Does your child make it to class in the nick of time because they take ages to get ready in the morning? Do you get exasperated every time you’re waiting for them to get downstairs so you can go out? Do they struggle to stay on top of their homework because they waste time? This means that you need to work on their time management skills.
Although the ability to organize tasks and fit them in a certain time frame is a very important one, it’s not talked about enough. It’s advisable for parents to start introducing the best strategies for time management at an early age. This way, your children will adopt these positive habits naturally and effortlessly. Here’s what you can do.
Making a calendar
Creating a visual representation of their daily and weekly schedules can help your child understand how to manage their time. They can draw pictures of their activities, cut them, and paste them onto the calendar to remind them of their responsibilities. It can be a creative and fun process as well as a practical addition to their routine.
Making a to-do list
This is a classic staple that most people with good organization skills swear by. You may already be making ones of your own and your little one can discover its benefits early on. You can help them decide which of these bullet points are the most important and they can then mark them in different colors accordingly. For example, red can be used for the activities that have to be done and blue for those that they can put off for the next day.
Making time for enjoyable activities
It’s important for children to have time to relax, play, and have fun. Spare time can also be included in their calendar and you can frame it as a reward for completing another task that’s on the list. Let them choose what they’d like to do, such as going on a playdate with their bestie or taking a trip to an amusing trampoline park.
Give them a set amount of time to perform a task, like putting their toys away. This is a great way to practice having a limited time frame to complete an activity. Make sure they’re able to do the activity in the set amount of time so it isn’t frustrating. You can frame it as a game so they perceive it as fun family time instead of a stressful chore.
Using the clock
Most children learn how to tell the time by the age of 7 or 8. However, you can start teaching them about the concept of time a lot sooner. Toddlers can adopt a basic understanding of sequences of events. They can start learning the basics of telling the time as soon as they know how to count to 10.
These days, children are used to instant gratification because everything is just a click away. However, many activities require more time and they have to stick with it until they follow it through. This is an important skill that will help them succeed at school and prompt them to plan their activities more effectively.
You can try playing pretend, telling stories, and reading books where time management is in focus. This can help your child realize how to act in situations where time is of the essence. This way, they’ll be exposed to practical, specific examples of organizing one’s time.
Setting a good example yourself is essential. Children learn most of their habits by observing their parents and mimicking their family dynamic, so make sure you’re a positive role model. Talk to your child about managing their time effectively and stay patient as they learn.