Tip of the Week

May 19, 2014

Break down the task into manageable pieces

Executive function skills are life skills and there’s lots you can do at home to strengthen these skills. Help your child break down chores into component parts. For example, clearing the table after a big family dinner can seem overwhelming. But if your child breaks it into smaller, sequentially related tasks, it becomes much simpler: Put all dirty dishes in the sink (and/or into the dishwasher). Put leftovers into containers and then into the refrigerator. Put condiments (salad dressing, ketchup) back into their rightful spots in the fridge or cupboard. Throw all trash and recycling into the appropriate bins. Check your work — is anything still out on the table or not put away? By breaking the task down into more manageable chunks, it makes the overall task less daunting at the onset and more of an accomplishment when it’s finally completed. To reward your child for taking this effective approach, maybe hold off on dessert until dinner has been completely dealt with, then offer to take on that cleanup yourself!