How to Teach Time Management Skills to Kids

As parents, you are eager to teach your kids important life skills and other skills (especially those you couldn’t learn as a child). These skills could be swimming, cooking, maintaining hygiene, communication skills, etc. However, parents hardly think about teaching time management skills to their children. If your child gets up later daily, has trouble preparing in time for school, struggles to complete his homework within the stipulated time, and forgets to prioritize things, you need to teach him about time management. Time management is a skill that can be life-altering and can help your child in the long run.

Time is a treasure and learning to make the best of it is a skill learned early in life. So make your child value their time by teaching them how to manage it and get things done!

Easy Ways to Teach Time Management Skills to Your Child

Your kids don’t need to start using spreadsheets and advanced techniques to better manage their time on the everyday aspects of their life and helping them handle those better in the first place, you can lay the foundation for them to build their management skills.

1. Be Gentle When You Talk to Your Child

You must be gentle when talking to your child. Learning the skill of managing time is a change that kids experience in their undisturbed lives, and they will take time to adjust to it. Please do your best to see things from your child’s perspective and be a part of the learning process they undertake. This gives a child the support and guidance they need, which does not emerge if you function as a manager and ask them to manage their time better. Give your child the information they need and let them execute it by themselves thereafter.

2. Maintain a Communication Channel

When learning a new skill or adapting to a new style of life, kids will face certain obstacles or roadblocks and need help and guidance. Please encourage your child to ask for help and establish an equation that allows him to talk to you about the problems he faces. This could be struggling to keep in line with school timings or having issues focusing on homework when he comes back from school. Remember that your child is not a problem, but the new circumstances can be. Address the circumstance and work together in coming up with a solution that helps your kid.

COMMUNICATE

3. Keep a Focused Study Area

The main issue parents have around kids failing to focus on their homework or being unable to complete it within time revolves mostly around the surrounding environment and atmosphere. A room with a television and tons of other distractions isn’t the best room for a child to study with complete focus. Designate a room that functions as a study zone and let your child study without distractions. Arrange the area appropriately as well to reduce visual distractions.

4. Limit Use of Devices

Playing games on handheld gaming devices or mobile screens is what we see kids do most often these days. If you want to teach your child about time management, limit his screen time. Establish specific timings to use these devices for recreation. Set a rule in the house that you will let your child play for a specific amount of time only after he has completed his homework. In all cases, restrict their use as much as possible, at least a few hours before their scheduled bedtime. And even yours as well.

5. Have Meals Together As a Family

The erratic schedules of work and home can make it difficult for everyone to sit together at the table and enjoy a meal together. But do your best to inculcate that habit since it works on certain internal biological markers as well. Having dinner together can be a great time to catch up with each other’s lives and mentally conclude a day that allows your brain to get into a relaxed mode as well. A set dinner time also lets your child know how to finish all the work they have before it.

6. Hand the Tools to the Kids

Gradually, advise your kid to start streamlining his own responsibilities. If the morning is always rushed, let your child know that he needs to pack his bag once dinner is made and before going to bed. If anything needs to be procured for the next day, advise your kid to inform that as soon as they get home from school. Teach them to maintain a checklist of sorts to show it to you if they need your help with any activity.

7. Get an Alarm Clock for Your Child

Understanding time management is one thing. Seeing it in action is a completely different activity. Get a clock for your kid’s room or their study desk so that they can check the time regularly. By having a good idea of how time passes, your child will learn to inculcate an internal discipline of pacing their efforts and activities to stay in line with the schedule.

SCHEDULE

8. Get a Planner Too

A child’s day rarely ends after they come back from school. There are other classes they might have to attend, post which they will want to go out to play with their friends, and so on. All these activities are difficult for a kid to keep track of mentally. Get them a simple planner or a calendar with daily time slots mentioned in it. Help your kid with gauging the approximate time required for each activity, and schedule it accordingly. This removes the mental pressure of planning,,, and your child can refer to the calendar and know what needs to be done.

9. Make Lists

Adults may understand the benefits of sticking to a routine, but kids do not. On the other hand, kids respond really well to knowing that they have completed what is expected. Use this to your advantage by morphing their schedule into a to-do list of sorts. This gives your child the satisfaction of completing all the activities assigned for the day and instills a sense of success within them. It also negates any possibilities of having missed out on a particular item on the routine since it will be obvious what remains to be done.

