The Sad Children and Concentration
The Sad Children.
Children rarely are really sad. However, they could appear to be sad each time someone tries to make them do things in a way which is different to the ones the child knows or if the person is using an approach that would make the child irritable.
Why is this?
First of all, let's take a look at what concentration is. Concentration is a form of meditation. We need to clarify right here that meditation nowadays is incorrectly defined as freeing one's mind or as a type of unconsciousness. On the contrary, meditation is a form of reflection. It is the act of concentrating one's mind on a specific thought or a goal to be achieved. Meditation is the ability to concentrate on doing something without giving in to background noise.
Background noise could be any of the following:
- Any objects, people or animals close to where we are;
- Any thoughts;
- Any emotions not related to our goal.
To help your child preserve their concentration in any environment where there are background noises, you need to start training them for this from the moment they are born. There are mothers who would only whisper around their sleeping babies, would ask the guests to leave and tell the other children off, if they make any noises.
Mums who wants to help her child concentrate better only needs to protect them from excessive noises such as the neighbors drilling.
Music, the quiet but constant voice or tunes from the radio, the chatter of other children talking are all noises that are beneficial for the child's brain as they get used to noise. The child will have no problems concentrating and, eventually, falling asleep.
This is exactly the same type of concentration that a 5-6 years old pupil will need a few years later when they are toiling hard trying to draw their first scribbles and letters. All noises in the class room such as the ones from other children, flying butterflies and bees, the teacher's heels clacking, will go unnoticed if your child has been trained to concentrate since they were babies.
What happens with your child's emotions then?
Emotions can burst out without a hint while you are working with a child. And the child happened to start with so much enthusiasm. Usually, these emotions indicate irritation.
The child has been given a task, however, the principle of gradually increasing the task's complexity has not been followed. In sports you can do this by increasing the level of difficulty and adding one more exercise each time. Why then do we expect children to be able to write down entire rows of letters right from the beginning? You could start teaching them with the letter A. Use associations to describe what the letter looks like - for example, a house. Think of all the words that you can remember that start with A. Continue with some examples of words that end up with the letter А.
Think about what the role of the letter is - for example, A is a vowel. It has the same role as the other vowels - to connect the letters in a word. This is why A looks a bit like hands holding together. If the letters don't join hands, they cannot play a dance. Show a dance that the children can play while holding hands. So, writing the first letter should be followed by a lot of playing and maybe even telling a tale. This is it.
Next time, they need to write the letter a few times. After a few longer pauses, repeat the exercise by increasing the complexity with one more letter to write or with an entire row of letters depending on how INTERESTED the child is.
If a child is given a task which is too hard for their individual abilities, they start feeling irritated and start showing symptoms of tiredness. Whenever possible, tasks should be personalized as well.
With children, we need to think of tiredness not as the main factor or as the result of an emotion.
Adults are capable of working very hard physically or mentally and they can put a lot of effort into whatever they do. Children can work as hard (as a quality, not as a quantity) and work can be completed comparatively easy or without any effort. They could fill up entire pages with letters if they simply wanted to. This is why we think the child got tired after writing down their fifth letter. Actually, the child is irritated. This is a very strong emotion for them and it is the emotion that makes them tired. As an example, you could think of how hard it is for them to go to bed at night. They find the world so amusing and they have the energy needed to live in it. Trying to make them do something they don't want to is a whole different story - they immediately feel irritated and tired. And an irritated child appears to be sad.
Why does a child get irritated?
They've been asked to do something they don't want to do. And they don't want to, because they haven't been inspired to do it.
Be a leader of your children and inspire them to follow a set of steps instead of making them do the steps explaining this is very important. Children do not know yet what the important things in life are, what university is and so on.
A child who is inspired can complete much more work. However, it's complexity should also be defined.
Let the child do exercises, gradually increasing the volume and the complexity of material. Have periods in between to repeat and assess what they have learned.
Ensure the child hydrates a lot as they are studying. We are like plants - the Sun, the air and water are the perfect compounds for a child to study well and to concentrate. Actually, thinking about it, the best place to study is, perhaps, in the mountains or... at the beach.