Time management can be stressful for any adult, especially if you have children. Think about it. How often do you have to ask your child what is taking them so long or tell them to hurry up? If you are anything like most of us, it's pretty often. However, you can help gain some of your sanity back by teaching them some basic time management skills.
Measuring VS Telling Time
Even if they already know how to tell time, most kids struggle with measuring how much time certain tasks take. This is why there is such exaggeration among youngsters when it comes to this topic. Set a timer during a math project or task they are working on. Keep an eye on the clock and give them a countdown as they work. This helps them to get a better feel of what one hour or even one minute actually feels like. As they get better adjusted, you will be able to say things like “We are leaving in 15 minutes,” and they will understand that they don’t have time to watch TV, get a snack, and take a shower first.
Make A Calendar
This is a great way to teach children about what it takes to schedule your week and your day. While creating a calendar can be a fun family art activity, it also teaches each child what other members of the family have going on. It gives them an idea of how they need to prioritize their time to make sure everything and everyone can work together. In addition to a calendar for the whole family, having one for each specific child or member of the family is a great idea. This allows a child to be even more creative with their schedule. Work with them to list daily activities, chores, and homework while prioritizing them accordingly.
Don’t Be Too Busy
A common mistake for many households is that they feel the need to be involved in everything at once. This leads to double booking, miscommunication, and a constantly revolving door. Children quickly get worn out and frustrated if all they do is go, go, go. While this does teach them to watch the clock, it doesn’t give them the opportunity to learn time management skills the right way. Instead, make sure to not overbook your kids’ schedules. One of the best learning tools for children is free time and free play. So, make sure to schedule downtime each day. This enables the child to focus on more than just the ticking clock.
It Has to Be Fun
Time management for a child is not just about a clock and learning to tell time. It's learning to prioritize activities, free time, homework, and much more. The best way to get them to understand it is to make it fun for them to do. Use kid-friendly tools like colorful magnetic calendars, a bright and cheerful to-do list that they can color and design themselves, or apps that are geared for children for those that love technology. Use stickers, make tasks a game, or try to beat the clock. The more fun they have completing tasks, the more likely they are to learn the importance of time management and be able to effectively utilize it.
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