Teaching Your Child Time Management

As children grow up, it is important for them to learn how to manage the time they spend on work, homework, and play, and keep track of where their time goes! This important skill is easy to overlook and hard to really know how to teach, so here are three ways you can start teaching your child time management skills.

1. Teach them how to consistently use a calendar

Do you have a family calendar? Can everyone see what is happening on different days? If not, now may be a good time to start! You may prefer an electronic calendar for the reminders, or a paper calendar so it’s clearly visible, but whatever your preference now is a good time to start using one! Older children can use the calendar to check plans for the upcoming weekends and be responsible for adding their own activities to the calendar. Younger children can get involved by learning more about how time passes throughout the year, and strengthen their number skills!

2. Let them experience different tools

As your child grows into a teenager, don’t force them to use a specific type of calendar or planner because that’s what you’ve always used. Let them try different things, and give them resources like this article that can teach them more about how to use a planner well.

3. Have them time track for a week to see where their time goes

Does your child feel like they are always working? Perhaps you feel your older children spend more time on their phones when they are “doing chores” than actually doing the chores. Try tracking time for a week, and encourage them to focus on one thing at a time so they are tracking correctly. Instead of whipping out the phone over and over while doing chores, spend an hour really focusing on chores and then a half hour fully on phones (or whatever intervals work for you). In order for time management strategies to really work, it is important to know where they are starting from! There are apps that can help with tracking all of it, or a paper planner might be a better fit.  Whatever you choose, all that matters is that it is used consistently! After a week of tracking where all the hours in a day go, you may all be surprised to see exactly how much time is spent where and have a better perspective for scheduling moving forward.

Now, you are prepared to teach your children time management skills that will help them succeed in school and beyond!

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