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Are they learning the right habits from us?

Think about the way you manage your time. Are you constantly running back and forth between tasks, biting off more than you can chew, and putting everyone’s needs before your own? We tell our kids to get their homework done, do their chores, and uphold their involvements, but this may not be a skill that comes naturally to them if they’ve never seen it successfully demonstrated.

As adults we talk about work/life balance and making time for our families, but by setting up these habits earlier we can give kids the skills to be productive, yet not overloaded with stress:

kids drawing with a pencil

    • Start Early, and Start Small

Set timers for tasks like playing with toys, cleaning their rooms, or getting dressed for school. Saying “15 minutes!” and knowing the clock is ticking are two different things that can help kids focus on the task at hand rather than getting distracted.

Even small children who haven’t developed a real concept of time can benefit from a semblance of routine and time blocking. Not to say everything should be timed, but it will help them learn what an hour of uninterrupted homework, play, or self-care time feels like.

girl doing homework

    • Get Older Kids Involved in Planning their Schedule

Kids are more likely to want to do things like piano lessons, doctor’s appointments, and soccer practice if they have a say in when and how it happens.

Take time every few months to go over some of the important dates coming up in your kid’s calendar. Encourage them to give ideas for things to do on free days, and show them how to either digitally or physically pencil in new events. Use a planner or calendar with stickers and have them make it their own!

It’s also a good time to talk about their school, family, and social responsibilities. If they have quizzes, projects and exams coming up, talk about how they’ll prepare. If they’re nervous about a recital performance, schedule a time to do a dress rehearsal at home. By allotting time for these worries, it will be less likely to overrun their lives in the future.

  • R&R

For younger kids, it may be especially tempting to just overschedule them with activity to learn and grow as much as possible (also to tire them out!) . But it’s also vital to allow them time to rest, reflect and be alone with their thoughts.

Giving them a suggested time to read, take a nap, draw, or journal can build their independence and self awareness. Not every kid is extroverted or has the capacity to balance a ton of social interactions, so it’s important to tailor a schedule to your kids’ needs.

cute child with glasses reading

At the end of the day, we want kids to work smarter not harder. To really think about how their time is most effectively spent to achieve their goals and aspiration. And It’s not just kids that can benefit from these time management skills. Remember that juggling school pickups, errands, work and extracurriculars can often take a toll on parents too!

Check out the rest of our website to see how we’re giving teachers and parents time back to do what they do best!

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