Managing time is something most kids just don’t do willingly. Learning to manage their time wisely is something that is learned, taught, and even improved over time. If you are looking for ways to motivate kids in this area, then I have some tips that can help. Learn how to encourage your child to use their time wisely at home and elsewhere.
This post is part of the Building Virtues in Your Children Series
Why do kids need to learn to manage time wisely?
We have all been there with our kids. I think at a certain age, your kids have been through this anxiety-laden reaction of having something due “tomorrow” or not having time to complete chores, assignments, or cleaning their room.
They get a feeling of overwhelm, or they may feel they have too much on their plate. You as a parent have to feel some kind of compassion for them, right? You may even have to take some responsibilities away from them. Maybe it will be best to lighten their load, right?
No. Well, maybe not entirely anyway.
I learned this lesson the hard way. When my eldest was still home and still in high school, I learned that she would leave — well, everything until the last minute. How did I find out?
Well, once a week, I had to be away from the house for several hours. She had the most chores that day. One day I happened to come back early, and my daughter was completely lounging about doing nothing.
She later admitted that as soon I pulled into the driveway, it was panic-mode. My daughter was in a frenzy, trying to get everything done from my walk out the car to the front door. It was inevitable, she was caught.
Fast forward years later, she is an adult now and on her own. She admits to me that the one day I caught her, wasn’t an outlier at all. She would try to clean up about 20 minutes before I was due to get home — every time.
Of course, I found it funny now. I do, however, know there was a better way she could have managed her time to help her not have to rush 20 minutes before I got home. I wonder if I taught her to use her time wisely, could she have time to do all her assignments and chores, with stress-free time leftover to lounge?
Have you concluded that your kids are slightly lazy? Do you find they can’t get chores or assignments done, yet find time to lollygag, take naps, or play? Chances are, your kids need a little nudge in the direction of using their time wisely.
When we teach our kids to use their time wisely, we are also preparing them for adulthood and creating good habits.
1. They can get to work and their classes on time.
2. They can turn in assignments on time
3. They can learn to prioritize.
4. Time management lowers stress (We all know how that is needed.)
5. It helps them focus.
For all these reasons we should learn to encourage our kids to use their time wisely even at young ages.
Here are a few ways to encourage your child to use their time wisely:
(When they are little)
Teach the seasons
Teach your kids about the changing seasons, so they learn to grasp the concept of time. Here are some resources to help. Creation’s ordered patterns in nature, allows kids to intuitively grasp the concept of time and order in the world.
How to Learn About All Four Seasons (Even If You Live Where There’s Only One)
Create schedules and stick to routines (even when they are little with pictures.)
If you get young ones used to routines and schedules, they are more likely to keep to them as they grow older. The schedules and routines help them understand how time works. On the schedules, have kids cross off items as they go and get them sued to complete what is on their schedule.
Let your children wait.
That is right. Let your child experience what it is to work on their patience, by anticipating a field trip or plant a seed and wait for it to grow.
(As they get older)
Try to teach telling time as early as possible.
Routines are a necessity. The next step in getting children into a routine is learning when a task needs to start and how long it takes to complete.
FREE Worksheets that Teach Telling Time
Start using timers or hourglass for assignments or tasks.
Part of learning to use time wisely is learning the urgency of completing tasks on time. Deadlines in life are very real, and starting the knowledge of this with simple timers help prepare kids adequately.
Help children understand the difference between wants and needs.
Throughout your day, point out with your children what would be a want and what would be a need. Doing so would help children distinguish what a priority is and what isn’t.
Wants vs. Needs Learning Pack FREE | This Reading Mama
And most of all, develop consistent consequences.
This may be the hardest that parents have to do. Sticking through with consequences of not completing assignments, chores, etc. When your consequences and expectations are consistent, your child is greatly benefitted.
By encouraging your kids to use their time wisely, they get a sense of safety, a sense of guidance through parameters, and an innate sense to self-regulate. The self-regulation will eventually help them to understand how their time can be used most efficiently.
Grab a few of these resources to help guide and encourage your kids as they manage their time more wisely at home:
Screen Time Rules for Kids | Natural Beach Living
FREE Printable Weekday Screen Time Tracker for Kids | Six Time Mommy
Teaching Kids Time Management +FREE Printable Worksheet | Hay Hay Life
Keeping Kids on Track – FREE Printable Schedule System | Only Passionate Curiosity
It is best to teach time management with these tips when children are still young. You can make it fun as well as teach them to enjoy their routines. When your child grows into a teen, you would want them to have had these skills conceptualized. I am proof to tell you that once a teen has built the habit of managing time poorly, it’s hard to get them out of that habit.
The ultimate goal here to me is having less stress and having free time, yet it begins with using time wisely. Encouraging our kids by guiding them to use their time wisely while young, sets a foundation for a well-structured day during homeschool and into adulthood.
Jeannette is a wife, mother and homeschooling mom. She has been mightily, saved by grace and is grateful for God’s sovereignty throughout her life’s journey. She has a Bachelor in English Education and her MBA. Jeannette is bi-lingual and currently lives in the Tongan Islands of the South Pacific. She posts daily freebies for homeschoolers!
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