Whether your child is in elementary or high school, learning time management skills is important. Follow these expert tips for teaching your kids how to be organized from the start.
If all that comes to mind when you think about time management is your hectic schedule at work or home, think again. Helping your kids with time management will help you and the rest of the family, too.
Lend your child a helping hand
Tara Kennedy-Kline, parent/family coach, suggests parents help kids with certain chores — or helping hands.
She explains, “Parents can write helping hands tasks — homework, special classes, activities — on magnets and keep them on a dry-erase calendar. Each evening, the child must choose their helping hands and make sure their book bag is prepared for the next day. They also must decide if they are going to pack lunch so it can be made the night before, if necessary. Post a list of school lunches and special events, like picture day or assemblies, that the child will need to be prepared for. This significantly cuts down on stress in the morning.”
Be consistent with your child
Kennedy-Kline is a big believer in consistent schedules. “Set a schedule for what gets done as soon as the child gets home,” she suggests. “Do you sit at the table and have a snack while going through their book bag, or do you have a TV break before you get into the evening routine? No matter what it is, set the agreement with them and stick to it.”
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Make sure your child is involved with managing his time
Kennedy-Kline explains, “Children need for adults to set intentions and guidelines, and then, explain those things to them, write them down together and stick to them.”
Whether your child is a preschooler or high schooler, you’ll need to discover what kind of organizational process works best for her.
“As far as organization, the most important part is involving the child in the process,” Kennedy-Klein says. “Ask them what works for them. Give them an option or two if they are stuck, but keep it simple and observe the patterns the child is already in.”
Depending on how old your child is, Kennedy-Klein suggests asking these questions after observing your child.
- Do they store their lego pieces by color or size in little buckets?
- Do they use a different notebook or folder for every school subject, or keep everything packed in one big binder?
- Do they like to use storage containers that look like treasure chests, or do they prefer open crates or shelves?
She adds, “Following the child’s natural tendencies will lead to greater, sustained success — and continuous success is the foundation for creating self monitoring and motivation down the road.”