A classroom is an assorted assembly of children. Children of all kinds mingle in the classroom- Fast learners, slow learners, active kids, lazy ones and of course the kids with attention issues. What does teh term self-awareness mean in relation to all of the above types of kids?
Who are the kids with attention issues?
Some kids are restless, easily distracted and inattentive in class. They seem more fidgety than usual. Focussing on the class is a major challenge for such children.
Teachers who observe children acutely in class are able to identify such kids with attention issues. Children may be affected by these types of attention issues
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is the most common attention issue affecting children between ages 3-17. For these kids, the attention-controlling area of the brain takes time to develop. So they exhibit the following symptoms.
- Inability to focus on small details in a big picture
- Be attentive without getting distracted
- Continue a thought process even after getting interrupted
- Require instructions to be repeated several times
- Concentrate on one task at a time
- Follow spoken instructions and process them
- Continue a conversation without changing the topic
What is self-awareness?
Self-awareness is a life skill that enables a child to understand his
- Thoughts and emotions
- Strengths and weaknesses
- Outward impression on others
Self-awareness is crucial in helping a child to optimize his potential and direct it towards his self-improvement.
Why self-awareness is critical for children with attention issues?
- A child with attention issues knows his weaknesses, but he can realize what his strengths are only through self-awareness. Here is a great source of information to use self-awareness to encourage growth and success.
- Self-awareness makes an attention-deficit child realize that how he perceives himself is very different from how others perceive him.
- Being self-aware helps children with attention issues mingle normally and relate to others.
- Self-awareness is the key for attention-deficit kids to identify unique opportunities for self-growth.
Tips to improve the self-awareness of kids with attention issues.
- Help them to acknowledge their attention issues
Children may be too young to understand the full implication of ADHD. But still, you can try to clarify to them that they might find certain things difficult – like retaining what have learned or writing down what they have read. If a child understands that he has these difficulties, he may cope with it and work harder.
- Bring in the big picture
Make the child understand that attention issues are not going to be the deciding factor that would rule his life. Identify his strengths using self-awareness initiatives. Celebrate his other strengths and guide him towards opportunities where he can excel. Children with attention issues might excel in sports like swimming, karate, etc.
- Make him feel comfortable with his shortcomings
Do not feel shy to discuss the weaknesses of the child. Rather make it seem as if they are minor issues. Relate his shortcomings to those close to him in a fun way- ” Look, I am good at Maths but I can’t swim like you even for a minute!”
- Come up with smart solutions
Having explained his failings to the kid, now give him some smart solutions to overcome them. For instance, explain to the kid that “You might find it difficult to recall what you learned in class. So try revising it 2-3 times instead”. Along with self-awareness, self-assessment of concepts taught at school, can be a great help.
- Motivate him to pursue his passion
Identify his passions and motivate the child to pursue them. “Your art teacher was pretty impressed with your work the other day. Why don’t you try a sketch right now?”
- Explore new avenues
Induce your child to explore new avenues. Get him to overcome his fear of failing. Make him try his hand at boating, horse riding, art or music to build his self-esteem.
Most children suffer attention issues in their growing years. But these attention issues can easily be surmounted by identification of alternate learning methods and with adequate practice. Practiced learning helps children with attention issues cope better with academics and excel in scholastics too.