How can I help my child with doing?

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 If your child gets stuck on starting their work:

  • When developing the work plan include a plan about how to start; highlight the first step and be specific about what equipment they’ll need for this step. Write the first step as the very first short term goal.
  • Some children may not want to get started because they feel they won’t be good enough (be sure to praise their effort) while others feel overwhelmed (teach them to take one step at a time).

If your child needs help to ‘stop’ work:

  • Ensure your child knows what the finished product will look like and help them to compare their work to the finished work to make a judgement about when they can stop.
  • Factor in ‘check in’ points in the work plan and prompt him/her to ask the question ‘have I finished yet?’

If your child needs encouragement to persevere:

  • Define perseverance so your child knows it means ‘don’t give up’, ‘stick to it’. You can then use these phrases when your child needs some encouragement.
  • Help your child develop self-talk phrases such as ‘I can do it’, or ‘I’ll give it my best’.
  • Model effort and reward and praise effort and persistence more than the end result.

If your child needs help with timing:

  • Teach your child to specifically ask ‘should I speed up?’, ‘should I slow down?’
  • Discuss with your child how long the task should take before they start – use an egg timer or clock. This can be set for half way through the task so they can check in and ask ‘should I speed up?’ or ‘am I going too fast and getting things wrong’.
  • Generally it is hard to do a new task ‘fast’. If something is hard for your child give them extra time to work on accuracy before they have to work on speed. It is more important to get 3 questions correct in the test than get all 5 questions wrong.

Borba, M (2013) Teach your child how to persevere. Motherhood & Family.