Time-Savvy Kids

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Teach your child time-management skills with these tips

Do you want to get your kids out on time and watch them grow into responsible and organised people? They’ll need to know how to tell and manage time. Here’s how to teach them.

It Starts With You

Children mimic the actions of their parents or caregivers; they will do what you do, not what you say. Start by managing your time well before you teach them the same. Do this by prioritizing duties and delegating when necessary, planning well and establishing routines. Then, hopefully, your kids will mimic the same, and teaching them will be a lot easier.

Give Them An Early Start

Teach them this essential skill as early as possible. Experts in child development say that these early years are perfect for teaching children essential skills because that is when their brains are developing, and any habit gets adopted easily (as opposed to when they are much older when helping them develop new habits will require more effort from both of you).

The Early Bird Catches The Worm

According to Wendy Thompson, author of A Parents Guide to Teaching Kids Time Management, you should set a morning plan. She writes, “Mornings are oftentimes chaotic, yet it is vital to ensure that your kids leave on time every day. In addition to the significance of punctuality, you are educating the kids to be in charge of their time and setting them up for a lot of work. In the event that you find that mornings are excessively hectic in your home, think about having an agenda for the previous night, of having school uniforms prepared, homework and supplies put into their school bags, snacks made, and so forth.”

Create Structures And Routines

When children have a routine to follow, shifting from one task or activity to another becomes less of a hassle because they know what to expect. For example, they will know that after brushing their teeth at night comes bedtime and won’t waste time arguing or trying to do something else.

Give Them Chores And Activities

Giving your children child-appropriate chores will give them a sense of responsibility which is a big component of time-management. Give them activities with a realistic deadline. “For those assignments requiring a series of steps to accomplish, perform a task analysis. A task analysing is a way to break down a long-range, complex project into smaller, more manageable components. By segmenting each of the steps and calculating how long they take to complete, a schedule can be made to ensure that the project is done on time, and done well, without last-minute cramming,” writes Dr. Michael Osit in Generation Text: Raising Well-Adjusted Kids in an Age of Instant Everything.

Praise Their Efforts

Experts advice that you should praise their efforts and not their personal qualities or characteristics. When they’ve completed a task, for example, telling them, “Good job cleaning the sink,” will make them believe they can improve, if they work harder. Telling them, “You’re a good girl” will make the child think that their ability is fixed and this leads to decreased persistence and performance. This is according to findings of a study in the journal Child Development.

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