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Keep Up the Good Work

Sometimes it is hard to get a job done. Young children are learning to stick with tough jobs and to keep trying even when a task is hard to do. Here are some ways you can help them stay with tasks and try hard to complete them even when the job is tough.

  • Break it down
    Help your child break down a big task into a smaller one. When your child is overwhelmed by a big task, you can say, “We can clean up one thing at a time. Let’s clean up the blocks and then we can clean up the toy cars.”
  • Set a timer
    Some tasks are overwhelming because your child thinks it will take a long time. Encourage your child to try a difficult task for a short time and then take a break. Say to her, “Let’s try putting your clothes away for five minutes. We can go and draw pictures when the timer rings.”
  • Remember successes
    Tell stories about times when your child worked hard to accomplish something. Say to her, “Remember when you could not write a letter? You looked carefully at the letters in your name and practiced making those shapes. Now you can write your whole name! Soon you will write a whole sentence.”
  • Try it as a team
    Encourage your child to work with others. Teamwork makes tasks easier. Say, “Let’s see if we can work with your sister to rake all the leaves in the yard.” Or, “Let’s put out the spoons while your brother puts out the bowls for our cereal.”

IEL Resources

About this resource

Setting(s) for which the article is intended:
  • Home
  • Preschool Program
  • Kindergarten

Intended audience(s):
  • Parents / Family
  • Teachers / Service providers

Age Levels (the age of the children to whom the article applies):
Related IEL Birth to Three Guidelines:
Related Illinois Early Learning and Development Standards:
Reviewed: 2016