How do we help our children increase concentration and develop a wider
What benefits will increased concentration
Concentration is about focused attention. It is the ability to direct
attention to the exclusion of everything else.
When the mind is
focused, our energy is not dissipated onto irrelevant thoughts, but
focused. clear and direct. This skill is essential for success.
Without it, our efforts are scattered.
Concentration assists us in study and understanding - improves our
memory, and helps us focus on the task, activity or goal, so that we
become more efficient. We can gain mastery over our worries and
thoughts and therefore become more emotionally resilient.
In today's busy lifestyle, with the
prospect an of organized activity
to enhance every waking moment, children would appear to have every
opportunity for developing increased concentration.
However, the opposite is often true. Instead of deeper concentration and attention
spans, our children's minds leap in short, focused bursts from one
activity to the next as parents listen to the common catch cry - this child
needs more stimulation!
Yes, stimulation is absolutely necessary, but so is calm, relaxed,
un-pressured clear space to play, largely unobserved and unmeasured.
When children trust that they have plenty of time, they relax and let go
into their free play, and completely exist in that moment of time. The
past and future fall away as they concentrate in the relaxed free flow
of the present.
Ever called to your children when they were absorbed in play and
watched them pay no attention to you at all?
They often really do not hear you - all their concentration is going into their
current focus, absorbed as they experience really being in the present moment.
This amount of relaxed concentration is what exponents
of meditation often take many years and much practice to learn.
Help your children to retain and to develop this valuable skill.
Increase Concentration? How?
Here are some practical suggestions to help build concentration in children.
Provide your children with the gift of time for relaxing, free play.
Time is a concentration aid - when we become totally absorbed and
lost within an activity our concentration is humming at 100%. Watch your
children when they are immersed in an activity and you can clearly
witness their concentrated, fully focused attention span. They need to
know they have all the time in the world available to them so they can
relax and let go into their imaginations.
Along with a well balanced diet and sound bedtime routines, children
need plenty of exercise to release negative energy buildup and to
provide increased energy through fitness. Fit and healthy
children have higher rates of concentration.
In moderation, electronic games
provide extended periods of
concentrated brain activity.
Many children are able to spend
long periods of time totally absorbed in on line activities and game
boys which develop many skills when used with care and help increase concentration.
Encourage your children to be comfortable with silence.
Explain that being able to sit still and find a place of inner
stillness will help them to develop and increase concentration and enhance their
Give them something to concentrate on, a tree, flower, view, memory, photo or book and encourage
them to enjoy the silence alongside you from an early age.
Teach your children how to stand erect and tall, and to breathe
correctly into their diaphragm. Shallow breathing prevents a good flow
of oxygen into the bloodstream, while breathing well encourages a feeling of strength and well-being, producing confidence. Encourage your children into avtivities
that promote good breathing such as music skills, singing, sport and
Continue to read aloud to your children regularly as well as
encouraging them to read to you.
Promote reading as a bedtime
wind down activity rather than having a television in your child's
- Memory Game Concentration
Do you remember playing this game when you were younger - locating
cards as you remembered which pairs matched?
How about memorizing the items on a tray and writing down as many as could be
remembered? Our education system then also taught us how to remember
poetry, tables, songs and maths rules. Rote learning was good for enhancing