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6-year-old has trouble concentrating on homework

Asked by Female, 34, Married
I have a 6 year old son who doesn't pay attention when we ask him to do his homework. He does start doing his homework but gets distracted easily. I have to remind him every 5 mins to concentrate in his homework which makes me feel angry and I get frustrated. What should I do?
Answer
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Madhuri Mohan
Counselling Psychologist

Hi, first I would ask if this is only limited to homework or extends to other areas where your son cannot sustain concentration. If you do notice the same pattern even while playing games, or watching a show, or even having a conversation. I would suggest seeking help, where psychologists can evaluate him in person.

However, if the case is only with his homework these are a few tips you could adopt to help him focus better:

1. Set a specific time to do homework and keep to the timings. If he does not keep to the timings, take away some activity he likes doing like tv time or game time. This way the child understands that there are consequences if he does not complete on time.

2. Homework is done in a public area of the house. This way you can keep an eye on him while he works. However, try and keep the immediate surroundings free from distractions. Unnecessary objects and clutter should be cleared away so that the child can concentrate.

3. Give the child a small reward after and only if he completes his homework on time. At first, the rewards may be slightly bigger and reduced gradually the rewards may be as simple as verbal appreciation.

4. If he is getting frustrated or angry, ask him to take a ten-minute break. However, during this time do not allow him to engage in any other activity. Rather, give him time to reflect and resume after he has calmed down.

5. Most importantly, do not lose your cool or get angry with him. instead, try and motivate him and getting him interested in doing the work, rather than instructing him to complete the work. If you feel that you are getting frustrated, take a break from helping him complete his homework. Getting your stress levels high is a no-win situation for anyone. Calm down and resume little later.

These are just a few tips, hope this helps you. feel free to get in touch if you have further queries or wish to know how to specifically to help your child.

Thanks.

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