My 8-year-old can be really “forgetful”. I seem to have to always remind him to flush after using the toilet. If you send him on an errand from the sitting room to the bedroom, he will most likely come back empty handed. I have lost count of all the things he “forgets”. I guess what is most worrying is “forgetting” what he has learnt in school.
Does this ring a bell for you? Does your child have a hard time keeping one bit of information in mind while he’s doing something else? Chances are that he/she might have working memory issues. Working memory refers to the ability to keep in mind the information needed to complete tasks like following multi-step directions or solving a math problem in your head. And trust me, you are not alone on this as many parents also report similar situation daily. But don’t fret, we have compiled a list of workable strategies your child can learn to help them pull through.
- First thing first is to consider breaking down information into smaller bites especially if you notice your child has a hard time following multi-step directions. Breaking tasks down into smaller and more manageable steps can be a good way to help your child remember and process information. For instance, if you are used to saying go bring the toys with the pack and tell dad it’s time for dinner, you should try focusing on one task at a time.
- Consider helping your child work on his/her visualization skills by creating in their mind what they just heard or read. For example, when the child is reading something, have them pause and ask them to imagine the scene in their head and describe it to you. Another easy way to go about it is to ask them to set the table for a few people and then picture it in their head. Then have them draw this and describe it. With time, they will be able to describe similar or such scene without having to draw it.
- When your child just learnt a new or skill or just read or heard something new, you could simply help them make some attempts at recreating that thing by asking them to teach you what they’ve been told, taught or read. This helps them to mentally organize it, before being able to say it aloud.
- Songs and abbreviations -My son loves to sing and its amazing how many lines of Justin Bieber’s song he can recall excellently. So, we use songs to remember the 7 Rivers in Africa or, we use abbreviations to remember the lines and space of the treble staff in music – Every Good Boy Deserves Fanta. Or MRS GREN to remember the various life processes in Science.
- Games can also help you. There are a ton computer games, apps and matching and puzzle games that can be used alongside other strategies to help your child’s visual memory. Games are visually appealing, fun and require active learning (using more senses).
- Encouraging active reading is another sure bet that most parents have attested to. Using highlighters and a sticky note can work like magic and of course, that’s why they are very much popular today. Get them to formulate the habit of Jotting down notes and if possible, instructions. Underlining or highlighting text can help kids keep the information in mind long enough to answer questions about it. Active reading strategies can help with forming long-term memories too.
Try some of these strategies and you will be amazed at the instant results. Don’t keep them to yourself, share with another awesome parent. Also, give 9ijakids educational games a try and be amazed as to how much fun your child can have while learning.
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