Poor Time Management skills can often lead to difficulty at school, as procrastination is commonly the cause of tardiness and can result in students turning in low quality work. So, it’s important that parents learn how to work on time management strategies with their children, helping them understand the importance and qualities of good time management skills.
Apps that offer help with managing schedules and tasks can be helpful in offering supplemental support, but it is equally important for parents to work directly with their kids, teaching them how to better manage their time by modeling good time management skills. Below, you’ll find some simple strategies to try at home to help your child understand what time management is, and why it is important.
How to Work on Time Management with Your Child:
1.) Cook a meal together. Have your child help prepare a family meal under your supervision, and with your help as necessary. Encourage him to think ahead about what he would like to be able to make, and ensure that he has all of the necessary ingredients. It’s your job to choose the meal and the recipe. Try to pick a dish that forces your child to manage more than more activity at a time. Allow him to make chicken as a main course, while at the same time getting ingredients for a salad. This way he can quickly add dressing and toss it while the chicken briefly cools. Ideally, he will have a warm dish to serve at with a side of salad.
2.) Time Yourself. Monitor the time that your child spends on tasks at home. Some children who struggle with time management simply get distracted while they are in the middle of an activity. Such tasks, like household chores or homework, are then completed in haste — usually resulting in lower quality final product. One helpful time management strategy is to ask your child to estimate the time it takes to complete a home-based activity, like getting ready for school in the morning. To do this, he should individually list each step required to complete the task. After a trial week, where your child experiments with a few different ways of ordering and allocating his time, come up with a rigid morning schedule for your child to follow.
3.) Take breaks. While the idea of breaking might initially seem counter-intuitive, strategic breaks can actually improve productivity. If your child gets stuck and hits a mental block while doing his homework, get him to move quickly doing something else. How to determine if he’s using the break responsibly? Your child should get back to his work with a renewed interest and enthusiasm. His pace might even increase. Think of the break as an opportunity to engage in a new short-lived activity, instead of a time to relax and accomplish very little. Breaks should be no longer than 10-15 minutes, allowing just enough time for your child to take a quick mental rest.