11 Days of Skills for Kids: Maintaining and Completing a Task

11 Days of Skills for Kids: Maintaining and Completing a Task

As we continue the 11-day journey through the “non-academic/learning to learn” skills all children need, detailing the skill of maintaining and completing a task, I just want to remind you that these shouldn’t be complicated. Don’t get overwhelmed, just do what you can. And – if you have questions, make sure to reach out! I’m ready and available to support you during this unexpected break from school!

Download this article as a PDF so you can read it later! Find it HERE.

Skill #8: Maintaining and Completing a Task

Though it might seem fairly self-explanatory, maintaining and completing a task can look very different based on the environment and expectations. It seems like it should just be, “here is the task/assignment/job, now do it!” 🙂 It isn’t always that clear! For example, some teachers require students to sit while they are working or to complete tasks in a certain order or by a certain time. How you define maintaining/completing a task isn’t as important as actually defining it and having your child practice it as you want them to. You can practice this with any task 

Hint for Teachers: If there is a way that you want parents to practice maintaining/completing a task, let them know! If your students are moving on to a grade level where the expectations will be different, consider having parents practice those skills!

How to Practice Maintaining and Completing a Task

  1. Firs,t define what exactly you want them to do. I would encourage you to define the tasks in no more than 3-4 steps. 
    1. Example: clean up after breakfast
      1. Bring your plate, silverware and cup to the sink
      2. Rinse everything with water and soap
      3. Leave the rinsed dishes in the sink 
      4. Wipe down the table with a wet paper towel
  2. Here are some times of the day you can practice this skill at home. (The options are really unlimited!)
  3. Making the bed
  4. Taking a shower
  5. Brushing teeth
  6. Getting dressed
  7. Making meals
  8. Clearing up from meals
  9. Playing games
  10. Playing video games
  11. Doing art
  12. Academic learning time
  13. Outside play time
  14. Puzzles
  15. Legos
  16. Taking care of pets
  17. Helping with younger siblings
  18. Baking
  19. Watching interactive television
  20. Anything you ask them to do! 

Reinforce the Skill of Maintaining and Completing a Task

Setting up a simple reinforcement around this particular skill can be very simple.

Step 1: Define the behavior clearly. Make sure your child knows exactly what the task is you are asking them to do and exactly how you want them to do it. (include a time frame you want it completed in~ timers are great!)

Step 2: Decide when you want to work on the skill. There is no right amount. Ultimately, your goal should be to make this time doable for you and your child.

Step 3: Decide what kind of reinforcement you want to use and how often they receive it. For example, you may offer a “treat” after completing each task in the way and time you said. 

Step 4: Discuss what the plan is with your child and then stick to it. Consistency is key when it comes to reinforcing behavior! 

TIP: Figure out what you and your child can handle and don’t push past that. Even a little bit of time spent on these skills can bring big changes! 

Find More Resources

No matter what your goals are for this time, make sure to check out the other resources I offer for parents and teachers. Then, come back tomorrow and let’s talk about the next skill all children need to know!

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