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Exercises for Children With Absent-Mindedness

by Darlene Peer

With so many thoughts running through your child's mind, she might have a problem focusing enough to retain information, making her appear absent-minded. Before assuming your child has problems with her memory, try to determine whether the problem is related instead to listening. If it is a memory problem and your doctor has ruled out possible disorders such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, working with your child can improve her memory skills.

Acronyms and Fun Phrases

Help information stick in your child's mind by helping him create easy-to-remember acronyms and phrases. For example, if he's having trouble remembering the Great Lakes, he can remember the word "HOMES" to help jog his memory. It contains the first letter of each lake's name: Huron, Ontario, Michigan, Erie and Superior. The order of the planets is easier to remember if your child remembers the phrase "My Very Excellent Mother Just Served Us Nuggets." If you're having trouble coming up with acronyms yourself, just search online using the term "acronym" combined with the subject.

Repeating Important Information

If instructions and other important information doesn't seem to stick, your child might benefit from hearing important information repeated. She should try to use her own words when she repeats the information. If she summarizes what she's heard, it should help the information stick in her mind. This is also a way to ensure that your child is paying attention and actively listening to whatever you just said.

Physical Exercise

One of the best exercises to boost your child's memory is plain old physical exercise. Studies have shown that moderate exercise enhances learning and memory and improves overall brain function. Oddly enough, voluntary exercise seems to produce more benefits than forced exercise, according to the journal "Trends in Neuroscience." That means that you should look for physical activities that your child enjoys so he's focused on having fun. All that increased blood flow to the brain certainly can't hurt.

Memorization and Mental Exercise

An excellent way to build your child's memory is to practice memorization. Ask her to memorize short poems and songs, working toward longer pieces. She can also memorize the shopping list, phone numbers and other lists. Rote memorization can help a child keep information in her mind, teaching her to focus and retain information longer. You can also help her cognitive functioning by teaching her to play chess or do crossword puzzles. Giving her brain a workout can be as simple as having her use her non-dominant hand for a while each day. Switching between hands helps the different sides of the brain work together.

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