As parents, we’ll know too well how important time management is. Having managed work, household chores and raising children requires masterful use of time.
But looking back, it’s easy to see how important the skill is in all aspects of life, from education to work to family to hobbies. The good news is, time management is a trait that anyone can acquire. It’s highly recommended to understand its value and purpose from a young age, which means teaching your child these skills today is essential.
What Is Time Management And Why Is It Important For Children?
Time management refers to the ability to prioritise work and allocate enough time to complete them. For children, it involves a greater scope of development, such as learning how to follow a daily schedule, have a good sense of urgency and reflect on their own progress to improve themselves.
Children today are involved in a plethora of activities in school and beyond, from their regular classes to their enrichment programmes to even family gatherings. Consider individual tasks in each of these.
For example, your child will need to know how long they’ll take to complete the comprehension section of the English examination. That way, they can better allocate time for it. Perhaps your child is in charge of doing the laundry every alternate evening? Setting aside just enough space on their schedule means they can complete the laundry in time and still head over to their friend’s house for some after school games.
Being able to fulfil their commitments, knowing how to best work with the time they have and recognising their bandwidth requires solid use of time management skills. It’s no surprise then that it’s an important trait for children.
So how do you go about teaching them these skills? The solution lies in not telling them the “what”, but in showing them the “how”.
Tips For Teaching Children Time Management Skills
1. Design A Timetable
Good time management abilities stem from discipline. What better way to nurture that than by establishing a timetable for them? A daily schedule helps your child understand what needs to be done every day while training them to complete their to-do lists within a stipulated period.
Begin by listing down all the commitments your child has. This will include everything, from their formal lessons to after school enrichment activities to household chores to recreational pockets of time. For that last bit, we mean weekly basketball sessions with pals from the neighbourhood, family dinners and the like.
And while at it, don’t forget to block off time for rest – this is important to manage stress and prevent burnout.
Of course, sit with your child to create this plan. This gives them the assurance that nothing is being forced upon them, and that the timetable is simply to help them learn how to make the most of each day.
2. Establish Priorities
With the timetable, what your child essentially takes away is understanding priorities. For a school-going child, regular school hours, tuition, co-curricular activities, homework, reading and family time remain at the top of the list. You can explain to them why so by mapping them against the bigger picture.
For example, completing homework on time and studying for a few hours each day helps with their grades. Family time ensures they have the space to unwind and interact with those near and dear.
What does this mean all in all? They’ll learn to recognise the importance of fulfilling these priorities first before engaging in other activities. In that sense, a child eager to play a game on the PlayStation will work smart to complete the necessary tasks daily, leaving them with more time to do all that they want to. In other instances, they’ll find a way to move activities around and allocate enough hours for it, so they don’t overlook any commitment.
3. Map Long-Term And Short-Term Goals
Time management is necessary for fulfilling goals. Setting goals themselves can also nurture time management skills. Here’s how.
Long-term goals like end-of-year examinations require a series of short-term goals that’ll set your child on a path to achieve them successfully. These include after school enrichment lessons and home study hours, for example. Completing these short-term goals alongside the larger events of life (family, rest etc.) then requires careful planning. This is where time management begins.
Consider planning yearly goals with your child, and mapping out the short-term goals that come with them. With that, outlining their daily or monthly schedules becomes more purposeful – your child will value each task they complete by understanding the role it plays in the big picture.
Make Time Management A Possibility For Your Child
We want your child to have a fulfilling childhood, even against the rigour of academics. That’s why our enrichment classes are smartly designed to cover a holistic curriculum after school. This means you don’t have to worry about enrolling your child in multiple tuition sessions. Simply block a few hours in their timetable after school for an engaging academic experience, giving them the power boost they need to do well.
The result? Your child will have ample time to complete homework, attend co-curricular programmes and other non-school activities. Evenings and weekends can be freed up for play or restful family bonding time. Knowing that they have allocated study slots on weekdays to complete all academic work, they’ll be more motivated to remain focused, so nothing spills over to the time they want for all things fun.