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Child Development

How To Improve Children's Concentration And Focus (Updated)

February 6, 2023
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    Concentration and focus are crucial for learning new skills and getting things done. If your child has ADHD, your family is most likely very familiar with the concentration battle people with the condition so often face and how it affects a person's daily life. However, there are effective ways to promote focus in children with ADHD.

    What can parents do to improve their child's concentration levels? In this article, we'll discuss tips you can use to help your child focus, such as allowing breaks, playing games that promote concentration skills, and rewarding a child's effort. Then, we'll talk about how Joon can help.

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    Tips To Help Increase Your Child's Concentration And Focus

    If your child has trouble paying attention, you're not alone. Lack of concentration and focus can stem from many causes, ranging from stress and anxiety to ADHD. Though the extent of challenges with concentration varies, many parents and their children are in the same boat, and there are ways to promote focus in kids. Try these tips to support your child's concentration levels.

    Set a routine

    For those with concentration problems, routines are crucial. When children have set routines, their brain builds neural connections over time. In turn, kids get into the habit of finishing important daily tasks that set them up for success with less effort on both your and their end.

    Routines can also improve focus by outlining what children are supposed to do and when. With this in mind, make sure that you add a timeframe or deadline for activities when you create a child's routine.

    Daily routines can include personal hygiene activities like brushing teeth or bathing, getting ready for school, homework time, chores, and anything else that's a part of your child's life. If your child takes medication, include their medication schedule.

    How Joon Can Help Your Child Focus and Build A Routine

    Joon helps children get and stay focused on routine tasks like homework and household chores. How does it work?

    Parents download the Joon Parent App first and create a task list for their child. When children finish tasks, they get rewards in the Joon Pet Game app that allow them to take care of a virtual pet. By making tasks fun and acting as a reward system, Joon increases motivation and independence in kids with ADHD and related disorders. Joon also reminds children to finish tasks so that parents don't have to.

    Children's task lists are fully customizable with Joon, and you can add as many items as you want. 90% of children who use Joon complete every task their parents assign, and many parents say that it has improved their parent-child relationship.

    We offer a 7-day free trial so that your family can try Joon before you commit. Once the trial period is over, you can choose from a monthly or yearly payment plan.

    Click here to get started, or go to our Parenting Resource Hub for more tips on parenting kids with ADHD.

    Note: Joon is an app designed for kids with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) and their parents. Geared toward children ages 6-12, Joon helps children complete daily tasks. With over 3.9k reviews from parents like you, Joon is rated an average of 4.7 out of 5 stars in the App Store. Even better, the app is backed by teachers, child psychologists, and occupational therapists. 

    Click here to try Joon for free.

    Divide larger tasks into smaller ones

    When faced with a big task, many kids feel overwhelmed. Dividing a big task into several smaller tasks can make it far more doable. For example, instead of instructing a child to clean their room, you may instruct them to complete each specific task one by one.

    Allow for a break in between tasks

    Similar to dividing a big task into smaller pieces, breaks are absolutely crucial. Kids with ADHD may need more breaks to focus best, which is why it's such a common classroom accommodation for children with the disorder. Let your child take breaks in between each new task. During large tasks, like lengthy homework assignments, allow kids to take regular breaks (this can go along with breaking big tasks into several smaller tasks).

    Play games that require focus

    Occupational therapists and other professionals use concentration games to help kids build concentration skills. Parents can take this idea and transfer it to the home. Luckily, many common household games require focus and are easy for families to access. Most children enjoy playing games, so this tip is an obvious easy win.

    Options include but aren't limited to:

    • Picture puzzles
    • Board games
    • Crossword puzzles
    • Card games

    In addition to building concentration, playing games like these can support working memory.

    Utilize the benefits of physical activity 

    Physical activity is associated with better concentration and mood. Extensive research shows that exercise is linked to better concentration and reduced ADHD symptoms, alongside other benefits. Additional advantages of physical activity can include improvements in mood and behavior.

    To boost your child's concentration levels, make sure they have adequate time to move around throughout the day. Playing active games, participating in sports, dancing, yoga, hiking, taking walks, or anything else your child enjoys are great ideas for helping kids get the movement they need.

