It’s that time again… back to school! As summer is coming to an end, parents are preparing for a seamless transition back into the school routine. Just like any time of the year, there’s lots to do! From grabbing those last minute school supplies to getting those sports physicals, parents are busier than ever. Setting the tone for a successful school year is key not only to your child’s academic career, but also to their confidence, mental attitude and overall well-being.
From speaking to many parents, one of the main concerns I have heard lately is the difficulty for the student to focus while sitting in class or studying. Many of the students affected are eventually labeled as having ADD/ADHD. ADD stands for attention deficit disorder, which is defined as causing a range of behavior problems such as difficulty attending to instruction, focusing on schoolwork, keeping up with assignments, following instructions, completing tasks and social interaction.
In 2017, an estimated 6.4 million children ages 4-17 were diagnosed with ADD/ADHD. The primary method to deal with this diagnosis is to provide medication, however, there are other ways to help your child that offers no long term side effects and promotes learning new strategies for them to use throughout their life.
Here are a few ways you can help your child NOW if they are having difficulty with focusing in any area of their school work.
A recent study showed that the bacteria in your gut affects your brain and vice versa. When the amount of bacteria is your gut is low, it has a negative effect on your overall health. Some symptoms include brain fog, fatigue throughout the day and even achiness in the body. One way the gut bacteria is depleted is by eating an excessive amount of processed foods and sugar on a regular basis. Avoiding sugar and other processed foods and adding brain foods such as avocados, walnuts and omega 3’s will ensure a healthy amount of gut bacteria.
More and more studies are showing the effects of electronics to our health. These effects include eye strain, headaches, and inability to fall asleep. Restricting the use of electronics especially a couple of hours right before bed is sure to help students get better sleep, which helps focus throughout the day.
Essential oils are a great way to help your child focus throughout the day. Peppermint is shown to increase focus and memory up to 25%. Peppermint is also shown to increase alertness and even lowered frustration!
Going outside and having some play time for at least 30 minutes is especially crucial for growing brains. Not only is it fun but it also alters different hormones and neuropeptides that boost learning!
Sleep is essential to people of all ages, but especially in school age children. Sleep plays a part in memory in a couple of ways. The first is when a person is sleep deprived, they cannot focus their attention properly, which causes them to not be able to learn efficiently. Secondly, sleep is crucial in the consolidation of memory, which is essential for learning new information.
Connecting with kids and asking them what they learned that day will help them recall details that they may not have connected to otherwise. Asking about their friends and social life provides the much needed connection and helps with the “recall” part of their memory.
The spine is part of the central nervous system (CNS), and the CNS is your body’s communication system. Because of its intricate connection with the brain, the health of the spine is directly correlated with the health of the nervous system. Your brain not only sends information from the brain, but it also interprets the information coming from the environment, much like a freeway. How the brain interprets these messages relies on the health of the spine. The more distortions or interferences there are in the spine, the more difficult it is for the brain to have proper response to the stimulus.And when this happens, the communication within the body can be misconstrued. It’s easy to see how a problem with communication could keep you from concentrating. Since chiropractors focus on the spine, it often sees a boost in health, and then so too does the CNS, and your communication and concentration may see a significant rise.
Mental energy is important to us all and we often have trouble when we suffer from an inability to concentrate. If this is a major problem for you and you would like help, make an appointment with us for a full health evaluation here!