For the stubborn and the easily distracted
Everyone who has a little one knows how easily they seem to be distracted by the simplest of things. Getting them to focus on any task at hand can be a huge challenge. So how do you get them to focus on what you need them to without driving yourself up a wall? One of the easiest ways to do this is to remove distractions. Having a designated work area for things like homework or at home activities will help to separate your little one from areas they may deem more fun. It might be a good idea, based on how your child learns, to make sure the place is also quiet. With no noise or "fun" interruptions, your little one will be forced to focus on the task at hand more closely.
We all know a child who is endearingly termed "hard-headed." Unless they want to do a specific thing, they aren't going to do it anytime soon. These loving little ones try to decide when they're ready to do things and tend to assume a position of obstinate defiance if told they have to do it anyways. So how do you help said hard-headed child on task? For some parents, bribing their children works to get them to focus long enough to complete a task. Bribes may include sticker rewards, candy or special toys. For other parents, consequences follow if the little one continues to fight to do their work. This may include losing T.V. time, losing special toys or being forced to sit quietly in a timeout. Repetition also seems to be one of the other approaches to combating the stubbornness. The hope is that eventually, the child will cave just to get the parent to stop repeating themselves.
Take A Break
One of the better ways that have been discussed for improving focus is on having a period of time in which the little one can take a break. Being overstimulated or having a rough day can cause focus to be easily disrupted. Allowing for breathing time lets your little one have a much needed time away from work or school in which they can just focus on being a kid. This can be anything from a play break, outside time, nap time or whatever happens to let your little one breathe a little bit easier. Later, come back to whatever you were trying to get them to focus on and see how they improve!
Most little ones end up on some sort of schedule and in a pattern of actions that they go through every day. Once set in this routine, it can be hard to get them to focus on other tasks that they may feel fall outside of that routine. Focus can be drawn away by little things that you hadn't noticed were part of the routine beforehand. Fortunately, this one is pretty easy to correct. By making whatever activity a part of the little ones daily routine over the course of a few weeks, the little one should adjust to the new focus object. Also, letting the little one know that this was going to stay as part of the routine will also help. Communication and repetition, in this case, are very important for success.
This one may seem a little more like a common sense thing. However, allowing your child to process each step of their work or activity may help to alleviate the frustration that leads to focus issues. In breaking down an assignment or activity, the little one can focus on one thing at a time. This can be especially important in homework or science projects that include more than one part to them. All of their attention can be placed in easily checked off parts instead of seeming like a ginormous, unattainable task.