This is a guest post by Vicki Thompson.
Teaching time management skills when life is relatively simple will make it naturally easier for your child when life gets a little more complicated. So how can you effectively teach your child the skill of managing his or her time?
Teach your child early on to tell time. If you want your child to learn how to manage time, then this is an obvious first step. Other than the advantage of being introduced early to numbers, your child will become more responsible and disciplined when he knows how to tell time and why it’s important. Use a clock with the hands rather than a digital clock. Choose a large one with attractive designs to make it more fun. For example, when your child asks for an ice cream cone or snack, tell him he can have one at four o’clock. Then show him the numbers where the hands should point at this time (You’ll also be teaching him patience). As he asks for more things, he’ll have the idea that activities are done at different times during the day.
By teaching your child how to set priorities
There are always more things to do than there is enough time to do them, even for a child. By teaching your child how to set priorities, he’ll know how to divide his time among his different activities; he’ll learn where to spend more time, and where to spend less. Teach time management to your child by using the reward principle. If he finishes his home work first, he will have the remaining time before bedtime entirely for television. But if he wants television first, he would have to watch only until a certain time, regardless if he’s watching a favorite show. You might find your child having a dilemma between doing two school projects. Ask him which one he finds more difficult and advise him to do that one first. This way, he won’t dread doing the second project because he’ll know it’ll be easier. Always make your child see the advantages of wise choices; hopefully he’ll carry this skill until the time he starts making decisions for himself.
By showing your child that managing time means fun
You should never leave this part out. If you allow sufficient time for playing, entertainment, and doing the things your child enjoys, you will ensure he knows you mean well and that you’re not simply making his childhood miserable. This is true for all the other things you want to teach your child; if you want your child to really accept the lessons you’re teaching him, it is always imperative that you let him see the fun part of it. Also, this is important for your child to learn how to balance responsibility and relaxation, which will ultimately make him the well-rounded individual that you want him to be.
Photo by kyz