5 Easy Tricks to Help Your Child Pay Attention in Class

5 Easy Tricks to Help Your Child Pay Attention in Class

Most problem students share the same issue – they find it hard to pay attention. It’s not their fault, because not everyone is inclined to sit still for hours and listen. In fact, studies even suggest that no one is designed by nature to do this; school is a modern phenomenon. Here are some ways you can help your child cope with it though:

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1. Avoid Rice, Bread and Noodles Before Class

Rather than explain it in words, we suggest you try this yourself: the next time you are about to eat something with carbohydrates, such as rice, bread, or noodles, take note of the time.

About 15 minutes later, check how you feel. Most of the time, you’ll feel a little sluggish and lazy. If you’re sitting in that spot for a long time you’ll probably also feel sleepy.

Next, try the same experiment, but this time eat fruits, vegetables, sashimi, or something light on carbohydrates. You’ll notice it there’s no “heavy” feeling in your gut, and that you’re much less likely to fall asleep.

With that in mind, try to keep your child off carbohydrate rich foods just before class.

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2. Outside of Class, Reduce Screen Time by an Hour a Day

In Distracted: The Erosion of Attention and the Coming Dark Age, author Maggie Jackson points out a growing menace to society – our inability to focus, because of a combination of technology and genetics.

The human mind is, by default, easy to distract. It’s part of our primeval survival instinct – when we’re digging for nuts and a tiger appears, we have to switch our attention to it or get eaten.

Unfortunately, this same trait wreaks havoc in a world full of Tweets, texts, e-mails, and video games. We’re already prone to distraction, but we also use devices that worsen that condition.

Our youngest generation of students, brought up on such devices, are used to switching their attention more frequently than we do. This is great for their reaction time – it’s why your 14 year old always beats you at Call of Duty – and terrible for studying anything in depth.

The good news is that attention can be trained. Just reduce your child’s screen time (on the PC, iPad, TV, etc.) for an hour a day, and get them to be calm. They can read, build Gundams, paint, etc. That’s all fine, provided it’s an activity that doesn’t require constant twitch reactions.

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3. Teach Them that Toilet Breaks Aren’t Just to Relieve Themselves

At LiteTutors, our tutors make it a point to know individual student’s “breaking points”. This is the point at which a student’s attention span has run out, and they no longer have the willpower to stay focused.

When this happens, it’s much better to stop and take a break than to push on. Teach your children, if they are in class, to excuse themselves. They should wash their faces, or even walk around for while before heading back to class. Whatever it takes to briefly recharge.

During tuition lessons, be sure that the tutors make allowances for such breaks – the session shouldn’t be dragged out without pauses. Contact us if you need help finding a more experienced tutor.

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4. Make Your Children Think They are Choosing to Go to Class

Okay, this one is a bit deceptive, but it will make them happier and more focused.

In general, students will pay more attention, and for much a longer period, if they feel they choose to be in the class. Since they don’t actually have a choice, you’ll have to create that impression.

Use this simple mind trick: ask your children if they want to bring their red or green pencil case to class. Or ask them if they want to bring their new bag or old bag to class, etc. Their minds will (sometimes) confuse the trivial decision making with an actual decision to go to class, so they’ll act as if they wanted to go.

You can also use this trick for other things. For example, if you want them to put on their jacket, ask them if they want to wear the wooly jacket or the jacket with the bear patterns.

Do your children have problems paying attention in class? Share some of the methods you use with us!

Image Credits:

Cliff, Sean MacEntee, Leland Francisco, Nasrul Ekram