How to Improve

Concentration & Brain Pwer

Lack of concentration is a huge problem for most people these days, especially students. Read on to learn the best ways to tackle poor concentration and boost brain function, through simple changes in diet, routine and study methods!

Distraction, lack of concentration and inability to focus are common complaints among people of all ages, but they’re particularly an issue for young students. We often hear kids say things like “I’m trying to study, but my mind just drifts off”, or “I start off just fine, but can’t concentrate after a while or finish what I started”.

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A short attention span can have a huge impact on academic performance, but it affects other areas of your child's life as well. It’s important for children to learn how to increase concentration, not only so they can do better in school, but also to develop the mental skills they will need for success in relationships, work and more.

According to statistics, poor concentration and attention disorders such as HKD (Hyperkinetic Disorder) and ADHD (Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder) are a real problem across the world. Consider these figures to understand why doctors, parents and teachers are so concerned about concentration problems:

  • The average attention span for people dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds between the years 2000 and 2015.
  • It has been estimated that more than 5% of children/adolescents and 3% of adults worldwide have ADHD or HKD.
  • 1 out of every 4 teens forgets major details about close friends and relatives, and 7% of people forget their own birthday.
  • ADHD is one of the most common mental disorders between 5-15 years of age, affecting 8-12% of children worldwide.
  • Estimates suggest that 4-5% of adults in the U.S. have ADHD, but most are not diagnosed or treated for the condition.
  • According to some studies, France has the highest rates of adult ADHD at over 7%, while Australia is the lowest at just over 1%.
  • Approximately 60% of people who had ADHD as children are diagnosed with adult ADHD at some point in their lives.
  • In the U.S., there was a 50% increase in ADHD diagnosis for children 2-5 years of age, between 2007 and 2012 alone.
  • Among children aged 4-17, ADHD diagnosis rates in the U.S. rose from under 8% in 2003 to a disturbing 11% in 2012.
  • ADHD and other attention disorders can be successfully treated with medication, behavior therapy, or both. However, many children don’t receive either form of treatment. Even in the U.S., where ADHD has been recognized as a medical condition for many years, the data is not very encouraging:
  • Over 6% of American children aged between the ages of 4 and 17 received ADHD medication in 2011, up from just under 5% in 2007.
  • According to parent reports, 44% of kids aged 2-5 years received ADHD medication in 2011, and 53% received behavioral treatment for ADHD.
  • However, over 17% of kids between the ages 4 to 17 with current ADHD did not receive either medication or counseling in 2011.
  • In many countries across the world, societal attitudes and lack of awareness lead to attention disorders not being diagnosed or treated as mental health problems. Since ADHD often accompanies other issues such as depression, anxiety and personality disorders, actual prevalence rates may be even higher than estimated!

Other than ADHD and other learning or behavioral disorders, a number of studies have claimed that smartphones, social networks and instant access to information through the Internet are to blame. While the jury’s still out on this claim, it does make a certain kind of sense.

If you can look up any data online within seconds, why would you need to even try remembering it?

Regardless of age, gender, income and other factors, we’re all becoming more reliant on machines than ever before. Most people don’t invest much time on any activity throughout the day, claiming we’re “multi-tasking”. If you really think about it, we would all be diagnosed with attention disorders if we go get a mental health checkup today!

However, the impact of instant access to information is most concerning when it comes to children. Poor concentration has a negative effect on everything from their academic performance to vocational and social activities, which in turn affects their self-esteem, confidence, independence and personal development.

Here are some of the most common reasons for lack of concentration in students:

  • Low Motivation or Interest

    Children can’t concentrate if they don’t like the subject they’re studying, are uncomfortable with their environment or just don’t feel challenged by their work. Some are also discouraged by failure to achieve goals, feeling like their efforts are not enough, or the reward structure and allocation for achievements.

  • Unsuitable Teaching Style

    Children have unique needs and preferences when it comes to learning, which may not always match a teacher/instructor’s teaching style. For instance, kids who have trouble remembering facts and figures may not be able to focus on repetition or note-taking, but they could benefit from visual aids or mnemonics.

  • Too Many Distractions

    Smartphones beeping every few seconds with new emails, messages or phone calls, television or traffic noise in the background, family stress or arguments in the home, squeaking sounds from their chair… Kids can be distracted by almost anything, struggling with time management both at school and at home.

  • Lack of Resources

    Some children struggle to concentrate on their studies because they don’t receive the help and support they need. Kids who have difficulties with listening, reading or sitting still, for instance, may require special assistance and guidance but not get it. Others may face financial constraints that keep them from getting help.

  • Other Health Concerns

    In some cases, children may suffer from poor concentration as a result of medical conditions or other health issues. Lack of sleep or poor sleep quality, improper eating habits or lack of proper nutrition, issues with eyesight, chronic pain and even hormonal changes during puberty can affect their focus and concentration!

In some cases, concentration problems and learning difficulties require medical intervention and treatment. For most people, though, the ability to concentrate is all a matter of training the mind, feeding it right and making a few changes to their approach to studying.

Like any other muscle in the body, your brain needs the right fuel, inputs and exercise to function at its best. If you want to teach your children how to focus better, we’ve put together some of the top study concentration tips, right from a change in diet to setting a fixed routine for them to follow.

Here are the most effective ways to help your child overcome concentration problems, concentrate on studies during exam time, as well as boost mental skills in day-to-day life:

So, there it is. Concentration, memory and focus don’t have to be as much of a challenge as they seem, particularly when you understand why concentration problems occur and what you can do to fix them.

If your child needs extra assistance or guidance with their studies, the expert tutors at MySchoolPage will be happy to help. We offer personalized study plans, tutorials and concentration tips designed for each student’s unique learning needs, pace and style. Get in touch with us to learn more today!

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