Time management for kids is a challenging concept. Even for adults, the idea of fitting everything that needs to be done in a day can be overwhelming. After school hours, our children have homework, extracurricular activities, and playtime and for the younger ones, that’s a lot that needs to be accomplished before heading off to bed.
Most younger children still can’t organize schedules by themselves but you can start teaching them this important life skill, such as how to plan and prioritize, at an early age.
Benefits of Time Management Skills
Time management is one of the essential life skills that everyone should have. If it is developed and practiced at an early age, it can be a key factor to success when your kid enters adulthood.
Here are the reasons why having a solid time management skills is important and beneficial:
Helps achieve goals faster. Having time management skills makes one more effective. Instead of multitasking, focusing on one activity at a time produces better and more satisfying results and outputs.
Helps prioritize work. By creating a timetable, you prioritize more important tasks, especially those that require immediate action. This means that you can complete tasks on time because you efficiently planned and set aside a particular time to work on them. A timetable also prevents you from forgetting other tasks you need to do.
Reduces stress. Without time management, stress can come easily. You take a look at the long list of things you need to do and the anxiety and pressure build up when you realize you don’t have enough time to get them done. Proper time management skills allow you to list down and prioritize tasks. This way, you know which tasks need to be immediately done and how much time you need. This reduces stress because you now have enough time to get everything done.
Prevent procrastination. Procrastination births stress and frustration as you delay or put off tasks until the very last minute. But with good time management skills, you set aside a specified time to do your tasks, giving you enough time to do it. It also helps you overcome laziness.
Teaching children to manage their time
One of the ways to help your kids manage their tasks and prevent them from being overwhelmed is to introduce and teach the concept of time management.
But how? Here we’ve rounded up helpful tips on time management for kids.
Make time management fun
Managing your time as an adult can be stressful. But time management for kids should be fun.
Use crayons and colored pencils to color your calendars and add fun stickers to mark special days. Catch your kids’ interest by making it a game to see who can complete simple tasks around the house, like brushing their teeth or getting their backpacks ready.
The more fun it is, the easier your children will understand the concept of time, management, and its importance.
Teach them how to measure time
Knowing how to tell time is not the same as knowing how to measure time. You can help your children understand this by setting a timer when they are supposed to finish a task. Give them a verbal countdown so they begin to understand how long are these minutes.
This doesn’t mean you are teaching your children to live by the clock. Your goal is to help them understand what an hour or 15 minutes feels like.
Stick to the schedule
Sometimes it’s hard to say no to your children’s request for a few more minutes of playtime or when the kids want to read one more book even though it’s already time for bed. But remember, you have a schedule to stick to.
When your children are just starting to learn about time management, stick to the schedule you planned. When the time’s up for this particular task, move on to the next. This is because straying off even for a few minutes can completely throw the kids off schedule.
One of the most common mistakes parents make is overscheduling our kids. We try to have them participate in every possible thing in school and after school. What this ends up doing is overscheduling the entire family, making every week packed.
The effect of overscheduling your family is not properly learning time management but instead having them feel rushed and craving some spare time. Try to avoid this so your children can learn time management the correct way.
Help children establish priorities
Have your children remember this sequence: first, next, last. Sometimes, time management can be this simple. Younger kids might not understand what the priority means but you can teach them the idea of it.
Help your children organize their day using the first task, the next task, and the last task system. After waking up, kids should think about their tasks of the day, this could be fixing their bed or brushing their teeth. Then they continue to their next tasks such as fixing their school bag or wearing their uniforms and the last task of the day could be completing their homework before heading to bed.