As parents, you want the very best for your children, no matter how old they get. Whether they are in their pre-teens or teens, you want to be able to instill good habits in them that enable them to succeed in their lives. Making your children focus on their studies is an everyday challenge that almost all parents face in this regard. But instead of this being a constant source of anxiety for you, being smart about it is the way forward. After all, no one enjoys sitting at home doing homework or reading textbooks all the time! Here are a few tricks that could help you encourage your children to focus on their studies, even for the subjects they don’t particularly enjoy.
1. Get them into a good routine while they are young
First things first. Habits do not form overnight. So, it is a good idea to get your children into a good routine while they’re still young. You may think that their childhood homework isn’t as important as the stuff they get when they’re older, but building up that habit of studying is important. So, make sure that every day you have set times for them to complete their homework or revise what has been taught in class. The duration, of course, should be age-dependent.
2. Keep TVs and phones away
For the designated study hours, remember to switch off the TV in your home, even if your favorite show is on. A TV will simply draw your children like moths to a flame! You must lead here by example. Otherwise, you cannot blame them for wanting to be glued to the “idiot box” all the time.
Again, implementing a rule about having no phones with them in their room during study time is a good idea. Phones are highly addictive (even for adults!). It’s all too easy to break away from homework to browse Facebook or message a friend if it’s within reach.
3. Make sure they are eating a healthy, balanced diet
Eating a healthy, balanced diet will help your children feel more vibrant and alert, which, of course, will aid concentration during study hours. Although you should not ban junk food altogether, but do keep in mind that moderation should be the key. Regular consumption of junk food will make them lethargic and they may need much longer to complete their tasks due to reduced attention spans. So, pay close attention to their diets.
4. Have designated areas for studying
Having a designated area in your home for studying is another great idea. Studying in the bedroom can lead youngsters to have trouble sleeping amongst other things. Having a special room or a corner of the house customized specifically for studying is a good idea. Make it bright, fresh, and cheery with easy access to the home library. With time, your children will be conditioned to see that corner as the go-to place to get their studies done with concentration.
5. Allow age-appropriate study breaks
Depending on how old your children are, they may need different break times to help them succeed. For example, really young children may only have an attention span of 15 minutes at a time before they need a break. Older children may be able to concentrate for up to an hour (or perhaps a little longer for subjects they love).
It is important to encourage these breaks and not to look down on them as a waste of time. They are as crucial to retention of knowledge as the active learning process. Some young people tend to stress themselves out these days by studying so hard that they actually hinder their own progress. Make sure your children are not overexerting themselves to the brink of a burnout!
You could try giving rewards to your children when they complete a session successfully. Don’t always reward with food, toys, or gadgets etc. Instead, quality time, such as family walk or day at the park or extra play time with friends should do the trick. Let them decide and you may get surprised by what they want!
6. Link their studies to real-life examples
One of the many reasons children find it boring to learn things is because they can’t see the missing link between what is being taught in their books to how that knowledge translates in the real world. You can help them appreciate that connection by showing them practical implementations of their subjects. Take them to museums, historical sites, science centers etc. so that they can build that bridge and retain their knowledge better.
7. Use technology to your advantage
Children are inquisitive by nature and sometimes it is not possible to arrange field trips to answer their many questions. But it is always possible to use technology to find the appropriate answers from reputable sources. The internet is a great resource to use in that regard. But, of course, parental guidance and good security measures are a must to keep the children safe in their digital quests.
All children are unique. Accordingly, their learning approach, grasping capability, speed, and technique are also unique and individualized. As such, whatever methods you adopt (to counsel and encourage your children), they should also be customized according to their individual needs. And once you understand that, your children’s passion for knowledge will blossom and they will become self-learners, needing little or no supervision from you.
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