Strategy #11: Physical Movement
This post is the last strategy of the series on Dr Lee’s book, ‘Internal Drive Theory’. If you have not read the previous strategies, click here to start.
Basically, by interspersing mundane repetitive tasks with physical movements, it helps break the monotony. Doing so will also allow children with short attention span to focus on a long task. By breaking it up into manageable chunks, the child/student is able to stay awake and alert over long periods. This is especially helpful for teachers trying to keep students awake after lunch/recess.
Challenges using Physical Movement
- Knowing when to use it. Task that requires prolonged concentration such as writing an English composition shouldn’t be interrupted.
- How much physical movement to incorporate. Some physical movements takes too long and wastes too much time. The child might end up more interested in the physical movement than on the task. Observe the situation and vary the number/length of interrupts accordingly.
How to use Physical Movement
- Make sure the task is repetitive and does not build on each other, doesn’t break their train of thought.
- If the child/student is able to focus, there is no need to introduce physical movement.
- Be creative in the type of physical movement you choose.
- Limit the time for the interruption.
These interruptions will ensure that time passes quickly and the child/student completes the work without falling asleep or losing focus. At the end of the task, use it to sculpt their Self-Concept (Strategy #8) using affirmative words.
For JC students, they are old enough to come up with their own study process. Teach them to observe themselves, how long can they stay focus on studying. For example, if they need two hours to finish a 6-7 question chemistry tutorial, they might need to break it up into two sessions. Depending on what physical activities they enjoy, they can choose to grab an ice-cream or login for a quick game on their mobile app.
That’s it for the last strategy. Underpinning all eleven strategies is Strategy #2, so make sure your child/student trusts you.
As Uncle Ben says famously to Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.”
You now know of strategies to motivate your child/student to study/behave in the way you believe is the best. It’s up to you to not use it for your own pride but rather for their well-being. Anything done excessively is always bad, guide them to lead a balanced life. Both work and play should be balanced (though it might not always be 50/50).