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Building Strengths: Pick One Skill for Your Child to Work On at Home

By The Understood Team

Spending more time with your child at home lets you see challenges you weren’t aware of. Discovering difficulties may not sound like good news, but it creates an opportunity. It gives you an idea of skills you can help your child build while you’re together. Working on a new skill can also be refreshing.

You don’t want to put any more pressure on your child and yourself, though. The key is to focus on one skill at a time and to do it in a way that’s not intense.

Strengthening skills can give your child a confidence boost during a difficult time. Even the smallest wins can make a big difference. And it might be easier to address it now without some of the usual pressures of school and other activities.

Here are some examples of skills you can work on, and ways to do it.

Learning Skills

Focus

Set a timer and make it a game. Pick different activities and see how long your child can focus on them. They can be serious, like a chore, or silly, like listening to you read recipes out loud. Explore more strategies for improving focus.

Vocabulary

Tell jokes and play word games. Pick a few topics your child is interested in and have frequent conversations about them. Include new words and ideas as you talk. Get other tips from a reading expert for building vocabulary.

Addition and subtraction

Use pieces of cereal or dried beans to help your child “see” math problems. For example: Start with two beans, add four more, and then count out the six beans. Learn more about at-home items to help build math skills.

Writing

Have your child choose any topic and write something about it in a creative format. It could be an ad, a TV script, song lyrics, or a review. Younger kids can tell it to you to write down. Find more ways to encourage your grade-schooler to write.

Life Skills

Washing up, brushing teeth, and getting dressed

Break self-care tasks into very small steps. You can list the steps or draw them out and then hang the directions in the bathroom or bedroom. Watch an expert explain how to teach self-care routines.

Working with money

Empty a money jar and have your child guess how much money there is. Then have your child sort the coins by type in clusters that add up to a dollar. Ten dimes, 20 nickels, etc. Get other tips for helping kids work with money.

Getting ready for bed

Make a picture schedule with your child, showing all the steps involved in getting ready. Have your child create a bedtime checklist to keep track of doing each step. Download bedtime checklists for younger kids and older ones.

Social and Emotional Skills

Not interrupting

Decide on a signal, like raising an index finger, to point out when your child interrupts. Use it when your child cuts people off or barges into conversation. Have your child use it with you, too. Get more tips for helping your child make conversation.

Coping with challenges

Make a “How Am I Feeling?” visual chart to help your child identify emotions. Use it to help your child talk about feelings and ways to manage them. Explore other ways to help your child build coping skills.

Picking up on body language

Play body-language charades as a family. Take index cards and write a different emotion on each one. Have a player draw a card and act out the emotion, while the others guess what it is. Find more strategies to teach your child to read body language.

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Share Building Strengths: Pick One Skill for Your Child to Work On at Home

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Pinterest
  • Email
  • Text Message
  • Coming soonGoogle Classroom