Us busy parents sometimes think – “Teach my child to manage his time? I can’t even manage my own!” There is no better time to start than the present. And while teaching your child how to best manage her time, as a parent, you end up becoming more productive yourself.
Time management is a principle that impacts children’s emotional, social, physical, mental, financial and spiritual lives. It is an essential skill every child needs to thrive. Like any other skill, it takes practice. But while most parents make it a point to teach their kids how to brush their teeth or show them many times how to wash their hands properly, few coach them in organizing the hours in their day. This is a skill he can use for life. I would like to share with you some tips to help your child effectively manage time.
Leaner screen time
Television is one of the biggest time eaters for kids. Decide with your child how many hours of television she’ll watch a week. If she’s watching television for a longer time, help her reduce it by 15 minutes in the first week, then more the following week. This raises awareness of how much time is spent in front of the television, teaches her to take responsibility for screen time, and might even open up her schedule for other leisure activities.
Fitness and Nutrition
If you are tired or hungry, doesn’t it become much harder to think clearly? The same applies to kids. Providing nutritious food and enforcing appropriate bedtimes will help avoid lack of sleep, which may affect the next school day and create a vicious cycle of poor attention and chronic lack of energy to complete school work. Getting fresh air and adequate exercise also helps boost energy and focus. Allowing kids to play outside will certainly enhance high energy levels in them.
Create a study zone that promotes focus
Create a study environment that promotes focus for your child. Some prefer silence, whereas others focus better with music in the background. Some kids will be able to sit and work independently whereas others will need gentle reminders to go back to their work. If the child is not able to complete the homework in an appropriate amount of time, re-examine and adjust his working environment.
Turn your child’s routine into a checklist
During the school year most kids generally follow the same daily routine—get dressed, take a shower, etc. Instead of running behind your kids to get stuff done, work with them and create a personal checklist that includes personal care tasks and age-appropriate chores. Hold them accountable to finish their tasks. When you hear “I didn’t know!” or “what should I do now?” send them to the chart. Help your child make a hierarchy of priorities they can use as a master checklist to make better time management decisions. For example: prioritize the following values: Family, Health & Fitness, School, Personal Development, Friends. Values can be added or eliminated depending on what is important to you and your child. Within each value, prioritize activities to perform. For instance, under School, she may have a) complete homework assignments, b) study for tests c) work on projects, etc.