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4 Questions Your Child Can Keep In Mind To Curb Distractions

Student distracted by phone when studying.

Getting distracted and struggling to focus is a universal struggle for students of all ages. At every grade level, students struggle with staying on task, especially when there are distractions around.

Between active imaginations and high energy levels, sitting down to focus on schoolwork can be challenging.

There are many ways to prevent getting distracted and parents can encourage their child/children to establish these habits. But what can students do when they’re unable to concentrate despite their best efforts?

There are a number of questions students can keep in mind to identify when they are distracted and refocus on the task at hand. This guide will help you teach your child how to ditch the daydreams and focus on studies!

Have Your Child Think: What Am I Looking At?

If your child is daydreaming or getting distracted, chances are that he or she isn’t looking at the material. Your child is most likely staring out the window or at something else in the room. A simple yet effective way for your child to stop daydreaming is by asking “what am I looking at right now?” If the answer is anything other than school work, he or she is distracted.

How To Refocus

If you notice your child staring off into space, that means he or she is not in the right mindset to sit down and get work done. Your child needs to burn off some energy or relax. Taking a study break can give your child a respite from learning, allowing him or her to get back to work with a more focused mind.

Have Your Child Think: What Am I Thinking About?

When a child’s mind wanders, it’s often hard to pull him or her back to reality. It can make a big difference if you can help your child practice staying in the moment. Encourage your child to ask him or herself while studying “what am I thinking about right now?” Your child asking him or herself about intruding thoughts is not only beneficial for studying, but also very healthy. Acknowledging what he or she is thinking and feeling and learning to actively change the focus can help with stress and overthinking.

How To Refocus

If your child is having a hard time ignoring distracting thoughts, have him or her write them down. Putting thoughts down on paper is an effective way to organize ideas and let them go. No matter what it is—a bad mark, a daydream story, or a cool business idea—have him or her write it down and then return to homework.

Have Your Child Think: How Much Work Have I Completed?

Another way your child can recognize when he or she isn’t being productive is by keeping an eye on the clock. If 30 minutes have gone by and only 2 sentences have been written or 2 quick questions have been answered—your child isn’t focusing effectively. Remind your child to set a timer every 30 minutes to take a break and evaluate how much work has been done.

How To Refocus

If your child isn’t getting much work done, perhaps he or she might not be in the right mindset. If your child is sleep deprived, hungry, anxious, or upset, it will be much harder to study effectively.

It’s common to sometimes have an off day and not be as effective as usual. However, if your child is continuously distracted, check in with him or her. Work with your child to resolve any distractions that may be making studying difficult. This includes both physical and mental health. You can also speak to your child’s teacher if you think school life is affecting your child negatively.

Have Your Child Think: What Sites Do I Have Open?

This is a distraction that primarily affects older students who work on tablets or laptops, or have social media. With social media and distracting websites just a click away, it’s incredibly easy for students to get sidetracked by browsing the web. Have your child ask “what do I have open on my device right now?” while he or she is studying. If your child recognizes when unrelated web pages are on his or her device—he or she can better identify when he or she is being distracted.

How To Refocus

There are plenty of website blockers available that will temporarily disable time-wasting sites. Help your child install them on his or her device. If your child is easily distracted by apps or messages on his or her phone, keep it in a different room so he or she doesn’t feel tempted to check it. Once your child removes all access to distracting web pages and apps, he or she will be able to concentrate on homework much more effectively.

More Resources To Help Improve Concentration




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