How well do you know your child’s attention span?
Most parents have had to struggle with getting their children pay attention or focus just a little longer so they can properly communicate a message or just finish up an assignment. While this has become a little frustrating or a challenge to parents, understanding your child’s attention spans will further help you maximize the time they put in to achieve desired results.
This is even more evident in this time where schools are on break and virtual learning has become the new normal. How much time especially a Pre -Schooler spends in virtual classes tells more about their attention span. Very relatable too is that parents plead and struggle to buckle their kid’s shoes. This really tells that the attention span is quite short and having appropriate expectations about this is a good way to start.
However, childhood development experts generally say that a reasonable attention span to expect of a child is two to three minutes per year of their age. That’s the period of time for which a typical child can maintain focus on a given task.
The following is an average attention span for various ages: two years old: four to six minutes; four years old: eight to 12 minutes; six years old: 12 to 18 minutes; eight years old: 16 to 24 minutes; 10 years old: 20 to 30 minutes; 12 years old: 24 to 36 minutes; 14 years old: 28 to 42 minutes; 16 years old: 32 to 48 minutes.
With this generalised information at hand, it will guide parents to understand how well to deal and handle their kids. It is however pertinent to note that how long a child is truly able to focus is largely determined by factors like how many distractions are nearby, how hungry or tired the child is and how interested they are in the activity. But if your child’s attention span is shorter than average, that’s worth addressing.
To help your child focus better, a few simple strategies might help your child find greater focus. They include: bringing creativity to tasks your child doesn’t enjoy; a kid who dislikes math won’t focus well on math homework, so let him work out problems in finger paint on a playbook first and copy the work onto the homework sheet later.
Try a variety of products that kids can manipulate while focusing on other tasks; check in frequently with your child when they are working on hard tasks. A kid who feels overwhelmed or confused by the project they are working on will check out and get distracted quickly. At the beginning of the task, help them identify potential stumbling blocks, teach them to start with easier tasks and help them tackle the more difficult tasks.
This will help their brain relax and process the next set of information better. Always ensure your children are in the best moods to tackle and find solutions to tasks.