Teaching Kids to How Manage Time

Teaching Kids How to Manage Time

How to Teach Kids to Manage Time

by Lorraine Brock

As many of my readers know I am a mom of three boys, and while my youngest is now 17, I am still helping him learn to manage and schedule his life. This process started years ago during his first grade year in elementary school. At that time the school’s PTA provided agendas (much like a paper day planner) for all the students. I truly believe this is an expense every PTA should provide for students throughout their elementary years. It was the first step in teaching our youngster the importance of planning and scheduling his studies and activities.

With the start of a new school year, I have begun to present the topic of kids managing their time to groups in the community. This week I was approached by a mom after my presentation to get some additional wisdom for her own family. She has a son between the ages of 12-15 that she desperately desires to get organized. She asked, “Where do I start?”

Technology has certainly come a long way in helping people get organized, so I asked if her son had a cell phone, and if he did, what her son’s school policy was on the use of phones during the school day.  The answer to these questions would shape my suggested plan of action. In this case, her son does not have a phone, so the next best option was to use a paper day planner.

The mother then asked, “What type of information does he write down? Test dates, homework?” I told her that was just the beginning. A child’s best laid plans can be thrown off course if mom and dad have something on their own schedule that is not on the child’s calendar. To solve this problem, I suggest my clients have a quick meeting with their child to add relevant dates to the child’s calendar. This way the child can make scheduling decisions based on the big family picture.

This transfer of information usually requires a short family meeting once a week to allow the child to see how appointments, To Do’s, and commitments have to be continuously moved and managed. It teaches them to not just put a test on their calendar, but also schedule study days. Make sure all sports practices, family activities, and free time are on their calendar as well.

In order to stay organized with this tool, your child must use it every day during each class and for homework time after school. It is also a good idea to review the next day’s calendar with them right before bedtime.

For older teens that don’t drive but have smart phones, start including them on calendar invites if you use a digital calendar. Instead of a weekly meeting, this is another way to make sure what’s on your calendar that effects your teen will be included on theirs too. The key here is to make sure your teen understands he must accept the invite for it to appear on his calendar. Allow for discussion or changes to the schedule if needed.

Young children are often easier to train on new process, but sometimes teens see scheduling as unnecessary. They think they can remember everything in their minds or they might view it as parental control. One suggestion to make the transition easier is to help them schedule free time, fun activities, and things they find of interest first, then plan the rest around the fun.

Although the tips above have been directed at children, time management has to be practiced by everyone in the family. Find the system that works for your family and model it for the kids. This lesson will benefit your kids throughout their academic years, their career choices, and their own families.

Lorraine Brock is a professional organizer, family coach, speaker, and founder and owner of Get Organized! Get Organized! is a professional organizing company in the Dallas, Texas area. Get Organized! specializes in organizing and de-cluttering homes as well as implementing systems in the home for better family management. A popular media guest, Lorraine has appeared on Dallas’ two top morning television shows: Good Morning Texas and Good Day Fox, and has been featured on various radio outlets. She has been hallmarked in many local, regional, and national print and online magazines, such as the Dallas Morning News, The North Texas Kids Magazine, SheKnows.com, and Daily Candy Kids. To get more information about Lorraine, visit www.GetOrganized.ws.  You can connect with Get Organized! on Facebook, follow Get Organized! on Twitter and connect with Lorraine Brock on LinkedIn.





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