Keeping kids engaged in anything is no easy feat. Whether it’s schoolwork, household chores, or pretty much anything, children will often prefer to pay attention to anything other than what you want them to. As parents, we all develop our own little ways of keeping them focused, but sometimes inspiration might still run dry.
If you’re looking for more ways to keep your kids engaged on homework or what you’re telling them, here are some expert tips and tricks that have been proven to help young people focus. Try out a few to see what suits you and your children best.
Get a furry friend for the family.
Having a pet that the whole family takes care of can do wonders for children and teenager’s sense of responsibility and gives them a long-term role that they both enjoy and are motivated to participate in. While some household chores might get boring after a while — like washing the dishes or vacuuming their room — becoming a dog owner is a joy that most children will never tire of. Plus, walking the dog makes for great exercise. Develop a schedule where the daily dog walk can break up their homework and get them out of the house; you’d be amazed at what fresh air and exercise can do for the brain!
If your kid will be walking the dog regularly, make sure you do your research into dog harnesses for the sake of both them and the dog. The best dog harness will give the dog owner better control and reduce discomfort even for a large dog. The harness or vest needs to be lightweight and petsafe. The advantage of a harness over a dog collar is that it has a more secure fit over the whole dog’s chest, rather than just around their neck, making it more comfortable for the dog and more likely for them to respond to the instructions of the trainer or owner. It’s perfect to help your child get to grips with dog-walking and all the benefits that come with it.
Meet them at their level.
Whatever you want your child to focus on, make sure to engage with them on their level. If they love video games, don’t forbid them from ever playing them. That only encourages them to rebel and see you as strict and overbearing. Instead, find a way that encourages them to engage with what they need to in a way that suits them.
A great example are these starter kits from Cokesbury VBS, which create fun and engaging introductions for children to get into Bible studies. If you want your children to engage more with religious topics and understand their faith more deeply, this is a great way of introducing kids to the subject in a fun and accessible way.
Invest in quality family time.
All work and no play does not make for a focused child! To help keep your child engaged in their schoolwork or social life, trips away for proper family time can do wonders. Even if you spend a lot of time together at home, these moments can often end up being short catch-ups over meals, as you all get caught up in your own lives. For any busy family, organizing a family excursion can leave you all feeling much better for it on your return.
Site for Shore Eyes is just one example of a great location. You want to find somewhere with plenty of gorgeous natural surroundings, with the opportunity to spend time outside together. If there’s a shared lounge or shared kitchen, you can all come together in communal areas away from the everyday tasks of the home and spend some real-time together. Vacation rentals like these ones are perfect for a relaxing family trip away, with free wifi for entertainment and all the luxury holiday home features you can think of.
Discuss future goals.
The reason many kids, and even adults, lose focus and stop being engaged is a lack of goals for the future. Try to have something concrete for your child to aim for in order to keep them engaged. For example, if you want them to be more engaged with a certain hobby, find a specific competition or performance that they can prepare for. Having a clear goal in mind helps them to manage their time and can be useful for motivation on days where they seem less engaged.
Vision boards are a great way to keep these goals front and center for them. Find pictures and inspiring quotes and bring them all together in one attractive layout. It will work even better if your child will actually create the vision board with you, as having their own input can help them feel more attached to the goal. Put the board up somewhere clearly visible where your child is most often working and might be at the highest risk of losing focus, like above their desk. Once they have something clear to aim for, they might solve their lack of engagement all by themselves.
Live well, work well.
It might sound like a cliche to mention the benefits of a healthy lifestyle, but it does really have a big impact. Making sure that your child eats well, with regular meals and plenty of fruit and vegetables, means their brains are in the best possible shape for proper focus and engagement. Even just drinking plenty of water gives people more energy to be more proactive and engaged in their daily activities.
Plus, introduce exercise to their lifestyle if they’re not already active. If they’re not keen on sport, find a fun activity, like swimming, rock climbing, or dance that will help to get them moving. Once the body gets moving, the brain will surely follow!
Encourage imagination and creativity.
Even if you have something specific in mind that you want your children to focus on more, don’t try and block out their other areas of creativity and imagination. Letting them explore what they want to will help them be more productive and engaged in other areas. At the end of the day, engaged minds will only come from genuine motivation, so let your kids explore what captivates them and you’ll find they are far more likely to dedicate themselves to the task completely.
Hobbies like arts and crafts can sometimes help children to explore other areas, like feeling more motivated for homework or sports, or even household chores! Whatever helps to get them feeling good and ready to engage their minds is always great to encourage, for both their sakes and your own.
As your child’s parent, you know them best. Certain children will react to different things in different ways, so see how they respond to any of the above tips and respond accordingly. Find ways to wind these tips into their everyday activities and schedules naturally, so they don’t feel under pressure to behave a certain way at any given time. Motivation and encouragement should feel genuine, so the child wants to participate in activities of their own volition, rather than as another chore that they need to complete. Make it fun and they’ll be sure to start feeling engaged and happy in no time.