Time management for kids is something that as parents we need to be instilling from an early age. In today’s high speed world of two career families, long school days, television, internet and gaming stations, we have to be vigilant to teach our children the
concept of time management so when they reach ’the real world’ they aren’t totally taken by surprise!
Helping our children structure their day makes it easier for them to accomplish what they need without constant nagging - and frees them and you up for family time, if you are implementing time management techniques in your own life.
Transition periods are difficult for kids who don’t have PDAs and mobile phones and laptops so they can multitask between jobs. Having a clear schedule that helps children shift easily from school mode to home, from study time to playtime, and from day to night can make any parent’s life easier. As kids become teens, having these skills will benefit them greatly.
Mornings can be difficult with parents trying to get ready for work and already distracted by the coming day, Setting a routine for getting up a little early, caring for personal needs and eating breakfast can help make mornings calmer and more enjoyable. Decide on a choice of breakfast food the night before, and lay out the next day’s school outfit at night before going to bed to avoid time wasted in indecision amid a blur of sleepy crankiness.
Make coming home from school a treat, with a nice snack and a plan for putting away school stuff, backpacks, jackets, etc. Don’t let your children dump everything on the floor the minute they walk in the door. This can waste lots of time later as they search for something and can’t find it. Homework should be done at a central location so you can supervise (except in the case of teens, who may be trusted to do it in their room), and a deadline set for completion - after which all papers should be put back in their backpack so the morning won’t be spent searching.
After dinner, encourage personal hygiene to be taken care of early - and in shifts if more than one child needs to use the shower or bath. Smaller children can get bathed earlier in the day to keep a bottleneck from forming. Teens may require extra nudging - this is normal, but if habits are set early in childhood, adolescents and teenagers will be easier to keep on track.
Bedtime shouldn’t be a power struggle. Children and teens need 8-12 hours of sleep. Going to bed on time means less angst about getting up in the morning, Create a bedtime routine where you spend a few minutes with each child, recounting their day. Ask if they had anything they wanted to get done that fell through the cracks, and make a game plan to prioritize it the next day.
You can help your children to learn good habits early, and use each waking minute to the best of their ability - simply by taking the time to teach time management for kids.