Tips to help parents keep children focused during the summer months
Published: July 24, 2021
By: Dr. Rebecca Jackson, UP of Programs and Outcomes for Brain Balance
Whether your child is struggling with summertime readings or putting off homework assignments, procrastination is real for all of us, but it can also escalate levels of stress and anxiety if not handled proactively. Approaching both scenarios with a plan will set you up for success.
Start your day with physical activity to help increase their mood and energy, which are both needed to tackle the tasks we don’t like doing. In fact, research has shown that exercise can actually boost focus and memory. A quick morning walk, bike or scooter ride can help set the tone for more to get accomplished that day.
Try doing the tasks they dislike, or avoid, first. Get them out of the way allowing you to look forward to the tasks you like more (or hopefully at least dislike less). For example, say a parent needs to run errands and the kids don’t want to join. Offer to do them early in the day so they have the whole afternoon to play and do what they’d like to do.
Allow mental breaks. Allow yourself and your children time for social interactions and fun, like a scheduled lunch, but then also quiet time to get things done.
Create a to-do list prior to going to bed at night and keep children in the know. Writing down your thoughts can help calm your mind so that you are able to sleep, giving you the energy and willpower needed for the next day. Remind your children what is on the agenda for the next day so they can also mentally prepare for the tasks.
Talk it over! Remember there is power in face-to-face communication. While Google meets and virtual classrooms helped move things along last year, there is power in face-to-face discussions. Sitting WITH someone, doing activities together is much better than staring at a flat screen. Face-to-face communication engages your motor neurons – which help you read non-verbal cues and connect with the people around you.
Dr. Jackson is currently the VP of Programs and Outcomes for Brain Balance, where she designs and implements programs focused on strengthening the brain to optimize human performance for a variety of ages and abilities. Dr. Jackson graduated from Life University as a Doctor of Chiropractic in 2001. You can find her recently peer-reviewed research in the Journal of Advances in Medicine and Medical Research 2021, Effect of the Brain Balance® Program on Cognitive Performance in Children and Adolescents with Developmental and Attentional Issues. Jackson has appeared on national broadcasts including ABC’s The Doctors Show and NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt and has contributed to numerous national print outlets including Forbes, Business Insider, TODAY, and many more.