Daily expectations for your child

At a Glance: Self-Care Hurdles for Grade-Schoolers

By Erica Patino

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Daily routines like washing up and getting ready for bed may seem like second nature to adults. But for young kids who struggle with focus, organization and following directions, self-care can be a real challenge. Learn about common hurdles and how you can help.

39Found this helpful
At a Glance: Self-Care Hurdles for Grade-Schoolers

Grade-schoolers with learning and attention issues may have more trouble than other kids with following the steps of good self-care. Here are issues you might see, and ways to help.

Your child doesn’t know what
Example: When you say, “I want you to get ready for bed,” your child just climbs into bed. He doesn’t put on his pajamas or brush his teeth.
What you might do: Show your child what you expect him to do. A written schedule could be helpful. Help him brush his teeth and put on his pajamas. Then praise him for following his “getting ready for bed” routine.he’s supposed to do.

Your child takes too long with basic hygiene.

Example: You’re running late to get your child to school and ask him to go wash his face. But when you check several minutes later, he’s only just starting to run the water.
What you might do: Put an egg timer in the bathroom. Explain to your child that he needs to get out the soap and wash his face. When the timer goes off, he’s done. You may need to stay and supervise at first.

Your child forgets or skips steps when getting ready.

Example: It’s time to go out to dinner, and your child is wearing dress shoes, slacks and a button-up shirt like you asked. But he forgot to put on socks, and his hair is a mess.
What you might do: Put up picture reminders of what your child should look like when he’s ready. Or you can write out a numbered list: 1. Put on socks. 2. Put on pants. Etc.
Graphic of At a Glance: Self-Care Hurdles for Grade-schoolers
Graphic of At a Glance: Self-Care Hurdles for Grade-schoolers

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About the Author

Portrait of Erica Patino

Erica Patino is an online writer and editor who specializes in health and wellness content.

Reviewed by

Portrait of Molly Algermissen

Molly Algermissen, Ph.D., is an associate professor of medical psychology at Columbia University Medical Center and clinical director of PROMISE.

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