“Time management” for kids may sound lofty, but don’t forget if you’re reading this, you join me in the quest for “tips and tools for the business of motherhood!” The fun of mom blogging is you meet people from all around the world, and I welcome this Guest Writer from Australia, Aileen Pablo, who writes about education and is on the Open Colleges team and contributed this set of wonderful tips to avoid procrastinating and to get your kids to focus on time management.
Teaching Great Study Values to Your Child: Time Management for Kids
“I’ll do it later!”
Kids are great at putting off today what they think they can do tomorrow. The problem is that kids are busier than ever. Many problems, however, can be solved by teaching them how to better manage their time.
Separate what they need to do from what they want to do. There’s a big difference between responsibilities (needs) and desires (wants). They need to finish their homework, eat, bathe, and sleep. Wants include things like TV time, playing video games, and hanging out with their friends. Once kids separate their needs from their wants, they often find that it’s a little easier to complete the things that have to get done.
Estimate time commitments. Before letting kids join any optional activities, it’s best to sit down with them and create a schedule. If possible, ask them to make their own schedule and then review it with them. For example, the school day is seven hours, two hours will be spent doing homework each night, a half hour on chores, a half hour to eat, and so on.
Scheduling isn’t meant to dissuade your children from joining activities, but rather is a way to make them realistic about how much time they have each day. In this way, you can have discussions about making choices between activities and avoid taking on too much.
Stick to the schedule. The best way to do this is to use color-coding and immediate consequences. Color-coding makes it easier to follow without spending much time looking at the schedule, and without immediate consequences, there’s little incentive to follow the schedule until a real-world problem arises. An example of immediate consequences is that skipping a half hour of homework time means a half hour less of TV time.
Teach organization. Don’t let your kids get away with things like tossing their book bag down when they come home. Make sure everything has its place and your kids can clean and organize by themselves. If necessary, schedule daily cleaning time to make sure it happens – and if you really want your kids to stay organized, practice what you preach.
While teaching these life lessons, don’t forget your kids are still just kids. Be patient and make sure their schedules are padded so that can play, relax, and daydream – something we could probably use ourselves.
About the Author:
Aileen Pablo is part of the team behind Open Colleges and one of Australia’s leading providers of Open Learning and distance education. When not working, Aileen blogs about education and career. She is often invited as a speaker in Personality Development Seminars in the Philippines. More info here.