Why FOCUS is Key for Kids and 6 Proven Ways to Build it!

Does your child seem distracted? Or unable to focus?

You are NOT alone! This is a source of frustration for many parents. In our Kids Martial Arts Program, we have developed methods to help kids build focus. In this guide, we share some simple techniques that you can use right now to help your child improve his/her focus.

Kids are all different, but an age old issue is that young kids often feel that they do not exist in the same world with adults. They are often excluded from conversations or downright ignored by the busy adults around them. They often live in a world beneath the adult “radar”. They are sometimes expected to entertain themselves and be quiet until they are addressed and then we suddenly expect them to tune in and pay attention to us!
As parents, we can sometimes find ourselves in a cycle of constantly correcting our kids behavior. When kids feel as though we continually notice the things they do wrong, they begin to tune us out. 
A more modern challenge that kids face today is that like us, they are bombarded with information.
Everyone and everything is competing for their attention! Children today have instant access to
information and it gives them instant gratification.It’s no wonder kids “can’t” focus on an assignment.Now, you and I know most things worth acheiving in life take time, hard work, focus and patience.It doesn’t all come with a swipe of the finger. The challenge is, how do we teach this to our children in todays fast-paced society?

Here’s what we can do!kids martial arts star blocks

1. Be Present Focused

To be present focused, one must focus Mind, Eyes and Body. To be present focused is to be in the moment.

Start by teaching your child to focus their Mind,
they must do 3 things:

a. Use their ears and listen. We can’t listen and speak at the same time. When we are speaking, we are not listening. They should listen more than theyspeak when in a classroom.

b. Focus their eyes on the person who is talking.
This shows Confidence, Focus and Resopect. Lastly, teach them the
power of posture by telling them to focus their Body. Tell your child
to think about how he/she sits when watching TV. It’s usually pretty
lazy and that is fine since they are just enjoying a program, but could
you imagine trying to focus like that? When you sit up or stand up
straight, it is the bodies way of telling our brain that it is time to pay
attention. Next time your child is doing some task or assignment,
pay attention to their focus and ask them gently, “son/daughter, are
you present focused right now? Can you remind me what I need to
do in order to be present focused? That’s right, nice job. Can you
show me how you would sit/stand if you were present focused right
now? Perfect, please continue your task staying present focused.”
c. Think about what they are doing. If they catch their mind
thinking about something else, teach them this is natural and
happens to everyone, then tell your child once he/she is aware
of their mind drifting, they need to put that thought aside and
think about the task.

2. Have a Distraction Free Zone

There should be a zone or room in your
house that is distraction free of TV, Cell Phones, computers, tablets
even music. Make sure the zone is clutter free too! It is very
difficult for anyone, much less a distracted to child to try and get
homework done when a TV is on, the music is playing and they have
a cell phone with notifications going off. Take all of those
distractions out of the equation.

3. Limit Screen Time

Especially during the school week, set a
limit on screen time. From the research I have read, there is mixed
feelings about how much screen time effects a childs brain long term;
however, there is plenty of research proving the value of exercise
and time with your family.

4. Plan “play” time or get involved with a sport

Children need daily exercise. (Kids Martial Arts is great exercise) Find what works best for your family, but be sure to schedule some time for your child to be a kid or get outside and let off some steam.

5. Catch your child doing something right

Be a good-finder. Look for little things to praise and learn to stop and consider carefully before correcting. Too often as parents, we find ourselves correcting/teaching our children. Don’t
forget to notice small victories that encourage your child to continue to make good decisions on their own. We know we can’t always be there to watch our kids every second. We need to let them know
when they make good choices and how proud it makes us. This will
influence them to develop the habit of making good choices when you aren’t there.

6. Instill empowering beliefs

We know the words we speak effect how we and others feel. Take time to remind your child that
he/she is smart, intelligent, a problem solver, and someone who
thinks before they act. Children will remeber these sayings and tell
themselves these words when they run across a problem. Let’s look
at an example, imagine if you constantly told your child, “I love how
you never give up. You are a problem solver!” Imagine you said
this to your child daily. What will your child think next time they
encounter a challenge? Chances are, they will believe they are a
problem solver, think outside the box and figure out the assignment.
I hope you read and re-read these tips and start using them
to improve your childs focus. Remember, celebrate
successes and start small. Do not expect a 180 over night. Change
takes time and consistency.

Kensho Kids Martial Arts in Chicago

If you are looking for support, Kensho Martial Arts in Chicago has great kids programs that specialize in helping your child improve their focus.
Visit our website; kenshochicago.com/kids  for the best kids martial arts programs!
If you enjoyed this, please share 🙂
Roger Luri
Head Instructor
Kensho Martial Arts Chicago