How to Improve Your Child’s Focus

Getting a child with ADHD  to concentrate can be a real challenge. Here are some easy and fun strategies to help your child improve his ability to focus.

Give Directions While Playing Catch
In kids with ADHD, the part of the brain that switches off daydreaming works more slowly than in kids who don’t have attention issues. But other areas of the brain can help your child take in and retain information. Try giving your child directions while passing a ball back and forth. Ask him to repeat the directions every time he throws. Later, he may use the visual memory of throwing the ball and having fun to trigger the verbal memory of what you told him.

Play “Freeze! Focus!”
One of the best times to help your child improve his focus is when he isn’t supposed to be concentrating on anything. Try playing a round of the game of “Freeze! Focus!” When he’s least expecting it, say, “Freeze! Focus!” and have him freeze in place (start with 10 seconds and build your way up). When the time is up, ask him to describe three things he saw while he was frozen. Eventually, you can put up signs around the house that list rules and chores and ask him to focus on them while he’s frozen.

Make Memory Musical
For thousands of years, people have used music as a tool  to remember and pass down information. You can do this, too—even if you’ve never been the musical type. Try creating a tune to letters while your child is spelling out a word. Clap and chant to a beat to accompany the natural rhythm of your child’s chores. Experiment with your child’s favorite songs for a fun, low-stress way to build concentration.

Do All Sorts of Puzzles With Your Child
There are many types of puzzles—from traditional 100-piece puzzles to a Rubik’s Cube—that can help boost your child’s concentration while building fine motor skills, too. Keep in mind that puzzles don’t always have to be something you touch. Word games, like logic puzzles, use the power of deduction to help your child discover answers by relying on his mind, not just his eyes and hands.

Make the Day Into a Story
Many kids love to be the center of attention. Ask your child to describe his day as if he were recalling a favorite book or movie, with him as the main character. This can help your child internalize his daily routine and the people who have leading roles in his life.