With technological advancement and implementing a modern lifestyle, our attention span has reduced significantly. It used to be in the case of kids only, but now it has also crept into adults.
But we need to work on this to improve ourselves; otherwise, it can be incredibly harmful. Attentive listening is critical for a child’s speech and language development. However, it requires proper training to improve the child’s attention span. Before introducing your child to formal education, it is imperative to make them understand language and build listening skills in them. Otherwise, the child will have difficulty focusing on their academics and what the teacher says at school.
As a parent, it is essential to train the child at an appropriate age about language and its usage and develop a clear speech. If the child has less attention span and cannot capture the information around them, they will be left behind in the developmental process.
Attention span and listening ability start developing with age, but it’s imperative to notice it in your child’s behaviour. Every child hits certain milestones in life, like walking, running etc. Similarly, an increase in attention span and listening skill is a milestone that comes when they start growing older.
But more often, these go unnoticed by most parents, which further interferes with the child’s development. You can enrol your child in a public speaking course to develop their listening ability.
If you are also dealing with the low attention span of your child, here is what you can do to improve it.
Address them by their name
We all identify our name very well; thus, when someone says it out loud, it automatically catches our attention. So, whenever you give instructions to your child or start talking to them, start with their name. You can also say their name in between conversations to keep them attentive.
Incorporate visual elements
Not only children but also adults get bored with long speeches. After some time, our brain stops catching the words being said, and it’s scientific, so we can’t do much about it. However, we can try using visual aids to attract our brain cells. The human brain is wired to get attracted to images and retain them longer. Thus, visuals can be an effective method to catch the diverted attention of the child towards the activity.
By physical prompts, I mean a light touch to the arm of the child to bring back the attention. It doesn’t involve any physical violence, slap or any such things. Many public speaking courses available teach you how to use physical prompts.
We have a lot of distractions around us. If adults can get distracted, how can we expect a child not to get distracted? Internet, television, radio, social media etc., are the primary sources of distractions. However, it can be removed to improve the child’s attention span. Whenever your child is involved in a listening practice, try creating a subtle environment around them with no or negligible distractions. You can switch off the TV, reduce the music, turn off the mobile notification, and remove the toy or game from the surrounding to help him focus on you.
Make eye contact
When we make eye contact with a person listening to us, they can comprehend things better and also feel involved in the conversation. It is not possible to make eye contact all the time while instructing the child. But while having a conversation, try to go down to the eye level of the child, it will draw their attention, and he/she will look at you attentively.
Read to your child
Reading is one of the most effective habits for improving listening skills and attention span. In the world of fast-forward videos, reading can help your child stay with the topic till the end and retain the concept. You can read story books or comics to develop your child’s listening skills. Stories are the best way to engage the child’s senses instantly. Children love to listen to stories; thus, telling them stories every night before bed will help them develop their listening ability.
Play games that require attention
To enhance your child’s attention, you can involve them in activities that require attention to get it done properly. You can engage them in craft activities as it requires attention to get the desired result. Children love to play games. Thus introducing games like puzzles, chess, carrom etc., to your child will help them focus and thereby enhance attention span. You can also play sports such as football, badminton, and volleyball that require a certain amount of planning and attention to win the game.
Use simple language
Language is one of the most significant barriers if not used appropriately. You need to understand that language is just a medium of communication. It’s not the ultimate goal of the speech. The goal is to convey the message effectively for a better understanding. The use of complex language in conversation can distract the child as they will not be able to comprehend what you are trying to say. So try using a simple, easy-to-understand conversational tone, so your child understands your instructions. Also, break down complex concepts into simple steps to retain the child’s attention.
Modify the diet
Diet has a significant impact on the overall development of the child. Not only physical health but diet also impacts the child’s mental abilities. A poor diet can lead to a lack of development and, thus lower attention span. Inculcate healthy eating habits in your child, which keep them physically and mentally active and thereby improve the attention span.
Listening skills and attention span are necessary skills for a child’s communication abilities. These skills help them learn about the environment and focus on speech or sound produced by others. By implementing the above-mentioned tips you can keep your child’s attention while giving a speech. You can learn more such tips by enrolling in public speaking courses.