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How to help improve your child's attention span

Build a ‘focus task’ time into their daily lives that becomes a constant part of their routine.

Build a ‘focus task’ time into their daily lives that becomes a constant part of their routine.

Published Sep 2, 2021


According to a 2010 study, we spend nearly 47% of our waking hours thinking about something other than what we are doing.

According to Parent&Co.Blogs, attention span is the length of time for which a person is able to concentrate on a particular activity or subject. Lack of sleep or a poor routine, a diet high in sugar and fat with no sustaining nutrition to assist concentration in the classroom, excessive screen-time, especially prior to going to bed, difficulties at home, such as a recent separation of parents or a family trauma, may be some of the causes.

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Children with a short attention span may have several negative effects, such as poor performance at school, inability to complete daily tasks, missing important details or information, communication difficulties, or the inability to practise healthy habits. Below are tips from School Psychology, on how to improve concentration and increase focus.

11 ways to increase a student's attention span

  • Ensure they are looking at you when you speak;
  • Turn-off the screens, (TV, cellphones, tablets and computers);
  • Focus on what interests them;
  • Increase their sleeping time;
  • Use visual resources to help them learn;
  • Use different voices to engage;
  • Give options of different exercises to choose from;
  • Organise your child’s routine;
  • Use all five senses: let them taste, touch, smell, listen and see;
  • Let children spend their energy playing outdoors; and
  • Turn learning experiences into challenges.

As we wrap up, everyone’s mind tends to wander from time to time, and some situations can make it harder to remain interested and focused. The list above is a guide to help to improve your child’s short attention span. But, if you feel your child’s inability to focus concerns you, talk to a healthcare provider.

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