Even the brightest children can face obstacles in learning and achieving their very best if they lack the all-important skill of being able to concentrate. It is expected that a child’s concentration levels can be calculated by adding their age to 10 minutes. For example, if your child is 3 years old, 3 + 10 = 13, so your child is expected to be able to concentrate wholeheartedly on one single task for 13 minutes.
Now, of course, every child is different and as such, possess different skills and abilities to the next. For some children, finding challenges in concentration isn’t a sign of developmental weakness. It simply means that their mind works much faster, that they can think far more quickly, and are often ready to move onto the next challenge before the present one has completely concluded. At times, children may be mislabelled as having poor concentration skills, when in fact they are academically more advanced than their peers. Think about this for a moment. If you, with your current mindset and intellect, were to return to year 3 of primary school you would probably find the subject matter a little simple for you, and as such you would quickly disengage and grow bored because the challenge isn’t there for you and it doesn’t push you to learn. Sometimes this is a representation of what happens to a child who is more advanced in a particular subject area than their peers. They may be labelled as disruptive, poorly behaved, and even develop a reputation as someone who has poor concentration skills. It may appear as if they are falling behind because as a result of disengaging, they miss the important information about what they were supposed to be doing. Of course, this is not always the case. Some children simply have not yet mastered the skill of concentrating and just like any other area of development, this missing piece of the puzzle needs to be addressed in order to help them progress on to the next important steps in their lives.
When working with children around concentration issues, I might take into consideration: their learning style, their sensory preferences, and meta programmes. These are the unconscious ways in which we process information. There are specific strategies from NLP4Kids that I use in order to help discover what your child really needs from a skills perspective, in order to engage them more effectively with the skills they need to concentrate on. Very often there are things that your child can concentrate on, for example, colouring-in, playing a video game, riding a bike. There are many activities requiring great levels of concentration that can be used to build their confidence and to begin transferring these skills into the other important areas of their lives. As well as working with your child, I will provide you and their teacher (if necessary) with the guidance that you need to help them stay on track. These suggestions may appear a little unconventional at times, and may even include tips that appear to be counterproductive, such as taking a break from the working they are doing or having a moment to recap and reflect on what they are learning. All of these skills are important parts of the process and should be followed thoroughly, which is why you will be armed with a comprehensive set of notes that you can follow at home and in the classroom.
If you would like to arrange a free consultation session, you can do so by contacting me on 07958 203274. From here, we will arrange a time for the consultation to take place and for our sessions to help increase your child’s concentration to begin. If you are planning on contacting me about this issue at a time when it is important for your child to revise or take exams, please do not delay reaching out. During exam time I can become extremely busy with other clients, and in order to guarantee that I will be able to work with your child, it is sometimes important to book well in advance for sessions. But if I have availability, I promise I will do my best to fit you in.
By Gemma Bailey
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