[Day 5] Concentration Development
A child’s ability to focus (concentrate) is innate and varies from child to child, but it can also be nurtured and cultivated with help for later in life to bridge the innate gap. In fact, the influence of later development is even more important. The best time to develop focus is between birth and age six. It is difficult to develop a child’s concentration once he child is in elementary school. Here are three suggestions for developing children’s concentration between birth and age six.
First, it is important to give your child the freedom and opportunity to be left alone; not only to be able on his own, but also to be able to play and do things independently. For example, when your child wakes up from a nap, don’t pick him up right away; let him play alone for a while. Another example is that children, of three or four months, love to look at their little hands and fists. It is beneficial to allow him to spend some time alone because he is concentrating on observing and exploring. Wait until he has finished observing, then you can speak to him.
Second, only doing one thing at a time. For example, many parents, in order to have their children eat more, they use various tricks, show him the iPad, play with toys, tell him stories, and even play various games. Then, when the child is not aware, they quickly feed him a bite. Apparently, the child is eating more bites, but actually, he has missed the opportunity to develop his concentration, which directly and negatively affects or interrupts his concentration.
Third, give your child options. Making choices is very much related to His will, and also to interest. Children between birth and age six have an absorptive mind and can absorb a lot of information. Thus, the learning ability of children between the time of birth and age six is very important. Don’t neglect the education of children from the time of birth to age six. From birth to age 3 there is subconscious absorption, and From age 3 to 6 there is conscious absorption; both of which are very important periods of learning.
In addition, from birth to age six is a sensitive period of growth, Including gross motor sensitivity, sensory sensitivity, fine motor skills sensitivity, sense of order sensitivity, language sensitivity and social sensitivity. In each of these sensitive periods of a child’s growth, it is the simplest, easiest, and most precise period for him to learn a certain skill. Therefore, during this time, the activities and environment you prepare for his learning are the most efficient and effective. For example, from three to six years old, or even two years old and above, you can prepare some open-ended activities for him, such as Lego, building blocks, drawing with pens and paper, making some handmade playdoh, etc. Many parents enroll their children in Lego classes and art classes. However, children do not need to enroll in classes until they are six years old; once they enroll in classes, they become inflexible. The child absorbs the adult’s rigid ideas, which results in his creativity being stifled. Additionally, reading is a very good activity. All educational and inspirational activities can be prepared for children.
After you have prepared some activities and environment for your child, you should not force him to do everything, nor should you force him to do this today and that tomorrow, just give him the opportunity to make his own choices according to his needs and his interests. Parents should remember not to rush their children to finish something and then do anything else. This is a distraction and disturbance to the child’s concentration. In other words, when the child is already very focused on one activity, no one should disturb him. Even if the child is writing something wrong, do not correct him. The child who starts from not knowing how to write, or not being able to write well, will gradually improve. The point is, when your child is concentrating on a task, do not disturb him at all. When children are young, parents need to train their children, to enjoy reading, and to be able to concentrate on their work. This is very important! May the Lord bless us and our children!