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The idea of our children concentrating easily and effectively not only to do their homework after a long school day, but to carry out the rest of the tasks at home excites us to the point of tears. And it is that, sometimes, it seems something impossible to achieve.
However, there is an increasingly popular method that is worth trying. It's about the mighty Japanese technique of concentration for children that is based on doing only one thing at a time: Ichigyio zammai. A little bit of Zen philosophy for our children's busy lives ... and ours!
Ichigyio zammai is a Japanese term that refers to the ability to fully concentrate on a single activity. It may seem simple, but the reality is that rarely do we put all our attention on a single thing or on what we have in front of us. I, like many mothers and fathers, am constantly multitasking and sometimes lead our children in the same direction. It can be a value for certain times, but ultimately, let's face it, multitasking only leads to stress and frustration.
Parents are constantly multitasking: we make dinner while we help the children to do their homework, we clean up the house a little, we make an appointment to take the car to the workshop and we think about that meeting we have tomorrow. Conclusion of that maremagnum of tasks? Dinner sticks to us, it happened to us that when doing homework the child put "abia once" and in the meeting you think that that date is fatal to take the car to the workshop and you are agreeing to what someone else says without knowing nothing.
This is how we adults function and this is how we often drive children. We should rethink it, right?
So ... let's go back to Ichigyio zammai. Ichigyio means practice and zammai concentration. Sunryu Suzuki described this practice in his book Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind and said that, when we are fully present in an activity, we express our true nature. but what does this mean?
When we are truly doing what we are doing, we begin to express our true selves. "When you bow, you should only bow, when you sit, you should only sit, when you eat, you should only eat." A beautiful idea that we should put more into practice.
- When we get home we can make a list of what to do, putting the most important thing in the first positions. Help them organize their homework from more to less, first the hardest thing for them to do easier tasks at the end.
- What's the point of "infecting" our children with our frenzied multitasking? We must convey precisely the opposite: "When you do this exercise, think about the exercise, not the 3 more exercises that remain ", "If you have to do a sum, think about the sum, then think about writing the result, then think about the next sum" In short: Ichigyio zammai, full concentration on one thing at a time.
- When you realize that he is thinking about something else, he stares out the window or starts fiddling with his pencils, help him pay full attention back to the amount you are making.
- Help your child to eliminate your preconceptions about the activity you are doing: "I don't like sums, it's going to be difficult for me to do it, I am terrible at adding ..." And help him to only think about doing it.
- You have to be constantIt may seem very easy to focus on one thing at a time, but the reality is that there are so many distractions around children, be it television, mobile phones or toys that it is not easy to focus on just one thing. To achieve success we must repeat to the child, without shouting and without pressure, that at that moment they are only going to do the sum. To achieve this it is important, of course, to eliminate from your reach any element that may disturb you. So you can be fully involved in what you are doing.
- Reinforce when they have been able to pay full attention to a task and have done it diligently and quickly as a result. You'll find it more productive to focus your mind on one thing from start to finish than to hang around the room all afternoon with almost no time to play.
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