How To Help Your Child Pay Attention In Class

Do you often get complaints from teachers about your child not paying attention in class? Wondering how you can address this situation? We give you some practical suggestions.

By Leena Ghosh

How To Help Your Child Pay Attention In Class

“Your child is not attentive in class.”

“Your son does not follow through with instructions.”

“Your daughter often gets distracted while I talk about assignments.”

These are some of the complaints parents get to hear from their child’s teachers in school. 

While at home, you can find ways to make sure that your children pay attention to what you say and follow through with their tasks, getting them to pay attention at school can be difficult.

A teacher usually handles a class of about 35 to 50 students, at a time. To pay individual attention to each student and make sure all are listening, is next to impossible. As a result, children who get easily distracted in class tend to miss out on important lessons or instructions on how to do a particular assignment. So, they depend on their peers to fill in the blanks. And that’s not often reliable. As a result, their class performance and academic scores suffer.

Paying attention in class is vital to your child’s academic growth. But, as a parent, you can’t monitor how your child behaves in school. In this article, we give you some practical pointers to help your child pay attention in class.

But, before we get into that, you need to understand why your child is so distracted? Following could be some of the reasons why he is not paying attention in class.

Reasons why your child doesn’t pay attention in class

  • Finds the task or subject difficult
  • Has too many distractions in the environment
  • Finds the subject boring
  • Too much external stimuli
  • Is not motivated to learn
  • Prefers other learning methods
  • Suffers from lack of sleep or proper nutrition
  • Faces learning difficulties like ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) or APD (Auditory Processing Disorder)
  • Suffers from school anxiety

Your child could be facing one or a combination of the problems mentioned above. So, observe and take the time to identify the challenges she may be facing in class, before trying to find a solution for it.

After you’ve identified the reasons, here are some steps you can take to make sure your child pays attention in class.

How to help your child focus in class

  1. Talk to the teacher: Your child’s teacher is the best person to talk to, if you want to find the reason and the solution for your child's inattention in class. She can tell you about what interests your child and at what point she usually gets distracted. With the teacher’s inputs in mind you can formulate a plan to help her in class.
  2. Do an evaluation: Sometimes learning difficulties remain unidentified because they are difficult to point out. The best way to find out is by doing an educational evaluation of your child. If he is suffering from any learning difficulties, you can approach specialists to help find solutions.
  3. Request a change of seating position: Sometimes there are certain students who can cause distractions. If your child is easily distracted, consider changing his seating position either to the front of the class or somewhere a little more secluded, so he is able to concentrate. Get the teacher's help to assign a more suitable seating arrangement for him.
  4. Ensure proper nutrition and sleep: Lack of sufficient rest can often affect your child’s ability to concentrate. So, ensure that she goes to bed early during weekdays and gets proper nutrition every day. Try not to alter her schedule too much during the weekends and maintain a routine.
  5. Involve different learning tools: Each child prefers a different learning method. Some prefer creative tools while others like step-by-step instructions. It's not always possible for the teacher to adhere to each student’s individual learning style. So, you can help by going through the subjects he finds difficult at home, and use audio visual tools or play learning games to teach him different concepts. In class, ask him to take notes and write down doubts, so he can clarify them later.
  6. Reward even small achievements: Every achievement matters, no matter how small. Make sure you appreciate your child’s efforts to focus in class and reward her achievements. This will motivate her to pay more attention in class and do her assignments with more care. 

The most important thing you can do, as a parent, to help your child focus at school is by paying attention to him. Listen to what he is saying and see if there's a pattern to his problems. This way, not only will you be able to identify the reasons for his inattention but he will also know that he can talk to you and ask your help. So, the next time you hear a complaint about your child not paying attention in school, listen to what he has to say for it. 

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