Activities that Encourage Focus and Concentration in Kids

Academic performance is important to most Singaporean parents. Did you know 40% of preschoolers attend private tuition? The percentage is even higher for primary and high school students, at 80% and 60% respectively. Although tuition is helpful, it may not benefit children struggling with focus and concentration. 

Instead of tuition, it is best to attempt attention training for kids. A child who is unable to concentrate in class will not have much luck with tuition. Before turning to tuition, why not find activities that answer your concern on how to improve concentration in kids

Timed activities

Activities with a time limit are great for attention training for kids. When playing, children will be aware that they have to meet their goals before time runs out. For example, you can give a child a word and ask him to write as many words as possible from the master word. He will not risk losing focus because time will be up before completing the assigned task. 


Puzzle games are critical for a child’s cognitive development. They help with fine motor development, hand-eye coordination, and decision-making skills. Over time, the child’s memory, attention span, concentration, and focus will improve. 

Fortunately, there are different types of age-appropriate puzzles in the market. Younger children can start with 4-piece puzzles and progress to puzzles with more pieces. You can even choose pieces according to the child’s colour preference. 

Building activities

Building games are quite popular with children. They not only require focus, but some of these games take a long time, so your child learns how to sit through tasks that last longer than a few minutes. Since the goal is to build something successfully, the child is unlikely to give up before the task is completed. 

For example, children can work in groups to see which team will build the highest stack of cards. The element of competition will make the activity more enjoyable, especially since the stack of cards will keep falling. This will keep the kids occupied, and at the same time, test their limits when it comes to focus and concentration. 

Alternatively, if the child is playing alone, you can ask him to build blocks according to the shapes, sizes and colours. 

Memory games

For a child to remember what he saw, he will need to concentrate. For example, brain training games that ask the child to identify the direction of the arrow. The picture is usually shown for a second, so the child needs to concentrate on identifying the right arrow. 

The advantage of memory games is it tests various cognitive skills and functions. In this case, the child will not only be expected to identify the arrow and direction it faces, but he also needs to have good decision-making skills. There is no room for doubt. After playing such games for some time, the child will become more confident to voice his responses. 

Play games that follow a sequence

When asked how to improve children’ concentration and focus, many experts recommend activities that follow a sequence. In this case, a child cannot move to the next level unless he completes the current level. 

As long as the game is enjoyable, the child will strive to succeed so that he can progress to other levels. In the process, the child will learn patience and be more sensitive to his decisions since they will determine his success or failure. 

If you are concerned with how to improve concentration in kids, these activities give you an insight into the many options available. You can also use some of these activities to get your child to play outdoors if you feel he is spending too much time with his electronics. 

What to Expect at a Workshop for Parents

“Why should I attend a child development workshop?” This is probably what goes through your mind when you are invited to one. It is natural to question why you should spare the time to attend a parent workshop. 

The parenting journey has its good and bad times. Situations change, and these workshops are great because parents share their experiences. Child development experts will also give you a glimpse of what goes on in your child’s mind and how your actions affect him. 

Tips on how to handle conflicts

You will not always have a smooth relationship with your child. If you have more than one child, you may be forced to be a mediator from time to time when they are not getting along. A workshop for parents will enlighten you on the causes of conflict and how to resolve them. 

Sometimes, asserting your authority may seem the easiest way to manage conflicts, but it is not always the right way. Experts in conflict management will give you guidance on how to deal with issues you may encounter in a way that your children will find fair and acceptable. 

Single parenting

Some Singaporeans still frown at single parenting, especially of unwed mothers raising their children. Records from the Ministry of Social and Family Development show that an average of 800 children are born annually do not have a father named on the birth certificate. 

Besides the usual single parenting struggles, a single parent may still have to contend with the pressures from society. A parent workshop is a great avenue to hear more about single parenting and how to cope with the stress without it spilling over to your relationship with the child. 

A child in a single-parent home may also have his struggles. You will get professional guidance on how to help your child cope. 

Single parenting households do not just arise from mothers having children in the absence of the fathers. Some women become single parents after the death of their spouse. Child development workshops are great because the experts give guidance on how to handle the transition and challenges of the new household. 

Choosing between being a parent or your child’s friend 

Today’s parents have different views on parenting styles. Some people believe it is important for parents to be friends with their children. The belief behind this parenting style is children are more open with their friends than their parents. 

What is your parenting style? Does it work? Workshops for parents seek to answer some of your questions about the different parenting styles. You might decide to incorporate different styles in your home. 

Ideas on how to listen and respond to children

Good communication between parents and children is important. A parent workshop will provide you with an insight on how you should listen to your child and respond, irrespective of the situation. You don’t want to sound judgmental because this will cause your child to shut you out. The child development experts will give you an idea of how to respond to your child in different situations. 

