As parents we often wonder about the border between usual child’s distraction and a disorder that needs to be examined. The problem begins when our child starts going to school and his behaviour attracts the teachers’ attention. What can we do to help our child get used to the rhythm and discipline of school or out-of-school activities? How to improve his concentration and focus without going to a specialist?
When concentration disorders become a problem?
Before we start wonder how to react to our child’s problems, we should first check if we really have to do with concentration disorders. Some of the symptoms may be the following:
- your child preforms tasks quickly but carelessly and cursorily, e.g. omits parts of the task;
- your child makes many mistakes despite having mastered a given subject area, e.g. can count but makes mistakes in simple calculations;
- often pauses and does not want to continue;
- gets tired and discouraged very quickly;
- is often distracted and daydreams;
- performs poorly at school (below his real potential) and
- has difficulties with doing homework.
We need to remember that sometimes a child is unable to focus on any activity but in some cases, despite difficulties with learning, a child may be is able to e.g. persistently build block constructions or assemble complex models. However, what is important at school, is the persistence and readiness to work, even when our child is not fascinated with a given subject area.
Draw the borders
Although we would like to give our child everything he dreams of and by doing so often fulfill our own unrealised childhood dreams, we should not be spoiling him. Even a small child needs to understand that he cannot have everything and that achieving goals involves hard work. Postponing the realisation of a given need (obviously not a basic one) has a great influence on the formation of a child’s personality and his readiness to take a long-lasting effort as an adult. That is why it is important to work on the patience by leading a steady lifestyle. The regular time of getting up, eating, working, and relaxing will help you in that. Clearly defined small responsibilities will also help you to establish precise (and fixed) borders.
Take care of sleep
Apathy, irritation, and distraction very often result from the lack of the appropriate amount of sleep. Often it is not about its length but about its effectiveness which has an influence on a general mood after waking up. We should take care of a proper acoustics of a child’s bedroom, as well as of comfortable mattress and bedclothes adapted to the child’s needs. It is advisable to get a weighted blanket with amazing therapeutic features. For many years it has been used in the treatment of psychophysical disorders, e.g. ADHD, ADD or the Asperger’s syndrome. Sensory blankets have been designed to softly press a child’s body and influence his nervous system. The stimulation of proprioceptors increases a child’s awareness of his own body while improving his focus and concentration. It also makes a child relaxed and calm, and reduces self-stimulation behavior, as well as the feeling of anxiety and uncertainty. Please note! The weight of the blanket should be individually matched to a child’s weight.
Ensure the peace
As adults, we ourselves have problems with even the simplest activities when we lack peace in our lives. Children are no different – in order to focus, they also need harmony, stable situation and support from their parents. If there are frequent conflicts or quarrels at home, we need to remember that in a child’s mind they escalate into serious problems often with a sense of guilt. If a child has such problems, his motivation and readiness to take any effort significantly drops. “Adult” problems, of which we so often speak out loud, in a child’s imagination take abstract forms that might result in various afflictions, like sleeplessness, anxiety, or irritation and lack of concentration.
Causes of concentration disorders might be manifested in different ways and might have various sources depending on a child. That is why we should start a careful observation of our child right away when we notice first symptoms of concentration disorders. Maybe we will discover the cause of distraction and lack of focus without consulting a specialist. Good luck!