In our martial arts program, life skills are an important aspect of training. This week, we are working on the skill of Focus. Focus means to pay attention. We do this by using all our senses on a single aspect of whatever it is we need to be paying attention to. If it is driving, we are focused on driving, and not our many distractions that may be out there trying to get our attention. If we are in school, we focus on whatever the task is we need to be doing.
Children often have a short attention span because they are still developing. Our goal is to increase that so that they may learn, understand, and retain information better. Focus enhances their learning experience, enabling children to learn better. Focus begins with good eye contact. Studies have proven that if you look with your eyes, you hear better. Children love attention so encourage focus by praising them when they look at you. Consider saying, “What should you be doing right now?” versus “Look at me when I am speaking.” This simple question creates awareness and empowers a child to make the right choice. People will often say that children lack control or discipline. In truth, the challenge is that they may simply need to develop better focus. The key is to practice focus until it becomes a habit.
As a child, focus is awesome because it helps you to do things better like crossing the street safely, riding a bike or enjoying a movie without missing the best parts. Paying attention makes learning easier and more fun. If you have great focus, you will feel smart because you will understand what the teacher is teaching you and that’s pretty cool. To have the best focus you must think “Eyes, ears, mind, and body.” So always look at your parents when they are talking to you. Listen to your teachers when they are teaching you. Think about what you are doing to get it right and do the right thing with your body when doing something like riding a bike. Focus also builds your confidence because when you are focused you do things better and that feels good, right?
As a Parent focus is a particularly important life skill for your child to learn. It is the foundation of many other life skills such as discipline, memory, control, and balance.
Focus plays a key role in your child’s learning experience. It will increase their attention span so that they may learn, understand, and retain information better. Focus enables your child to be a better learner. Be mindful that a child is not born with great focus. It is only through practice that it becomes a habit. Studies have proven that children who can focus do better in school. At home, focus will help your child be a better listener and do things right away when asked. It will help them to complete tasks efficiently, thus increasing their confidence in the process.
Always encourage your child to make good eye contact when speaking and being in life, and work, not focusing causes us to take longer on tasks than needed. When you change a task and do not complete the first one, it takes your brain time to reset before getting back to good quality work, but if you focus, you can accomplish both a better job, as well as faster and more efficient.
I learned this long ago, and work on blocking out my time to have the greatest success on anything I am working on. Next time you are having difficulty getting something done, try blocking out your time and focusing on just one task.