How to Spark It

Fri, 16 Jul, 2021

Concentration Problem in a Child: Signs, Causes and Fixes

concentration problems in children

Rachana worries as she watches her 4-year-old son, Suyash, at play. “He jumps from one activity to another. I rarely see him focus on one thing for any length of time,” She says. Rachana claims that Suyash gets distracted easily by noises. “If he is involved in a project or assignment, the slightest sound near him can pull his attention away.”

Like Rachana, many parents worry about their child’s concentration problems. Many are left wondering whether their child could have a learning disability. However, it’s important to know that not every child with difficulties concentrating has a learning difficulty such as ADD or ADHD. In most cases, the concentration problem in a child is due to a number of other reasons.

If you’re worried your child may have a concentration problem, read on to know the most common signs of focusing problems in children. Also, find out the reasons why your child could have a concentration issue and how you can fix the problem.

9 Common Signs of Child Concentration Problems

Unable to maintain a train of thought 

When your child narrates an incident or tells a story, they often jump to unrelated things without realising it. And if someone interrupts them, they have a tough time remembering where they left off.

Stares into space

Your child is looking out of the window or into space when they are supposed to be engaged in some sort of activity like homework or household chores.

Needs directions repeatedly

When doing a task, if your child gets distracted, they would need to be reminded again and again of what is needed of them.

Doesn’t seem to be listening when spoken to

When speaking directly to them, your child seems to be looking at other things and not reacting to what you are saying. 

Takes a lot of time to finish a task

When your child takes thrice the amount of time than it normally takes o to complete a task.  

Unable to focus on one task at a time

When your child tries to do multiple tasks at one time (presenting it as multitasking) but isn’t able to focus on one task to completion.


When doing homework or studying, your child always has something to fiddle with.

Feels “dumb”

Your child may get upset with themselves if they can’t get things done as expected. They usually blame themselves, which can lead to low self-esteem.  

Unable to stay organised

Your child gets flustered when they have to organise their belongings. They may even feel overwhelmed when getting ready for school, they lose things and forgets what they were doing or working on.

12 Reasons Your Child Has Trouble Concentrating 

Too many unavoidable distractions

Children are naturally curious, and their wandering minds can be distracted by anything, such as noises inside and outside the house, TV, etc.

What You Can Do: Make your child work in a distraction-free room.

Difficult tasks

If the task is too challenging, your child may not be able to concentrate on it.

What You Can Do: Break the task into smaller tasks. This makes the tasks simpler, and your child will be able to complete them.

Seeks attention from parents

Not concentrating on what they are doing is often attention-seeking behaviours.

What You Can Do: Spend quality time with your child every day.

Not sleeping enough

For children to function at their best, they must sleep for at least eight to twelve hours every night. Lack of sleep will hamper the child’s ability to concentrate on the tasks at hand.

What You Can Do: Ensure that your child follows a good sleeping routine.

Poor diet

Poor nutrition and skipping meals can be a reason for losing concentration.

What You Can Do:  Give your child brain development foods and a balanced diet on a regular basis. Ensure that they don’t skip breakfast.

Personal Problems

If the child is having problems at home or at school, they will have issues focusing on their regular activities.

What You Can Do: Talk to your child to figure out what’s troubling them. Understand their problem and help them resolve it. Make them feel secure.  

A different learning style

Each child has a unique learning style. Maybe your child’s learning style is different, and the techniques used fail to hold their attention.

What You Can Do: Find out your child’s learning style. 

Lack of exercise

If your child is not exercising, they are bound to become sluggish and lazy. This will also lower their concentration power.

What You Can Do: Take your child off gadgets and TV. Take bike rides together, walk the dog or play football.

Lack of interest or motivation

If a child is not interested in an activity or subject, they will not be motivated to complete it. Hence, they will have problems focusing on it.

What You Can Do: Figure out a way to keep your child motivated and interested. If needed, consult a professional. 

Disorganised workspace or school bag

If your child spends more time working through a disorganised workspace or looking for the right school materials to do an assignment, they can easily get distracted.  

What You Can Do: Help your child organise their school bag, homework, workspace, etc. Teach them ways to stay organised.

Personal Loss

If there has been a personal loss, such as a death of a loved one, a pet or a friend, your child’s concentration can be negatively affected.

What You Can Do: Talk to your child and help them get through the loss. If needed, take the help of a counsellor.

Learning Difficulties

Your child’s inability to concentrate could also be due to learning difficulties such as ADD, Dyslexia, or ADHD.

What You Can Do: Consult a professional and seek guidance on how to move forward.

Once you have figured out the reason for your child’s focus issues, make a plan to address and overcome them. Resolving concentration issues will help your child become a smart kid in school and get through their adult life, especially when it comes to building careers.