Does your young child lack concentration power? Would you like to increase your child’s attention span? Inside you’ll find 3 parenting tips to help your child focus, learn, and become a better thinker too.

Parenting Request from Hina, a Valued Newsletter Subscriber:

Hina is both a mother and a teacher whose 5-year-old son exhibits a lack of concentration. She says, “When I’m teaching him he starts telling me all sorts of stories just to avoid writing or reading. Please address this problem.”

Concentration Quote:

“He has the attention span of a lightning bolt.” – Robert Redford

If this describes your child, I can imagine your frustration. Years ago, before I became a child and family counselor, I taught the elementary grades. I noted that my third graders could read and work somewhat on their own. My second graders read less well and had less focus power. My first graders were just learning to read and could concentrate even less. My kindergarteners were wiggle worms.

The younger the children the more frequently I needed to change their activities and put in rest exercises. They had the attention span of a lightning bolt.

First Parenting Tip for Increasing Concentration – Change Activities:

Children need stimulating material, frequent activity changes, and your enthusiasm. Check out the material you’re teaching your child. Ask yourself, ‘Is this stimulating?’

They say that a child’s age matches his concentration span in minutes. That means a 5-year-old child might need a change from sounding out letters and words to singing a song, to clapping a jingle, or a stretching activity every 5 minutes. Can you imagine how many learning activities a teacher presents in one day? No wonder teachers take naps as soon as they get home. I know I did.

To be enthusiastic, keep in mind, that your child isn’t bored or wiggling on purpose. He is just acting his age. While you’re teaching, smile, listen, and encourage. If you lose your temper, you’ll have trouble.

Second Parenting Tip for Increasing Concentration - Praise:

Pat, smile, and praise your child for listening, working, and thinking well. Consider saying:

I know you listened to the story because your answers were so good.

I saw you do a careful job on your numbers. You’re a good worker.

Your drawing shows you have a great imagination. Tell me more about your picture.

Your child will glow under your praise and will work even harder. The side effect is better concentration.

Third Parenting Tip for Increasing Concentration – Encourage Self-Discipline:

Help your child work for his rewards. This promotes his self-discipline. It increases his attention span too. Use the ‘First This Then That Formula:’

First finish your paper and then you can color.

First read your book and then you can build with your blocks.

First practice printing your letters and then you can jump rope.

Thank you, Hina, for sharing your child’s attention span concern. I hope these tips help you and other parents too.

Concentration Summary:

When children are young their attention spans are like lightning bolts. Give your child stimulating material, frequent activity changes, and your enthusiasm. Use specific praise to encourage your child to learn. Promote your child’s self-discipline by using the ‘First This Then That Formula.’ If you do, you’ll be turning his lightning bolt into a steady current of concentration. You’ll be building character too.

Author's Bio: 

Jean Tracy, MSS publishes a Free Parenting Newsletter. Subscribe at
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