A guide on how to improve your child’s concentration

Do you find it difficult to support your child’s learning at home? Are you receiving complaints from their school teacher?  Find out more about how to improve your child’s concentration and focus, in this blog.

What does lack of concentration and focus in children look like

A child with concentration problems may demonstrate any of the following: 
– easily distracted 
– can’t sit still
– struggles to follow simple and complex instructions 
– struggles to complete homework
– has the tendency to lose and misplace things
– poor handwriting compared to children of similar age
– displays negative behaviours for example irritability, moodiness and anger

What causes a lack of concentration in a child?

First things first, let’s get to the bottom of the issue before we get to the diagnosis. Children are naturally very energetic and curious so  when things lack fun, they tend to lose interest. Not all signs of loss of concentration mean the child is displaying signs of learning difficulties, sometimes it could be a much simpler reason such as:

-your child may not be sleeping well or has a poor routine
-diet plays a vital role; sugary and fatty foods can affect your child’s ability to focus
-family trauma 
-certain medications or allergies 
-excessive screen time , especially when prior to bed

Trouble focusing can be a long-term or short-term challenge. Either way, it makes learning hard. It also impacts everyday life. You can’t always change the circumstances that make it hard to focus, but there are ways to help your child cut through distractions and get things done. Having said that be open to what works , some students need total quiet whilst others like to listen to music.

How can you improve your child’s concentration?

So here you are reading this and wondering, as a parent, how can I improve my child’s concentration skills? Not to worry. Here are some simple things you can do to make lives easier:

Fidget Toys

 Many studies are now discovering the benefits of using fidget toys-
” Alejandro Lleras, professor at the University of Illinois Beckman Institute for Advanced Science and Technology in Urbana, suggests that our senses become used to a stimulus over time – like the same way you get used to a certain smell in the room. Lleras suggests that taking breaks from the stimulus may improve focus over the long-term.”

Speak and give instructions clearly

We know as adults we can prevaricate: the longer we put off tasks, the harder it can be to begin and focus on it. The same is true with kids, whether it be homework or household chores!

Remind them that they don’t have to do everything at once, though. To make it easier to get started, break tasks into chunks. The important thing is to not delay getting started.

Children are still very young and aren’t psychic. If you want them to do something and understand it, you have a responsibility to make sure you’re as clear as possible. If your child doesn’t understand what you are saying then repeat what you said, ask them to repeat the instruction and allow them to ask questions. It’s also important that you minimise any distractions, turn off the TV, take away mobile phones and try to make other children be out of earshot,  as children find it difficult to filter out distractions. 

Make it fun and energetic

Since kids are fun and energetic, your methods to maintain their attention need to be as well. Perhaps the incentive to focus needs to be fun too. Make the method in which you teach them as engaging and fun as possible, in a manner they will understand. Also, give them incentives that will excite them. Practical activities play a huge part in learning through fun!

Practice concentration exercises with your child

This may be through following a recipe that your little one can take a lead on or playing some activities and games. Puzzles are another way through which you can boost concentration skills in your child.

Instil time management in your child

Just like concentration skills are essential to helping your child succeed, time management is equally important in helping with focus. Let’s say your child wishes to play but there’s an  English paper that needs to be done. Simply portioning the homework to be completed that day into bite-size pieces( 20 mins each ) with 10 mins playtime between each piece, is an effective way to get them to focus. Use a timer or an agreed signal for when they can stop or they become distracted.

Practice mindfulness

Mental health and mindfulness are being recognised as important for all age groups. This may not be easy initially, but if you, as a parent,  are committed then it will definitely help your child. Regular mindfulness helps reduce stress levels and improves concentration in children and adults. 


This is also just as important as getting them to work in the first instance, remember to talk about their child’s strengths, celebrate the wins, no matter how small. Build their self-esteem and confidence which will help them remain motivated when the going gets tough.

Of course, if all your efforts are going to waste. It’s better to speak to a teacher and also get your child checked for learning difficulties. It may just be a matter of your child needing additional support or tutoring. Remember – no child is the same. 

Contact us now so we can either set your child up on the SmartStepZ Online Platform. Together we can give your child a future they deserve.

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