Improving Focus, Concentration, and Attention In Children
It’s In The Brain: Focus, Concentration, and Attention
These are actually all the same thing in the brain. There are a set of circuits in the brain which control focus, concentration, and attention. These circuits also control coordination and maturity. This is why children with developmental disorders have such difficulty focusing, concentrating, and attending.
Developmental disorders are those conditions where the developmental process is stuck or sluggish. So, improving focus, concentration, and attention in children is all about getting the child’s normal developmental process back on track. I will not discuss much about this here. If you want to learn more about developmental processes, you can visit and join our free membership site Back On Track.
How Do We Go About Improving Focus, Concentration, and Attention In Children?
The key to improving focus, concentration, and attention in children is all about building the brain circuits for being able to focus, concentrate, and attend. So, there are a series of exercises you can have your children do which will end up improving focus, concentration, and attention in children.
For the purposes of this discussion, focus, concentration, and attention are all the same thing. I’m sure there are folks who are expert in definitions who will want to make sure you understand the specific distinctions of each of these words, but that is not the purpose of this page. Here, we are going to discuss some things you can do which will end up improving focus, concentration, and attention in children without trying to improve one of these over the other.
Walking Is The Key To Improving Focus, Concentration, and Attention In Children
We were designed to walk around to follow our food based on the changing seasons. This means that we walked to find the animal and plant foods which were appropriate for us. As the seasons changed, different foods became available and we had to walk to get to that new set of foods. So, there is something about walking which is built-into our genetic structure and which was what permitted us to survive and prosper.
It is important to understand that infants were carried by older ones (moms, dads, older siblings, other clan members, etc. . ) until they could keep up with the family or clan. At that time in our historical development, there were no strollers or baby carriages or car seats for transporting little children.
They rhythmic movements they experienced as others walked and carried them were the early stimulus to build the brain circuits they needed to grow the brain circuits for developing focus, concentration, and attention. Later, as the child developed enough to walk on its own, the rhythmic movements of that walking continued to force the child to develop the brain circuits needed. Improving focus, concentration, and attention in children is directly related to those rhythmic movements.
I know this seems to be a little far-fetched, but I assure you this is what is needed. I know this from experience of working for 10 years with all kinds of people who wish to improve their focus, concentration, and attention. I take them through some weeks of rhythmic movement (including walking) and they dramatically improve. These rhythmic activities were the key to improving focus, concentration, and attention in children and adults.
The rhythmic movements of walking or being carried by someone walking is the key to improving focus, concentration, and attention in children.
But, We Stopped Migrating And Started Farming
It’s true, as our cultures evolved, we changed our normal walking and started doing other activities instead. So, how did we get the stimulus needed to grow these needed brain circuits?
Well, we still walked a lot. Instead of following animals as they migrated from one seasonal feeding ground to another, we followed our animals from one pasture to another. Instead of migrating from one territory to another to find the next harvest-able food, we would walk out to our fields and back to our living space.
We also started adding new rhythmic movements to our daily regimen. Planting and weeding and harvesting domesticated plants required a new set of rhythmic activities. Turning the soil, chopping the weeds, and digging up or picking the foods each required it’s own set of rhythmic movements.
Blame It On The Industrial Revolution
But, somewhere along the way, probably during the Industrial Revolution, we stopped walking as much and started transporting our infants without exposing them to the rhythmic movements they needed for their development. This is when we took on a new way of thinking about the need for us to move. We (as a culture) started deciding that we could let machines do all the rhythmic movement and we didn’t have to do that anymore.
What To Do In The Long Term?
Improving focus, concentration, and attention in children requires that they start and continue a regimen of rhythmic movements. As the adult, as the parent, you need to set up play activities with lots of rhythmic movement. As a general rule, computer or video games will not work well for improving focus, concentration, and attention in children.
Here are some examples:
Walking: This is probably the best activity you can do for your child. Walk with your child as often as possible. If you want to use a treadmill, make sure it is set at a steady walking speed and with no variations in speed or difficulty.
Patty-Cake: Play patty-cake games with your child. Start simple and add complexity as your child improves. Use chanting to help keep the game rhythm steady.
Jump Rope: Get your child using the jump rope as early as possible and add complexity as your child improves. Use chanting to help keep the rhythm steady.
Others: Hop-Scotch, Jacks, and Hula-Hoop are all excellent rhythm games.
What Makes These Activities Work?
Remember that these activities are intended to build brain circuits, not muscles. So, please observe the following conditions.
Steady Rhythms: You have to have these games keep steady to tell the brain to build the appropriate circuits.
Chanting: All of the rhythmic games your grandparents played as they were growing up involved chants to keep the rhythm steady. These are very important for your success in improving focus, concentration, and attention in children.
Success At Each Level: You child needs to learn how to be successful at these kinds of rhythmic activities. Start simple and add complexity as they improve their skill level. As their skill level improves in the activities, they will be improving their focus, concentration, and attention.
Longer Periods Over Time: Start these activities for only a few minutes each. As their skill improves, add more time for each. The effects of these activities in improving focus, concentration, and attention in children is cumulative. The more you end up doing the better the focus, concentration, and attention.
Research has shown us that improving focus, concentration, and attention in children requires over 30,000 rhythmic activity repetitions. So, if the only rhythmic activity you doing is walking, then you will need to have done 30,000 reps of rhythmic walking to have developed those circuits which are very good for focus, concentration, and attention.
This will probably take months, but you will start seeing improvements in a couple of weeks if you do these rhythmic activities three times per week for 30 minutes each time.
Binaural Beats have some recordings which cause a change in brainwave activity. This is not the growth of new and permanent focusing, concentrating and attending brain circuits. But, it is useful in improving focus, concentration, and attention in children in the moment. If you play these circuits on your stereo while your child is studying or playing, you will see some improvements. The best would be to play them as part of your overall program for improving focus, concentration, and attention in children.