The Importance of Focus & Concentration in Early Childhood Years

Concentration and focus are beneficial to kids because it helps in memorizing studies at school and also facilitates learning a great deal about the environment around us. We are not innately born with great concentration power, but it needs to develop over time. Our brain muscles need regular exercise to gradually build the habit of focusing; first for a shorter duration, and later for a longer span (30 minutes & above).

Experts suggest that a child in his early years has an attention span that lasts for about 2 to 3 minutes. Let us find out age-wise what the average attention period of a child must be at different growing stages.

  • 2 – 3 years: about 4 to 6 minutes 
  • 3 – 4 years: about 8 to 12 minutes
  • 4 – 6 years: 12 to 18 minutes
  • 6 – 8 years: 16 to 24 minutes 
  • 8 – 10 years: 20 to 30 minutes
  • 10 – 12 years: 24 to 36 minutes 
  • 12- 14 years: 28 to 42 minutes 
  • 14 to 16 years: 32 to 48 minutes 

These are just ballpark figures, and they may vary as per each individual child’s upbringing and practice at school & at home. 

Why do children need to build healthy concentration skills?

  • To boost memory & retention power
  • To develop patience while solving difficult problems related to Math subject
  • Perform better academically and in extra-curricular activities
  • Improved mood and less irritability
  • Discover oneself by knowing one’s likes & dislikes
  • Building a great personality and admirable character traits
  • Spending time pursuing productive hobbies

Few tips to help your child find greater focus

  • Set reading time each day by assigning a novel and fix a goal on the number of pages to be read daily. Initially, children will struggle even to finish reading 2 pages of the book at a stretch. But don’t get disappointed. All good habits take time & persistence! By the age of 6 years, one should be able to read 20 pages per day in one go, which should take around 20-25 minutes. Sign-up for library membership, anywhere around your locality in the GCC region and let the reader pick new books of his choice every week.
  • Mindfulness is a state of being aware such that you are completely involved in the activity at hand. Multitasking on the contrary is the opposite of mindfulness. Kids have a hard time sticking to one task. You would see them coloring one minute before they shift their focus to a ball lying in the corner of the room, and then they want to bounce it around. It’s hard to explain why one task needs to be completed, before moving to the next one! If your 3rd grader is learning multiplication tables, make sure he completes the set of 1 to 30 tables and only then proceeds to read the map of geography or maybe practice some grammar sentences. Mathletics is an excellent online Math platform chosen by parents & educators not only in the UAE but other parts of the world. It’s ideal for Math learners who want to develop a strong foundation through easy game-like activities.
  • Keep all types of digital devices that cause distractions, away. We understand how hard it is to not get influenced by peer pressure and spend hours on tabs, mobile phones, & laptops pointlessly browsing through sites and playing games. If technology is used in proportion and for the right reasons, then it can be advantageous and facilitate the child’s learning process. Parents must encourage having a set schedule for kids to use their tabs (say 30 minutes per day), after which the device should be taken away and kept away from the sight of children. Similarly set a scheduled time for watching TV, playing with toys, and interacting with friends, so that overindulgence can be kept at bay and discipline is promoted in turn leading to greater focus.
  • The importance of yoga and meditation is being spoken about worldwide, not just for adults, but also for school-going children. According to a survey, it has shown to have a positive impact on the child’s mental and physical well-being. Schools in Dubai and other Middle East regions, therefore have a dedicated period for practicing yoga and meditation. If practiced daily, it calms the mind, improves concentration, and keeps negative thoughts & emotions away.

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