Parenting Coach

Practical ideas for social, emotional and behavioral challenges

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Keep a log of start and stop times.

What you can do

Help your child break a big assignment into doable chunks. Then work backwards from the due date to establish a realistic timeline for him to complete each of the steps.

Keep track of how much time he spends working on the project each day. Help him adjust the timeline if the steps are taking him longer to complete than he’d planned. Talk through the process, and give your child lots of positive feedback along the way.

What you can say

“Jacob, it looks like you have three full weeks to complete this assignment. Let’s talk about each part of the task and try to guess how long each will take. We’ll use these estimates to set up a timeline showing how much you need to get done each day.”

“We’ll keep track of when you start working on it each day, when you stop and exactly how much you get done. Then, after the first few days, we can see how much time it’s really taking to complete each of the steps. We can always adjust the timeline if we need to. This will be way better than trying to jam it all into the last few days.”

Why this will help

Kids with learning and attention issues often aren’t very good at estimating how much time it will take to complete an assignment or task.

Keeping a log will give them a better sense of how to plan for long- and short-term assignments. With practice, they’ll get better at predicting how much time they need to prepare and execute a plan well.

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