6 Tips To Boost Your Child’s Memory
6 Tips To Boost Your Child’s Memory
“Write the date! It’s ‘2’ then ‘5,’ twenty five today,” I stressed as my four-year-old told me he’d forgotten how to write number ‘2.’ This is after he got five stars last week for a writing a page full of twos and threes. Confused and absolutely frustrated, I stared at my son, not knowing where to go from that point.
The panicky mother in me decided to probe deeper and research gave me a lot of insight. Children have short memory spans and lose concentration quite easily,but there are ways to help them out.
Do have also have absent-minded children who have low levels of concentration? Well, the following 6 ways can help:
1. Memory games“Here, take these spoons and keep them where mamma keeps other spoons. I told you where they’re kept, right?” This is Lily talking to her five-year-old.
“I don’t believe in regular memory games. They’re so boring and well, so academic…We can’t be in school-mode all the time, can we?” she asks.
Lily plays self-made memory games to improve her daughter’s memory and overall levels of concentration. She makes her child arrange small toys, spoons, basic things like her clips, and so on to gauge how well and how much of her instructions are retained.
2. Less Noise PollutionToo much noise around the house negatively affects a child’s memory skills. It’s common knowledge that a noise-free environment improves the concentration and helps him/her learn better–the reason why we keep it low during exam times.
Although concentration is paramount during tests and examinations, it’s ideal if we can communicate softly and keep noise down at other times as well. A quiet and calm household will aid your child’s memory and concentration.
Worth the effort, right?
3. Proper Sleep“He must not have slept well the previous night,” says Dr Thakrey, when I discuss about my son’s forgetfulness. He is right. On the days when I go easy on my son’s sleep routine, I find him to be more jittery and forgetful.
“A proper sleeping routine is the best way to improve memory–for kids and for adults,” adds Dr Thakrey. He explains that a ‘proper’ routine does not mean putting the child to bed at 10 pm and waking him/her up at 10 the next day.
Children need 10-12 hours of sleep but these hours should not be made up for by letting them sleep late the next morning. Ideally, children should be in bed by 9 pm so that they can start in a fresh mood at around 8 am the next day.
Goes unsaid that I have changed my son’s sleeping pattern completely. If you have problems with your child’s forgetfulness, it’s your turn.
4. Not Over LoadedAvoid making them overtired. Fatigue can take levels of concentration to an all-time low.
How to keep children from getting too tired since they run and play all the time? Besides, isn’t it good to get tired? They sleep and eat better!
“Children lose focus when they get excessively tired,” says Dr Thakrey. “Just because they sleep easily after getting tired does not mean they sleep well,” he adds.
He explains that fatigue gets carried over in children to the next day and till a few days after that. There needs to be a balance between work and play during the day.
Don’t over schedule for them. There needs to be sit-down and chill-out time where parents need to be actively involved. Storytelling, board games, general conversations about school and friends, or just singing songs. TV time does not count! These are fun times, but without too much physical or mental exertion.
“We call it going underground,” giggles Veena as she explains her chill-out time with her son.
Try going ‘underground,’ should we?
5. Keep them fullYes, as a parent you never leave your child hungry, but since he/she can’t understand what being full means, you can’t always be sure. If your child is losing focus too easily and has low concentration, chances are he/she might not be full.
“Just before lunch break, we avoid math or science. The best subjects for these times are art or poetry since hungry children cannot concentrate,” explains Savita, the curriculum head in an established school in Kolkata.
So if you think that your child is losing concentration, but tells you he/she is not hungry, offer some snack just in case. Let the snack for such times be attractive or his/her favourite. Let your little one eat every couple of hours.
“At parent-teacher meetings we always urge parents to pack healthy, yet tempting tiffin for kids since a hungry child is a dull child,” Savita concludes.
Makes sense, doesn’t it?
6. Are they worried?“Experts say that children as young as two years of age have a tendency to worry,” says Dr Thakrey. This tendency has something to do with their self-image and attention that they receive from parents. Such children are impulsive and inattentive. Anger or lack of enough praise may lead children to lose focus.
“During the terrible-twos, when kids suddenly become aware of their surroundings and start fighting for independence, parents tend to get restless. Some parents take to scolding their toddlers quite often just because they don’t know how to handle them better. Continuous admonishment and control leads to a negative self image and by the time kids turn four, they start showing low concentration and anxious behaviour,” he elaborates.
Dr Thakrey suggests many strategies to combat worrying in children. The one that stayed with me is we need to involve them with us all through the day–talk to them, play with them, snuggle with them, and then correct them when required. Basically, we need to give attention to receive attention.
Easily doable, don’t you agree?