Focus and attention are serious issues for children with ADHD. Those children have a tendency to often easily get distracted, jump from one thing to another, and have a disregard for routine. Parents may struggle with trying to get their child to do chores, listen to instructions, finish homework, or tidy up. Parents of children with ADHD have to get creative when teaching about concentration and the importance of focusing.
Five Ideas to Improve Focus in Kids with ADHD
1. Get physical.
Kids love running around and being active. One way to improve focus is to toss a ball back and forth. While tossing the ball to your child, give him or her instructions. You can tell him or her that a particular chore needs to be done that day or that he or she has to be in bed at a certain time. Have your child repeat the instructions back to you every time he or she tosses the ball. With this method, there is a fun, visual and kinesthetic memory associated with the instruction, and this may help him or her to remember it.
2. Freeze and focus.
There’s always an opportunity to teach your child about concentration, and one of the best ways is when your child least expects it. One tool to use is called “Freeze and focus!” Explain the rules of the game: at any given time, you can ask your child to “Freeze and focus.” At this point, he or she will stay still (freeze) and quiet for 5 or 10 seconds. After the time is up, ask your child to describe two or three things he or she saw or heard while “frozen.” In the future, expand on the game to include things you would like your child to do, like chores, by saying, “Freeze!” and using the “focus” time to complete these things.
3. Use music.
Music is a great option to help a child remember something, enforce rules, give instructions, or help with spelling. You can create a tune while your child spells out a word, or you can sing a household rule. Choose or create a unique song that your child can sing while doing particularly un-fun activities like chores. It’s an easy way to improve concentration and promote positivity.
Puzzles are great fun for kids and are useful in building concentration and fine motor skills. Puzzles are also diverse—there are logic puzzles and word games. Try creating a treasure hunt with a series of clues that will incorporate deductive reasoning. Jigsaw puzzles also promote focus and motor skills, so let your child pick one he or she likes and work together on it.
5. Create a story or a movie script.
Here’s a fun way to improve narrative skills: Have your child describe the day using him- or herself as the main character in a book or movie. Have your child set the scene and recall activities and interactions. Ask him or her to describe how he or she felt at these times and if there was anything particularly exciting or disappointing. Make storytelling a habit, even if it’s only been an ordinary day. By doing this regularly, your child can begin to internalize his or her daily routine and think about it from a positive outlook.
- Tips to Improve Attention in Kids With Attention Deficit: