Most children struggle with concentration, but we usually don’t notice until there’s an alarming sign. E.g., when their grades are low or when we hear complaints from teachers. What’s unfortunate is that they are often labelled as lazy or undisciplined which can further affect their confidence. Let’s look at some of the common complaints we hear from parents & teachers nowadays:
My child just doesn’t listen to me
They are always daydreaming
They get distracted too easily
What we fail to understand here is not all attention problems are behavioral. Your child may be struggling to concentrate harder than you can imagine. If they are not responding well to your techniques, it does not necessarily mean they are not trying hard enough.
First, you have to identify the stage at which your child is getting stuck. Here’s what goes into being attentive:
It is difficult to be receptive to new information if there’s an underlying stress or anxiety or a lifestyle issue like poor diet & sleep.
Deciding what to focus on:
It’s not easy to be decisive if the learning environment is full of distractions.
One of those reasons why children are easily distracted is because they are inherently curious and respond to more creative methods than conventional.
Even if you get rid of the distraction, some kids might have a hard time shifting their attention back after the disruption.
The reason could be something internal that affects how they perceive their experience or it could be an external stimuli like class environment or learning techniques. If it becomes chronic, we advise you to consult a professional. Although, most children have trouble focusing to some degree. Having regular interactions with your child and their teachers, tracking their developmental milestones, reconsidering the methods of teaching are some of the ways in which you can ensure they are not struggling.
How Storytelling helps with Attention
One of the powerful learning techniques that has proved to be helpful in attention issues is Storytelling.
Mark Rapport, Director of the Children’s Learning Clinic at the University of Central Florida says, kids with ADHD fidget because movement helps them maintain alertness. They feel the need to move when they are accessing their brain’s executive functions, particularly “working memory.” That’s the system we use for temporarily storing and managing information required to carry out complex cognitive tasks such as learning, reasoning and comprehension. But movies and video games don’t typically require brain strain, so the excessive movement doesn’t manifest.
They carried a research experiment where a child was shown two videos, in separate sessions. One was a Star Wars Episode and the other was an instructional video on Math. And the results were surprising:
Stories offer a sensory experience; it doesn’t demand your brain to process and analyze information. Storytelling is used as a learning technique to engage students naturally, organize the information creatively and motivate them to explore the meaning by themselves.
-Unlike any other form, stories engage our thinking, emotions, and imagination all at once.
-We all grew up listening and telling stories. Storytelling is an intrinsic skill to humans. The familiarity of this format makes us more open to learning.
-A story allows you to grasp the concept and draw your conclusions so there’s no pressure to get it right.
–Storytelling makes lessons engaging by allowing students to participate in it. It lets you imagine, question and improvise.
-Stories create an emotional connect, which in turn helps you recall details by association.
-Stories can convey complex ideas in simple and memorable ways.
-Stories make you empathetic. They help you look for perspective and focus on the right aspects.
As Stephen Covey, author of ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ says, “When you show deep empathy toward others, their defensive energy goes down, and positive energy replaces it. That’s when you can get more creative in solving problems.”
-It helps you ask the right questions.
–Storytelling is a timeless skill. Stories have existed as long as humans have, only the mediums have expanded. A well told story can defy logic like short attention spans and engage people for longer durations. E.g., An average Joe Rogan podcast is 2 hours and more than 200+ Million people listen to it.
Storytelling is an essential part of Tekie’s learning experience. We have created the world’s first sci-fi series where students learn the fundamentals of Coding alongside their favourite characters and practice hands-on Coding with a personal mentor. Check out our episode here.
If you would like to try a free class with Tekie and experience the art of storytelling in learning, book now.