It is easy enough to diagnose what is causing children to become distracted, but the more difficult case is in prescribing how to get them more attentive when they need to be. The key is to understand how a child’s mind works and how best to incorporate that understanding into real solutions that will help your children focus better and, thus, achieve more.
Show Children Attention and They’ll Reciprocate
These days, minimizing distractions involves putting other, more engaging options in front of your children. However, if you want your children to be engaged, you need to be too. Being in close proximity to children allows children to pay attention to what is being said. If children are directly having conversations with you or a caregiver, spending family time with you, and are having close conversations, they will want to give their attention towards other, more important people than the TV show.
Teach Short and Long Term Goals
Playing on a tablet and watching TV are comparable to short term goals. Less work is put into the activity and less time is taken to receive the stimulation of its gratification. Lessen the pull of technology’s stimulus through teaching children both short term and long term goals. When children are surrounded by the distractions of technology, they begin to become dependent on the ease of the excitement it provides. When aspiring for long term goals, such as solving a puzzle, reading a book, and painting a caterpillar, they resort to frustration and develop a lack of resilience in finishing challenging tasks. When daycares and parents focus on setting long term goals amongst the short term goals for children, they develop patience and perseverance, contributing to the healthy growth of their attention spans. Virginia Shiller, Ph.D., author of Rewards for Kids! Ready-to-Use Charts & Activities for Positive Parenting, states that “Adults have a much greater sense of what it takes to accomplish goals.” Children do not know the process of achieving long-term when their brain is constantly changing and multitasking. Growing in environments that break down goals into short-term steps build on a child’s skill to moderate their attention span according to the distractions of technology.
Look for Closed Off Daycare Classrooms
Open space learning is beginning has become trendy within the early education industry. In a recent study comparing acoustics of open and closed classrooms, it was discovered that open plan classrooms are not adequate vessels of learning due to the high concentration of noise. Children’s attention spans are attracted to anything, especially unexpected noise. To take them away from focusing on tasks for ten minutes results in the impaired ability to stay focused for short amounts of time. Open plan classrooms have large groups of students, disrupting recommended small student to teacher ratios. Children of this age have such diverse needs that it is essential to find daycare centres with closed off classrooms to minimize distractions. Open daycare concepts look revolutionary, yet they are hard to keep secure. Little Stars NE child care focuses on providing children closed off classrooms where technological and noise distractions are truly minimized in a world-class academic child care setting.
Become Aware of Sensory Processing Issues
With the struggles that ensue for children attempting to focus through the distractions of technology, it can be hard to understand the distinction between a child struggling with ADHD and one who has experienced overstimulation from technology. The prevalence of ADHD increased by around 35% from 2003 to 2011, yet research makes doctors wonder whether this may be due to a misdiagnosis according to the advancement of technological stimulation. It is important to research how sensory processing issues affect kids in school to properly understand– should there be obstacles– what is drastically affecting your child’s attention span and the practical considerations for a child’s environment.
Seek Out Quality Child Care Curriculums
It is normal for children to have short attention spans. As such, it is imperative to look for child care centres that focus on children’s learning and their development around their attention spans. A quality child care curriculum will capitalize on succeeding with your child’s attention span and growing with it. They are age-appropriate and include an array of play materials and equipment for children to choose from. Baltimore University Park Press discusses designing developmentally optimal classrooms for children, stating that “the motivation to interact with the environment is in all children as an intrinsic property of life, but the quality of the interactions is dependent upon the possibilities for engagement that the environment provides.” Children grow according to the enrichment of the environment they are placed in. Within a daycare that cares about their interests and how they learn according to their needs, children will not need to fall back on distractions to receive stimulation.
Examine the Layout of a Daycare
How a daycare looks is just as important as how it is run. A few important questions to keep in mind when determining the quality of child care centres are:
- Does the outdoor space provide room to play freely?
- Are there windows providing natural light?
- Is everything organized without clutter?
- Is colour an important part of the interior?
- Are there quiet spaces?
The layout of a daycare should show how the caregivers put children’s interests first. Emotional, cognitive, and physical aspects of the design should be taken into account when looking at daycare options. Little Stars Calgary child care is a custom-designed child care facility. Our classrooms have large windows to allow plenty of natural light to thrive. Children are placed in an environment where they use age-appropriate tables, chairs, sinks, and toilets to cultivate a positive learning experience. Little Stars’ classrooms are small, quiet and centred around inspiring children.
Overstimulation Decreases Attention Spans
In the digital age, our ability to multitask has consumed our attention spans. Researchers at the Technical University of Denmark suggests the collective global attention span is narrowing as the more information we have at our fingertips, the more consumed we are by the excessive stimulation of new information whenever we seek it. Strengthening our attention spans begins when a child has the opportunity to develop neurological connections. A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation finds that children aged eight to 18 devote almost eight hours on average per day to entertainment media, or about 53 hours per week. It is crucial for children to be placed in daycares that emphasize positive growth and support each attention span. Little Stars daycare has small class sizes and is optimized for learning. As a quiet, closed daycare concept, Little Stars adamantly aspires to cultivate the most quality, energizing environment in our child care centre.