The ability to multi-task may be an asset in adulthood, but when kids start juggling more than one thing at a time, it could harm their development. Overstimulated, multi-tasking children can develop learning and communication problems, not to mention behavioral and temperamental issues that could have lifelong effects.
Experts recommend a number of techniques to improve focus and attention span in children:
“¢Make sure they get adequate sleep at night. Kids ages 3 to 6 require 10-12 hours; kids ages 7 to 12 require 10-11 hours; and kids ages 12 to 18 require 8-9 hours.
“¢ Incorporate exercise into their routines. Exercise is well known for supporting healthy mood, and it can benefit focus and concentration as well. Aim for at least one hour of physical activity daily.
“¢ Provide a quiet area for homework and reading. Do not allow television, Internet or phone calls while assignments are completed.
“¢ Establish a homework routine and stick to it. Designate a specific time each day that’s dedicated to work.
“¢ Allow breaks to encourage full focus when tasks are being executed.
“¢ Do not allow television, Internet or phone calls during meals. Encourage family conversation.
“¢ Make an effort to spend more face-to-face time with your children, whether it’s playing a board game, reading a book or participating in a craft activity with your children.
“¢ Avoid processed foods. Serve well-balanced, nutritious meals whenever possible.
“¢ Fortify their diets with omega-3 essential fatty acids, which are necessary for healthy brain development.
“¢ Try a natural attention-supporting supplement, vitamin, mineral or other essential nutrient (like DHA and GABA) that support healthy learning and focus.