Let’s face it: Clocks can’t manage or track your kids’ time.
In fact, your kids know what time it is in terms of their mealtime, school, homework, nap time, playtime, and other activities.
This is why a number of kids find it difficult to manage their time effectively and they end up spending more time in one activity (like playtime) than another (like homework).
Now, that doesn’t mean you should let things be the way they are. With a little practice and the right techniques, you can guide your kids in the right direction.
In this article, you’ll learn 9 actionable tips to teach your kids time management. Let’s quickly get started. Shall we?
So, how do you teach your kids time management WITHOUT overwhelming them?
Here are 9 kid-friendly tips that you can easily incorporate in their daily lives.
Remember the saying ‘You can’t teach old dog new tricks’? The same goes for kids.
Research suggests that kids learn much faster than adults who might also be learning the same thing. This is because during early stages of neural development, human brain displays more flexibility. As a result, young kids seem to grasp everything around them much quicker.
Be it reading, riding a bike, or learning a new language, it’s easier for kids to pick things up when it is introduced at a young age.
Just like any other skill, time management is also a skill that must be taught at a young age. By repeating and reinforcing the concept of time management, you can help your kids learn faster. As young kids have uncluttered minds, you can have more of that repetition without perplexing them.
No matter how hard you try to explain the purpose of a clock and its minutes and hours to your young kids, they just won’t understand it.
If your kids can read the clock, they might be able to tell you that it’s 9 o clock. But, do you think they clearly understand why it’s an important digit? Do they understand how there are so many things that have to be done over the next hour or two? It’s definitely an obstacle for them to jump over!
To make it easier for them to grasp the concept of time, break the day into chunks of tangible tasks such as sleep time, homework, playtime, dinner time, and so on.
Once you divide the entire day into digestible time slots, it’s time to prioritise events that are most important. This will help you establish a routine and order of activities.
Here’s an example to help you set your own routine:
Start the day with waking up and getting out of bed. Next, eat breakfast, get ready, and leave for school. Once back from school, eat a snack, do homework, and enjoy playtime. Then, eat dinner with family, get ready for bed, and go to sleep.
This way, you can create a checklist for your kid to follow. To encourage your kid, reward them whenever they accomplish a task. For instance, give them a sticker or a candy when they finish their homework, or allow them some screen time.
To help parents limit screen time, Tittle for Parents’ Screen Allowance function lets you allot the time (e.g. 15 or 30 minutes) your kids can use on their device. Once this time is over, access to their game apps would be restricted.
Now that you have a checklist of daily activities at hand, the next step is to ensure that your kids don’t hop to an activity until they complete the prior activity.
For example, don’t allow kids to enjoy screen time until their homework is completed. Similarly, you shouldn’t let them go to school until they eat their breakfast. Or, don’t let them go to bed without finishing their dinner.
In case your kids delay or miss their tasks, you can make use of tools like Tittle for Parents to schedule activities and reduce distractions to keep them focused on their tasks at hand. For instance, you can use Tittle for Parents’ Schedule function to create various time blocks (such as 6am-2pm or 8pm-9pm) to restrict screen time for routines like school, meals, or bedtime.
This will help your kids understand that if they want to engage in sufficient playtime or screen time before going to sleep, they must use their homework time intelligently.
One of the reasons why kids fail to manage their time effectively is that they have no idea of how to do it.
When it comes to time management, young children don’t understand how long 10 minutes in playtime should last. This is where you need to enter the scene. Use physical timers to introduce and track time limits, and verbalize these limits.
For example, say ‘10 minutes until we go to bed’ and then physically set a loud timer, letting your kids know when these 10 minutes are over.
Similarly, you can set timers for other activities like homework, room cleaning, playtime etc. This can be used in tandem with Tittle’s Schedule function in the beginning, so kids have both physical and digital reminders.
Sure, you can use a timer to keep track of time limits. But how are you going to ensure that your kids stay on track?
What if you give them 15 minutes to clean their room and they spend 14 minutes picking up just one toy?
This is where you need to get involved. Along with introducing and tracking time limits, let your kids know that timer is not the only determinant. The half-hour they spend on homework doesn’t mean anything if their homework is still not done.
So get involved with your kids so that they make the best use of their time slots. Remind them that if they do their homework quickly but incorrectly, this means they’ll have to spend more time on homework to make it right, taking away from their playtime slot.
Often you’ll feel that your kids clearly know when they have to do a specific task and how long it might take them to do it. However, they might be lagging behind in their focus to accomplish that task.
Let’s take an example.
Suppose your child returns from school. They eat a snack and now know it’s time to do homework. So, they grab a seat in your living room and try to begin working on their assignment. But their older sibling is lying on the sofa watching TV while you are busy in the kitchen.
Do you think they can complete their homework in such a scenario? We guess not!
To make them study attentively, you’ll have to create a dedicated study area. Use the same area every day when it’s their homework time.
Similarly, let them clearly know that they’ll have to be seated at the family dining table if they want to eat dinner.
This way, you link time with a certain environment. As a result, your kids will know they can’t or shouldn’t leave that environment until they complete the task.
While it’s a good idea to hide veggies in your kids’ meals to make them eat, there’s no point in keeping time management a secret.
Talk to your kids about the process and importance of time management. Specify where they might need help and how you’re planning to help them.
By being vocal and open to communication, you’ll be better prepared to handle any meltdowns or queries. Plus, you can easily reward good conduct if children have something to work toward.
We all know how kids of all ages LOVE gaming. Why not use it to your advantage?
Gamification is a sure-shot way to skyrocket your kids’ involvement and interest in time management. Bonus points, prizes, and competitions all make the process of time management more motivating and less overwhelming. Plus, it can help bring to the surface your kid’s competitive streak.
So how do you gamify the experience?
Suppose you have two or more kids. You can pit them against one another in a task such as eating dinner and reward the one who finishes earlier.
Got one child? No problem! Set up a running goal reward. For instance, give them a prize after every week of successful time management. Another tactic is to give points to your kid based on their daily activities and rewarding them when they reach a certain number of points.
There you have it. 9 tried-and-trusted tips to help you teach your kids time management.
Educating your kids on how to manage time effectively can be difficult. But the sooner you start, the easier it’ll be for your children to understand the significance of time and learn ways to keep pace with the continuously ticking clock.
If you want your child to become a successful student, it’s extremely important to let them know how to manage their time. By teaching time management skills to your kids, you not only help retain your own sanity but also help your kids perform better in school and later on in their lives.
We believe time management is a skill that’s best learned as a child. However, the welfares of learning the process last throughout your life.