    Eat regular meals and encourage a balanced diet

    Adequate nutrition can improve attention and concentration. Many people with ADHD struggle with forgetting to eat, sensory issues, lack of appetite due to medication side effects, and so on. With this in mind, pay attention to your child's diet and how long they go between meals and snacks.

    Omega-3s, zinc, vitamin D, and iron have the potential to support concentration. If your child has deficiencies or does not get enough of these nutrients, talk with their doctor about supplementation. Nutrient deficiencies can be detected easily with a blood test. 

    Limit screen time

    Technology is a valuable tool, but screen time limits are necessary for ADHD kids. Why? Increased screen time is associated with higher levels of attention problems in children, so too much can affect a child's ability to focus.

    If you are not sure how to set time limits on technology for kids, the AACAP has general guidelines for screen time based on a child's age for you to refer to.

    Reduce distractions

    To improve a child's concentration levels, reduce distractions that may impede their ability to focus. Does someone at home watch TV or listen to loud music while a child works on school assignments or another task that requires concentration? Are cell phones within reach? If so, make minor tweaks in the home to reduce distractions when your child is engaging in an activity that requires focus.

    Strive to get enough sleep

    Individuals with ADHD are significantly more likely to experience sleep disturbance, but getting enough sleep can improve concentration and ADHD symptoms. With this in mind, parents can help their children by making sleep hygiene a priority. To help your child get enough sleep, try the following:

    • Remove cell phones and other electronic devices from a child's room while they sleep
    • Put children to bed and wake them up at the same time daily
    • Make sure your child's sleeping area is cool, dark, and clean
    • Implement a soothing and consistent bedtime routine to help your child relax
    • If applicable, limit caffeine

    Breathing exercises and other practices, like meditation, can be advantageous for those who need help winding down. If your child struggles with sleep on a persistent basis and you're not sure what to do, talk with your child's doctor about potential solutions.

    Make activities more engaging

    Often, classroom teaching styles rely heavily on auditory information and involve children staying seated. Sometimes, these expectations cross over into the home. Especially with ADHD, sedentary tasks that are not hands-on in nature can lead a child to lose interest quickly. You may find that your child's ability to concentrate increases when activities are hands-on. Make tasks like studying for school or cleaning more fun by turning them into a game or otherwise making the activity more engaging.

    Talk with your child's teacher

    Most likely, if a child's concentration is a concern at home, it also affects them at school and during other activities. If your child's concentration levels affect them at school, talk with your child's teacher(s) and work together to create solutions. Some children are able to get seating arrangements that prevent distractions during classroom tasks, as well as other accommodations.

    Give reminders

    Kids with concentration problems may require more reminders to stay on task. When a child loses focus, remain patient and redirect them back to the intended activity. Many apps designed for kids with ADHD give them reminders through mobile notifications that help them stay on task. Consider ADHD apps as an option for your family if you feel they might be worthwhile.

    Use timers and other external tools

    ADHD kids have trouble with time management frequently co-occuring with difficulty paying attention. External tools like timers, checklists, and calendars may help with both.

    Reward a child's effort

    Using reward systems is a tried and true technique for parents of kids with ADHD. Reward systems can improve concentration in a child by motivating them to focus on a task. Token systems, sticker charts, and apps like Joon that reward kids for completing tasks are all viable options.


    Sarah Schulze MSN, APRN, CPNP

    Sarah is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner with a specialty certification in pediatric mental health. She works at a clinic in Champaign Illinois, providing care to children and adolescents with mental health disorders. She obtained her bachelor's in nursing from Indiana State University in 2011 and completed her master's in nursing from University of Illinois at Chicago in 2014. She is passionate about helping children create a solid foundation on which they can grow into healthy adults.


    Sarah Schulze MSN, APRN, CPNP

    Sarah is a Pediatric Nurse Practitioner with a specialty certification in pediatric mental health. She works at a clinic in Champaign Illinois, providing care to children and adolescents with mental health disorders. She obtained her bachelor's in nursing from Indiana State University in 2011 and completed her master's in nursing from University of Illinois at Chicago in 2014. She is passionate about helping children create a solid foundation on which they can grow into healthy adults.