The role of parents in a child’s education

Besides paying for your child’s education, what more should you do to ensure your child’s success in school? How does the home environment influence your child’s learning experience? These are some of the issues that are discussed at the parent workshop.

Most parents assume that their children can compartmentalize their home and school lives as separate entities. However, a child who is not happy at home is likely to see a drop in his school performance. 

The training session at the child development workshops can confirm that you are on the right track as a parent. It can also be an eye-opener of the things you are doing wrong and how your actions affect your child. 

The Strategy Behind Cognitive Behavioral Therapy

Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) is often used together with other therapies. It is used to analyze a person’s thoughts and beliefs and their impact on one’s wellbeing. Unfortunately, many people allow negative thoughts to cloud their judgement. 

This is why two people facing the same challenges may have different outlooks. While one may see the glass as half empty, the other may consider it half full. 

Why do some people find fault in everything they encounter? It could be with their relationships, work, academics, or physical appearance. Cognitive behavioral therapy Singapore seeks to initiate behavioral change using various strategies. 

Identify negative thoughts and feelings.

When a patient suffering from depression, anxiety, drug addiction, alcoholism or erratic behaviour visits a therapist, the first step is to identify the negative thoughts and feelings behind the destructive behaviour. 

This process requires the patient to be open and ready for self-examination. This is a critical part of the treatment. People who avoid introspection may not notice problematic behaviour since they are not ready to acknowledge that they have flawed thoughts that affect their behaviour. 

Learn new skills

By the time a patient goes for cognitive behavioral therapy Singapore, they should be ready to acknowledge that something is wrong and that it is time to try something different. 

For example, once an alcoholic discovers triggers to his illness, he can skills that allow him to stay away from situations that cause him to drink. One can opt to spend the evening working out instead of socializing with people who cement the negative beliefs that cause them to turn to alcohol. 

Learning new skills is critical because this helps patients to change negative behavioural patterns. The new skills also help patients to avoid relapsing to negative thoughts. 

Train patients to set goals and achieve them

CBT is a short-term therapy that seeks to identify causes and solutions of unfavourable behaviour. The therapist seeks ways to help the patient get rid of spontaneous negative thoughts responsible for erratic behaviour, such as anger outbursts and emotional meltdowns.  

A person whose actions are fueled by negative thoughts and beliefs is sick. Like physical illness, this person requires treatment. Setting goals will help the person keep track of the changes in the way he thinks or acts. 

Short term and long-term goals are critical because they will help the patient move forward, even after the therapy ends. Specific, relevant, and time-based goals will help the patient take periodic breaks to analyze his progress, identify gaps, and set timelines to help him achieve his recovery goals. 

Unlearn unhelpful behaviours

This is a bold step that is sometimes considered as difficult. A child undergoing cognitive behavioral therapy Singapore may find it easier to unlearn behaviours compared to an adult. This is primarily because children have had a shorter time to cement their beliefs. 

Adults may have a long way to unlearning unhelpful behaviour. However, it is not impossible. Self-monitoring techniques, such as using a diary or journal, will help one keep track of his progress. 

There will be some bad days, no doubt. However, acknowledging these days and working hard to ensure the good days are more than the bad is essential towards positive behavioural change. 

Behaviour change does not happen overnight. Patients need to appreciate that change begins with small steps. What is important is for one to keep moving forward. Intentionally taking the difficult route of recovery is important in cognitive behavioral therapy Singapore. Over time, the patient will realize that he has more positive thoughts and actions.  

How studying in an international pre-school can be a game-changer in a child’s life

Nothing is more important than providing the right type of education to kids during their early childhood because the life-long effects of such an education on their social, emotional, and physical development can be profound. In fact, children who have had an excellent pre-school education are found to have a higher IQ than those who are not lucky enough to get such an education. That is why you are advised to get your children admitted in an international pre-school.

If you admit your kids in a Singapore private school that follows the International Preschool Curriculum, you can be certain that the children will grow as “complete” individuals. Let us now look at the benefits such a school bestows on your children and how this move can be a game-changer in their lives.

1. The curriculum followed by international preschools is comprehensive in nature. Not only that, the schools adopt an all-encompassing approach for developing critical thinking abilities as well as other essential skills in kids. Since the curriculum is based on an objective and inquiry based learning style, children are likely to excel in a number of areas that include Language Arts, Creative Arts, Numeracy, Sciences and Motor Skills and Socio-emotional Skills. Children will learn a foreign language also. So, when they grow up, they will be much ahead of other children who have studied in other schools. Regardless of whether they decide to go for employment, take up professions or launch their own business ventures, they are likely to stand out.

