5 ways to reduce distraction and increase retention | #parenting


We live in an ‘always on’ overwhelming world that can be exciting and tiring at the same time. Alongside adults, even young children and students are caught in a cobweb of never-ending to-dos with diminishing attention spans. While the internet bears the brunt of being a major distractor, let’s not forget that the forthcoming generations will be groundbreakers of technology living in a smarter world than ever before. Their physical and virtual realities will be increasingly merged and their methods of learning and retention will need a tectonic shift.

Social media connectivity, access to an abundance of information on the net and the use of mobile apps is inevitable. We must leverage the fact that children are willing to explore new things every day and equip them with appropriate interactive tools that will keep them engaged and boost their retention.
We must leverage the fact that children are willing to explore new things every day. (Source: Pexels)
For discerning parents, the following five ways will help understand ‘How to reduce distraction and increase retention for their children’.

Introduce gamification to strike a healthy mix of learning and play

Gamification is the easiest way to combine learning and play. It is exciting and can be introduced in different ways from trivia quizzes to puzzles and even simulations for a holistic learning experience. It is proven that playing games can result in structural and functional changes in the brain by enlarging and activating areas that are responsible for attention or visual-spatial skills. When combined with learning, gamification can ensure that the child is actively engaged and processes knowledge simultaneously without any stressors. It will also build confidence and increase their retention phenomenally.

Experiential and interactive learning over passive absorption

As per World Economic Forum, education systems in developed and developing economies alike still rely heavily on passive forms of learning focused on direct instruction and memorisation. A large part of the world is still struggling to make learning interactive and experiential. Experiential learning via AR and VR led features is quite a contrast to passive learning as the students can understand complex concepts using simulations and real-life application based content to strengthen their understanding.

Balance of routine activities

Right from a good night’s sleep to a family breakfast time, children should not be overburdened with hectic schedules keeping them on a hamster wheel. Identify their interests and space out their daily calendars to add a mix of socialising, learning, extra-curricular activities and healthy family time. Stay involved to ensure the child doesn’t feel overwhelmed or easily stressed.

Positive Screen Time

Screen time need not always be harmful; practice moderation but ensure that their time engaging with gadgets is productive. As mentioned above, AR led to discovering the world through a different lens and games will keep them engaged and enable long-lasting learning. Additionally, immersive experiences and interactive content can help in reducing digital congestion. Be careful to supervise the content they are consuming at all times.

Simple breathing exercises

Breathing exercises are rejuvenating for the body and mind. It means more oxygen, and therefore a healthier growth and emotional health. According to the Journal of Neurophysiology published in 2018, controlled breathing influences “neuronal oscillations throughout the brain,” especially in brain regions associated with emotion. From an early age, encourage breathing exercises to ensure your children can manage stress efficiently and are able to improve their quality of sleep.

With the internet of things taking precedence in our daily lives, we must find productive ways of blending technology with fun and learning. Stay well-researched and vested in solutions that will offer blended learning solutions for your children. Digital adoption ignited by the pandemic has brought the future closer and it will become increasingly important to opt for solutions that are crafted with care to address your children’s changing needs.

(The writer is Co-Founder and COO at Practically.)

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