How Do I Get My Child to Focus?!?

How Regular Meditation Can Help Your Child Focus Better on Homework and a lot More

When you are the parent of a young child, getting them to focus on ANYTHING can be a frustrating and ongoing challenge. When kids are very young, say 3-5, getting them to focus long enough to let you get them dressed can be a huge challenge. As they get a little older, 6-9, getting your child to focus on schoolwork and homework becomes the bigger challenge; causing many after school battles. We know our kids need to learn to focus in order to complete tasks, so we try everything: bribing, nagging, yelling…maybe even punishing – all with no real change in behavior. This leads to desperate, late night Googling of things like “How can I get my child to do their homework?” or “How can I get my child to focus?” 

So what IS the answer? Just how DO you help your child focus when nothing seems to work?

According to many experts and a growing body of evidence, the answer lies in meditation. For kids, this practice can be life-changing.

Meditation has been long-used by adults to create a sense of calm and wellbeing, but meditation has also been shown to improve focus and cognitive function. Although the research around meditation for kids is somewhat limited, it is growing quickly. And, from a logical standpoint, it stands to reason that if meditation helps adult focus, it will help kids focus, too. A recent and well-known study by Italian neuroscientist Giuseppe Pagnoni found that meditation improved mental focus which, in turn, can improve cognitive performance. Pagnoni measured his participants’ brain patterns via MRI and found that meditators had more stability in their ventral posterior-medial cortex (vPMC) compared to non-meditators. The study showed that this increased stability in meditators may enable them to calm their mind and stop wild thoughts from snowballing.

According to a recent article in the Huffington Post, meditation offers many research-backed benefits:

  • Builds focus and concentration
  • Boosts cognitive function
  • Increases compassion and empathy
  • And so much more

So, How Do You Get Your Young Child(ren) to Meditate?

So how do you get your young child to focus long enough to actually meditate? First, you have to take it slow. Second, you have to make it fun. In today’s digital world, it’s easy to get kids to use a tablet or phone. So it makes sense to leverage an app or online program to help engage your child learn to meditate. Apps like Ninja Focus make meditating fun for kids with colorful characters and short, focused meditations. What’s great about this meditation app for kids is that it is game-like; offering rewards and trophies to incentivize behavior. A meditation app like Ninja Focus will seem like a game to your child, but in reality, it’s helping train him or her to calm down and focus; a skill that will serve your child well as they grow into adulthood.