2. Since an international pre-school provides a creative and holistic environment that consists of child-initiated learning as well as teacher-directed tasks, the kids will be allowed to undertake exploratory tasks for understanding the theories that are taught to them. So, when they step out into the real world and when issues confront them, they will be able to tackle them easily by being creative and by coming out with innovative solutions.

3. In general, send your child to a good international preschool Singapore as there are state-of-the-art facilities for children. Kids will have adequate learning spaces because classrooms will be spacious and bright. Children will indulge in physical activities because the play spaces will also be spacious. Such an ambiance will add to the all-round development of the children and hence, they will be in possession of that “extra” factor that differentiates them from the crowd.

4. Very importantly, international pre-schools will have teachers with enviable qualifications. In fact, the preschools themselves will provide their teachers with suitable training that comprehensively equips them for molding the students the way they are supposed to do. Not only that, there will be ongoing opportunities for the teachers for facilitating their professional development and for fine-tuning and polishing their skills. This means that these teachers will have updated knowledge of the innovations that keep taking place in their fields. The teacher-to-student ratio in these schools will be low also and hence, kids will get optimal attention. In fact, these aspects will do a world of good in instilling confidence in children. Therefore, when the kids grow up, they will approach every task including those that are aimed at solving issues with an “I can” attitude.

5. International preschools involve parents of the kids in their education process. The schools communicate regularly with the parents by conducting frequent meetings and sending weekly newsletters. This is for ensuring that children do not move away from the right track. So, children who study in these schools will understand the value of values. This will help them follow only ethical ways in whatever they do.

6. More importantly, if you admit your children in a good international preschool, there are chances of they getting opportunities to study abroad. In fact, it will be easy for the children to get admission in institutions of repute in other countries. Not only that, children who study in international schools will be able to easily pick up what is taught in those foreign institutions. They will be able to easily adjust to the new ambiance. So, when they come out after completing their studies, they can have a grand take-off in their profession or career.

APFF Local 384 To Host A Benefit For FF Jason Fazio

When Jason Fazio awakened the morning of his 41st birthday, he could never have imagined that his life was about to change forever. The fire call came in at 10:13 am, January 10, 2011. While searching for victims in the building, Jason was caught in a flashover. Engulfed in flames, he leaped from a 2nd-floor window to save his own life, resulting in debilitating and career-ending injuries. With third degree burns to over half his body, as well as fractured bones, Jason was airlifted to St. Barnabas Burn Center in Livingston, NJ, where he remains today.

Jason is a 17-year career veteran of the Asbury Park Fire Department and a dad to two boys, Nicholas and Nathan. This tragic event has forever changed their young lives as well. Even as immediate emotional support has been overwhelming, a lifetime of financial support is our objective. A severe burn injury is arguably the most devastating of all firefighting injuries by every measure of pain, suffering, and cost, exacting a great human and financial toll. We can never change what happened, but with your help, we can change the financial burdens of their future.

The Asbury Park Firefighters Local 384 will be holding a benefit:

” Lifetime of Support”

The Jason Fazio Fund

Sunday, May 1st, at the Headliner, Rt. 35 Neptune – 3PM
$20 Admission includes all-night Happy Hour, food, 2 – 50/50 raffles and a gift auction
Tickets available in advance or at the door, contact:
Doug De Wysocki (732) 433-6616 OR Gavino Siciliano (732) 620-3590

Checks payable to APFF Jason Fazio Fund, 800 Main Street, Asbury Park, NJ 07712

have no ambition in this world but one, and that is to be a fireman. The position may, in the eyes of some, appear to be a lowly one; but we who know the work which the fireman has to do believe that his is a noble calling. Our proudest moment is to save lives. ~Edward F. Croker

Register NOW For 13th Annual APFF Charities Golf Tournament

On June 20, 2011, the Professional Firefighters Association of Asbury Park will be holding its 13thannual Golf Tournament at Cruz Farms Golf Club in Farmingdale, NJ to benefit the many charities that our organization supports. Most of the players who are participating represent professional firefighters throughout New Jersey. With over 175 players taking part, it is one of the largest single-day golf tournaments held in the state.

Our non-profit charities organization contributes to many worthwhile causes during the year. Some of the recipients of this fund are Asbury Park Pop Warner, Monmouth County Boys Club, Biddy Basketball, Asbury Park Soccer and Little League. Others include the Monmouth County Food Bank, Muscular Dystrophy Association, American Breast Cancer Foundation, Adopt-A-Family at Christmas, Widows and Children’s Fund of New York Fire Department, National Association for Colitis and Crohn’s Disease, Sloan Kettering, and St. Barnabas Burn Center.

Our organization along with the other charities that we assist would greatly appreciate your support by purchasing a foursome and/or a hole sponsorship.  Click here for Foursome Registration Form and here for Hole-Sponsor Registration.