Attention and Concentration

The skill of attention and concentration is a vital skill that every individual needs in the flow of daily life. It includes being able to selectively focus on the thing to be done and maintain this focus without being influenced by internal and external stimuli on a job to be done or a task to be completed. Attention and concentration enable us to direct our attention to the stimuli we need, to follow the process in the daily flow, and to perform efficiently.

When the concentration is affected by other stimuli, the mind begins to think about different situations and events with the thoughts or images that come to mind. The focus is away from the work done, and there is a state of being mentally in memories and dreams.

Having a busy routine in the flow of daily life may sometimes require focusing on more than one job at the same time. This rarely results in a fully focused and qualified job with adequate performance of the task’s requirements. If you are trying to watch something while giving a speech, on the phone, trying to watch something while on the go, if you are basically trying to do a job with half attention, your mind’s ability to focus and concentrate will be affected by this situation.

There are other situations in which the ability to maintain attention by concentration is affected. Situations such as physical fatigue, working in noisy environments, preoccupied with ourselves in a daydreaming way, being in an emotionally challenging situation, feeling intense stress and anxiety, feeling overwhelmed by busy routines, not setting goals, not clarifying the work that needs to be done, can improve focus and effectively. It is one of the factors that make it difficult to pay attention and maintain it. It is important to have a certain motivation regarding the task that is planned to be done. Individuals do not feel a motivation for situations that are not important to them and a drive to perform. In order to support this situation, it is very valuable to support finding the meaning of the task, what they can add to the person, what he will learn as a result of this, and the meaning of chatting about their usage areas.

TO SUPPORT ATTENTION AND CONCENTRATION SKILLS IN CHILDREN

WHAT TO DO

  • Removing materials that do not belong to the task to be performed from the work area,

  • Starting with the area where your child is more interested in the tasks and activities that need attention, and where his skills and knowledge are stronger,

  • Learning and trying to set goals,

  • Talking about how long the work to be done will take, in what order it wants to be done, and talking about the situations that were predicted at the end of the event,

  • Trying to understand what the child is worried about when you feel emotionally challenged and talking about what is good for parents in similar situations,

  • Dividing and phasing the work to be done for the child as long as the estimated attention span allows, moving away from the expectation that the work to be done is completed in one go from the beginning to the end (doing it until the 5th question in homework, drinking a glass of water, telling the parents what they have learned, and then continuing, etc.). ),

  • ‘I noticed something: at first you got bored and wanted to move on until you came to question 5, but now you can be patient until question 5 and even move on to question 6 and focus your attention more, what did you notice?’ Recognizing and expressing the child’s effort and development through feedbacks such as

  • Supporting skills with age-appropriate fun activities (puzzles, board games, mikado sticks, activities for finding differences, asking certain letters in the text to mark etc.),

  • Recognizing the need for consistent work and time to develop and strengthen a skill are attitudes and situations that can provide support.

For children who have difficulty in managing time in the beginning and are still gaining the ability to study, another situation that can be helpful is to take 10-15 minute hourglasses and make an agreement to stay at the activity until that hour ends, and then encourage them to continue with a short break. It is important to decide the duration of the hourglass by observing the average time that the child can pay attention, and to enlarge the hourglass step by step as the skill there gets stronger. Contrary to the situation mentioned at times, the desire to complete the task quickly is a situation where distractions are encountered. Here, it is important to use the hourglass in the opposite way, and if he completes 10 questions in 5 minutes, it is important not to go to the 11th question before the 10 minutes are up / the hourglass is over, and to provide support in a way that encourages him to check again.

However, despite the support of their parents, children may sometimes have difficulties in concentrating and sustaining their attention. It is very important to get expert opinion if your child starts to deal with different things before completing the work, often his belongings continue to get lost, if he has difficulty in listening to others, if he misses details, if he is forgetful, if your efforts are fruitless.

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