says Doherty. The idea of always giving full attention to whoever is speaking should be emphasized at home. Parents should feel free to say, “I want to hear what you are telling me. But let me put the groceries away first, then I can give you my full attention.”

2.  Children should never interrupt a parent or sibling at home unless there is an emergency.

3.  In a group conversation, children should practice both listening and contributing to the conversations. Parents should invite all family members to join the conversation by asking open-ended question.

4.  Parents should always wait until they have the child’s full attention before giving directions or instructions. Televisions, computers and phones should be turn off during instructions. Parents should never repeat a direction if the child was able to feed back the information successfully. The pattern of “I told you three times” needs to be broken immediately.

5.  Positive reinforcement of good listening is essential. The reward of praise and attention should be enough.

6. Hold the child accountable for their actions and their own work. They need to organize their binder and put assignments in the appropriate place, not the parent.

7.  Set a schedule for work and play. Clear limits on when it’s time to do homework but also time to unwind after school and get their energy out.

8.  When you give instructions, avoid unnecessary talking; excessive verbalization will only confuse the child with limited attention and concentration. Provide clear, descriptive (how to) instructions, indicating only the relevant aspects of the activity.

9.  Have the child repeat or rephrase your directions so that you can check if the child understands.

10. Help children get and stay organized by using simple strategies like color-coding their notebooks, using labeled baskets to store their belongings and consistently using daily, weekly, and monthly schedules. Teach your child how to follow a schedule with a calendar at home.

11. Provide a timer or stopwatch for children to monitor their work time. Give children ample warning when an activity is about to change. For example, you can say, “You have five more minutes of work time left. In five minutes, we move to play time.

12.  Teach your children the sequence of events to tackle a task you assign them such as chore at home by preceding your instructions with first, second and last.