Where to start
Children and focus in the same sentence are often an oxymoron. That being said, keeping children focused this fall is a huge concern for me.
I have 4 children ages 11, 10, 8 and 7. In my Bernie Mac voice, “don’t pray, come help me babysit”.
At any rate, having children in this age range and keeping them focused are tip worthy tasks. They are all in different grades which means different learning material. Oh, and yes that means I went back to school too.
Listed below are my 5 tips to help us keep our children focused this fall.
1. Regular Library Visits – My children have had library memberships as early as they were able.
Heck, I’ve been reading to my children since they were in the womb. According to Ferst Readers https://ferstreaders.org/resources/fifty-top-literacy-statistics, the greatest amount of brain growth occurs between growth and age 5.
Using this tip to keep our children focused this fall looks like this. Along with what they are learning in school, the stimulation via reading things that they are naturally interested in I have found keeps my children focused on their actual school work load.
2. Limit Screen Time – In my home we opted to not have a television until my children were older.
Of course that also meant I was pregnant all the time but we’ll discuss that another day.
Because we did not have a television my children had to focus on being creative using their brain as the stimulus and playing in the beautiful outdoors.
What am I saying? When children are constantly being stimulated by artificial sources, ipad, YouTube, video games, tv shows: the apparatus thinks for them and leaves little room for creativity, constructive thought processing and social interaction – my humble opinion, don’t shoot me.
Also check out what the heart association has to say about it: https://www.heart.org/en/news/2018/08/06/limit-screen-time-among-kids-experts-caution
3. Establish consistent routines – When my crew gets home from school it is more chaos in my mind than it is in their life. There is a system. 1. In the door 2. Empty lunch boxes 3. Change uniforms . 4. Get to homework.
I am not saying that some days we don’t do things differently after school. What I am saying is that children and adults function better on schedules so make one.
If we want to give our children the best options to stay focused this fall and succeed we have to provide the right tools.
4. Allow time for Distractions – Depending on the child and the grade staying focused this fall will require a little more homework on my part.
My daughter needs to “wind-down” after school so she may not come right to the table. My son wants to stay on top of things so he finishes the get home routine and gets right into it. When he is finished with his homework, he moves on to blocks, reading etc.
My point here is that knowing the differences and similarities amongst the children can help them stay focused and make life at home easier. One may get to play one game before getting into homework while the other may play after.
5. Practice Mindfulness – I must say that my mom was so strict with me that in some areas it backfired as I became an adult.
Helping our children stay focused this fall will require some mindfulness.
They are children. We must place ourselves in their shoes at times and not be so serious (or maybe that’s just me) :).
When we make the learning environment, fun environment and coping environment one of compassion, accountability and flexibility one would be surprised how much we can accomplish. https://blissfulkids.com/how-to-practice-mindfulness-with-children-the-essential-guide/ here is another helpful tool.
Let’s remember as we attempt to keep our children focused this fall that we are only as good as our attitude. When we keep our attitudes right there is much to gain. Use the tips above in your daily lives and until next time, motherhood is an act of love… embrace it and remember, live life awfully simple.