Teaching your kids time management skills is an important step in their development. From the time their little, you’ve probably determined much of their schedule. Yet, as they grow older, they’ll need to understand exactly how they can use their day effectively and efficiently. By passing this onto them, you’ll be able to slowly stop controlling all aspects of their time and take the back seat. Here are some easy steps to follow.
Start in the family
Kids learn by example. If you want to start instilling time management skills in your children young, then you’ll need to model it in your home while they’re growing up. There are simple ways to do this and you won’t need to go out of your way in order for them to start getting the hang of it. Here are some small ways you can teach these skills daily.
Use a timer. When your child does a task, set a timer for them so they know how much time is being used. If they’re cleaning up their toys, set a 15-minute timer. Encourage them to get it done in this time window. If you need to, make it a race. Not only will this help to motivate them, but it will also give them a concept of how long 15 minutes lasts.
Create both family and individual calendars. One of the best things you can do to help your child understand days and times is to make them feel more involved in the planning. Sit down and create both family and individual calendars. This way, when it’s time for them to participate in commitments on certain days, they’ll know exactly what’s coming and how to help prepare. Your days will go smoother and everyone will be better off when they know what’s coming.
Model good behavior. If you demonstrate good behavior while your kids are learning good time management skills, then it’ll be a lot easier for them to catch on. A key portion of this will be staying on task yourself. If you create a routine for them in the evening, don’t deviate from it. Even if they beg for a few more extra minutes of play time, remember it’s better to establish their routine than give even if you have the flexibility.
Make it individual
If you’ve been modeling good family behavior for your kids, it’ll be easier for them to grasp how they can apply it to their own life. There’s also a myriad of ways that you can help them become better at time management by individualizing the process. Here are some ideas.
Schedule free time. A lot of parents love when their kids are busy, and in most cases, busy kids don’t get into as much trouble. That said, if their life is a constant go-go-go, then they won’t be happy, and their time management will suffer. What you should do is strike a balance between overscheduling and not scheduling at all. Schedule some free time in addition to extracurricular activities and everyone will be better off.
Give them ownership. Help give your children ownership over their time by creating daily priorities and to-do lists. This is a clear way that allows them to see what they need to do be doing and when but also invites them to learn the process. Soon, they’ll know how to make these lists without any assistance. It’s also important to remember that while it may just seem easier to tell them what to do or to do it for them, allowing them to take the reins is an important step in building time management skills.
Rewards. Just like any other good behavior, you should reward your child if they’re properly managing their time. These perks will continue to motivate them when it can be tough to stay on task. Rewards can look like additional free time to play video games, do crafts, watch movies or television, or it could be a family trip to the mall. It should be something that your child enjoys and looks forward to, so it feels like a true reward.
Altogether, it doesn’t have to be painful to teach your children time management skills. In fact, it can be quite easy. Start by modeling the proper time management behavior in your family. Whether you’re creating a family calendar or using a timer, you’ll be able to show them the ropes. Then, once they’re more familiar with the concept, you can move to provide them with more ownership with daily priorities and to-do lists. This is a sure-fire way to teach your children time management every single time.