In the era of distractions and multitasking our children are facing the same challenges we are. How to keep them absorbed in a single -sometimes boring or repetitive- task when there are so many sources of entertainment? Kids aren’t born good or bad, they might have tendencies to be or act in certain way but the fascinating fact is they are extremely flexible as they are constantly observing the world and learning from it.
1. Be an example for them, be focused. This is quite a simple one, as we cannot preach what we do not practice. Be their example. When they see you scattered, answering phone calls while writing emails or not being able to hold a book for more than 3 minutes, they will copy that behaviour. Create an atmosphere conducive to concentration and study for you and for them, a tech free zone may be a good idea. Then it will become natural for them to replicate that positive trait in you.
2. Explain the importance of the activity and make it fun. We have to admit to the fact that, as kids, we sometimes found some tasks dreadfully boring and purposeless. We used to be told to just do something, and sometimes we wouldn’t really understand why. To keep their interest is important to be able to communicate to them the importance of any activity they are pursuing, tell them how it will improve their lives and make them better. Also, try to personally engage in the task at work and make it fun (if possible).
3. Allow time for them to do what they love. Understand kids are likely to be fully immersed for longer in activities they truly enjoy, be it singing, painting, storytelling, dancing or drama. Research demonstrates that reading, music, and movement can improve children’s cognitive development, which automatically derives in better capacity to be focused in all other activities too.
4. Positive reinforcement. When you see they are putting that bit of extra effort to finish and focus on their task, instantly show them you are happy and pleased with their achievement. A trait such as going watching their fav movie or something simple as a walk together will definitely bolster their willingness to do and act positively next time too. Less scolding and more hugging.