Improving Attention Span of Boys during Study Time

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By Tess Thompson

No matter what, boys will always be boys, and shall be more prone to fidgeting. They tend to fiddle with things, look around, and are always up to something or the other. Often this is construed as a concentration problem or a disability. The reality, however, is that boys who later develop good attention spans also showed similar signs.

The attention span of boys is generally shorter than that of girls. This does not mean that you should not show concern to the attention span of your son and assume that no extra effort is required, since shorter attention spans are normal. You should lend a helping hand to your child for improving concentration, irrespective of whether your child is a girl or a boy.

Organization and discipline are primary for increasing attention span. Chart out a uniform work schedule for your son’s home-study. Set time limits that are clear and consistent. No matter what, stick to them, unless there is an emergency.

Let the child choose his own study hours depending upon his comfort level. Some kids have a diurnal cycle that allows them to concentrate best in the mornings, and there are others who are likely to give their best during the evening or night. Appreciate that a child will not be able to maintain focus for more than 50 minutes at a time. With the first ten minutes required for clearing out what he was involved in before, studying for an hour at a time should be more than enough.

Ask him to take hourly breaks between topics and subjects that he needs to concentrate on. Let him expend some of the pent-up physical energy during these breaks. This is something that is necessary for boys to be able to focus.

Before study time begins, help your son in organizing the tools that he requires for completing a project. Otherwise, he will be wasting time with needless tasks like sharpening pencils, and lose track of what he is supposed to be doing.

Allow your child to decide how much he wants to accomplish in a given time. Keep a subtle check on whether he is meeting his own targets. Every target achieved is a feather in his cap, and let him boast about it. This will also help in keeping him motivated.

The biggest barrier to overcome is distraction, and you may have an active role to play in reducing environmental distractions when your child is trying to concentrate. Reducing or changing your own television viewing times to suit your son’s study schedule and ensuring that there your child’s study area is clean and comfortable are some of the aspects that you may need to ensure.

Ambience can help a lot in improving concentration in your child. Sofas are designed for relaxing, and beds for sleeping and not for studying. Get your son a study table or a desk and a straight chair. Place it in a room that is neither too hot nor cold. Extremely high or low temperature will not let him concentrate.

Promising a reward at the end of a study period after the child has achieved the self-set target may also work productively. The reward should not be monetary in nature, but something that the child likes to do and looks forward to. An exercise like this also brings alive the concept of delayed gratification in children – something that they are not born with.

From kindergarten onwards, attention spans of children should increase by 3 to 5 minutes every year. Most of the times, the child will attain this ability on his own. Your help may appear to be inconsequential at first, but remember that to reach a distant destination; you have to take small steps first. Parental help in improving concentration is that first small step that your son may actually be in need of.


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