As adults we know how essential time management is in leading effective lives. Achieving goals, minimizing mistakes, and saving extra time for other worthwhile endeavors are among the positive outcomes of effective time management. Time management skills are not something you can learn instantly nor in a one day seminar. Because it involves mostly you and your work ethic, your attitude and habits, the skill is honed overtime and through experience.
So don’t you think it will be better to start educating our kids about the importance of this life skill? Starting them into the process early on when life is simple gives them a better chance of coping when life becomes complicated as they grow up. Getting them into the habit of managing their own time effectively is part of good parenting. Besides, we wouldn’t want to be hovering over them when they’re old enough to keep tabs on their diaries, right?
Start by putting a routine in place at home.
Keeping a schedule is an effective tool for meeting goals on time and making every second count. Use an alarm and a timer to let children know when it’s time to wake up, do their homework or end their TV time to start helping with the chores. This exercise gives them not only a sense of time but get them into the proper habit of, say doing their homework after finishing their afternoon tea readily. There are many family calendars available or you can opt to make your own and set them up where everyone can see.
Speak to them about priorities and work with them on how they think they can best make their homework and chores on time. Encourage kids to finish tasks efficiently and motivate them by saying the faster they finish their work, the sooner they can go on with their play or TV time. This will help them distinguish the importance of balancing responsibilities and recreation which will be most relevant to their well-being as they grow up.
It is also vital that you set a good example. Keep in mind that putting up a family schedule will only be effective when followed. Do your part and display how responsible you are in meeting appointments and doing as planned. There are times when you will obviously fail but use these pitfalls to discuss with kids what you did wrong and what they think you should do next time to prevent that error from happening again. Allow them to see the consequences of poor time management skills may it be being reprimanded by the principal and missing out on an important medical appointment.
Explain that time management is not really about sorting out time as we only have 24 hours a day. But that time management is more about managing themselves and their behavior. A sense of discipline and prudence. Always highlight the advantages of making wise choices. And when you deem deserving, reward them so they’ll continue making efforts on making their day productive all the time.