That’s the real question, isn’t it? Your child has trouble focusing, and you want to help. But are drugs really the answer?
There has been an incredible surge in ADHD diagnoses and drug prescriptions in the last decade. In fact, 41% more children ages 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD in the past ten years, and there has been a twentyfold increase in the consumption of drugs for attention deficit disorder in the past 30 years.
What is even more surprising is that the drugs prescribed for ADHD are not showing positive academic results.
In 2013, the National Bureau of Economic Research looked at nearly 4,000 students over an average of 11 years and found that students who took ADHD drugs actually performed worse than students with similar symptoms who did not take the drugs. In addition, increased drug use was associated with increased unhappiness, worse relationships with parents, increased anxiety and depression...
Can you “keep a beat?” Some of us can do it more naturally than others. But we didn’t know until recently that it’s a very important skill that affects brain processing speed, working memory, focus and attention. Research is showing us that your ability to keep a beat actually measures something called “neurotiming,” which is an integral part of brain development, especially in elementary school-aged kids. And the best part is that neurotiming is a skill that can be learned, which means that kids aged 6-12 can improve their focus and attention over time, making them more effective learners and more successful adults.Studies done on children using a training program designed to improve neurotiming have shown improvements in attention and concentration by as much as 30%, and improvements in math and reading scores by as much as 20%.The idea of neurotiming may not seem intuitive, but think about it: we...
“Meditate. Breathe consciously. Listen. Pay attention.
Treasure every moment. Make the connection.”
– Oprah Winfrey
When Oprah Winfrey touts the benefits of meditation, the practice has truly gone mainstream. Asking an 8-or 9-year-old to meditate? That seems like something outside the realm of possibility. But giving your kids the opportunity to experience the centering positive aspects of meditation without actually expecting them to meditate is something most parents might consider. Especially since research shows meditation increases activity in the brain regions used for paying attention, making decisions and academic performance.
In a study published in the journal Psychological Science, college students who did meditation training designed to help them focus and stay present had higher accuracy scores on the GRE and scored higher on working memory tests when compared to their peers after the training.
Richard Davidson, professor of psychology and psychiatry at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health and the...
Did you know that research from Duke University shows that the strongest predictor of future success in children ages 6-12 is the ability to focus and concentrate? And that kids who lacked focus were more likely to struggle as adults? There is also evidence showing that kids who lack focus at age 5 are more likely to have problems in school by the age of 12.
According to Daniel Goleman, author of Focus: The Hidden Driver of Excellence, “the area of the brain that governs focus and executive functioning needs to have the experience of sustained episodes of concentration in order to build the mental models that create someone who is well educated. This means that we need to be even more intentional about teaching kids given all of the day-to-day distractions and competition for their attention.”
Another study, from Oregon State University, confirms that one aspect of executive function skills in children,...