10. Set a Fixed Time for Bed

Children require a set amount of good sleep for their growth and development and their brains to form new connections. Since most schools begin early, work backward from that time and work out a time that your child needs to be in bed by so that they get at least 10 hours of sleep daily.

Time Management Activities for Children

Inculcating the habit of managing time in children can be achieved by turning those skills into interesting activities. From making time management worksheet sets for kids to usinmanyof techniques that are fun to execute, your child can learn time management within no time.

1. The Puzzle of Time

If your child is a fan of solving puzzles and looking at the bigger picture, use the same technique to teach him time management basics.PUZZLE OF TIME

What You Will Need

How To Do

  • Sit your child down for a discussion and talk to them aboutto figure outways that cause wastage of time. This is where your child might need some clarity in understanding why playing video games for a long time and watching television for long hours also counts as time wasted. This lies in parallel with simply sitting with the book open and having the mind wander elsewhere.
  • Once a little clarity is achieved, let your child start scribbling important aspects around it on the cardboard. Even a simple phrase like ‘too much screen time’ or ‘video games’ or ‘no focus’ will be enough for him to recall the core idea.
  • With all the above points on the cardboard, draw lines between them to separate them into a specific section. Use the scissors and let your child cut those sections out.
  • Your puzzle is ready. Keep these pieces in a box and let your child put them together anytime they have confusion regarding what constitutes time wasted in any form.

2. Fill up The Jar

Metaphors can be difficult for children to understand, but if they teach your child time management skills, you have to teach them to your kids!

FILL UP THE JAR

What You Will Need

  • A jar
  • Large stones of various sizes
  • Small pebbles of different shapes

How To Do

  • Let your child know the basic rule of the game. They need to use a combination of big stones and small pebbles to fill the jar. All the big stones need to be used for sure, but there have to be some small stones, too.
  • Run a test yourself to understand the exact number of stones and allocate the same to your child, with more pebbles than needed.
  • Once your child starts playing, they will make several attempts to fit all the large stones in the jar and fail to do so.
  • When they manage to fit them all properly, explain to him that the large stones represent important activities and cannot be avoided. Only when we have fit them the right way do we have the time to pursue any other smaller activities represented by the pebbles.

3. Task Closures

Earn points every time you end up respecting time.

TASK CLOSURES

What You Will Need

How To Do

  • Choose an activity such as coloring a particular drawing and allocate a fixed time for completing the activity.
  • Make sure you both do it together with the catch that you can go to the next activity only when both have completed it in time.
  • Waste some time on your cell phone or doing nothing to let your child complete the activity first and in time. They will then have to wait as you are lagging. This fun activity will help your child see the importance of doing things on time.

4. Time-Based Activity

This time-based activity involves setting a time limit for each activity and completing each activity within the given time.

TIME BASED ACTIVITIES

What You Will Need

  • Colored chart paper
  • Colored pencils
  • A small notebook

How To Do

  • Make a list of all activities that your child does daily.
  • Talk to your child and figure out the time they spend on each activity.
  • Write the activity and the duration on the chart paper using pencils, such as ‘brushing teeth – 10 minutes’, ‘taking a bath – 10 minutes’, and so on.
  • Stick this list in your child’s bedroom and ask them to finish each task within the stipulated time each day.

5. First Things First

Teach your little one the concept of prioritization with this simple activity.

FIRST THINGS FIRST

What You Will Need

  • Different papers
  • Colored pencils

How To Do

  • Write the tasks and activities your child performs on some pieces of paper (one activity on one piece of paper) and spread them out in front of your child.
  • Ask your child to rank each activity in order of priority by writing the number on the other side of the paper.
  • He will end up scratching and correcting the priority numerous times before he gets it all right. But your child will eventually learn what he needs to prioritize.

Employing time management strategies for kids is not as easy as it seems. This skill makes its need relevant only when we reach adulthood, and then learning it can be quite difficult. Using interesting games and techniques can make time management a habit for your child and benefit them when they grow up.

Also Read:

Ways to Teach Kids about Money Management
How to Teach You’re about Child Table Manners
Moral Values You Must Teach Your Kids

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