Teaching Kids the Art of Time Management

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I don’t need to tell anyone the importance of time management. The world is full of appointments and deadlines to make it clear about why every child needs to learn the art of time management. Yet, many of us find themselves constantly running in the IST time zone. It’s a well known running joke within the Indian community where IST is Indian Standard Time where they are consistently 30 mins more more late for everything and unrepentant for the circumstances are never in their hands.

Now of course everyone understands being late once in a while. But being consistently lagging causes a number of issues for those waiting and is just disrespectful of the time of others.

I grew up in a house where my father pushed us to be on time for everything. Being on time is a trait he drilled into us. In my all my years of life, I have rarely been late. And all the credit goes to parents who ensured that we respected the time of others and ourselves. They could never bear to be late. In spite of many times suffering for holding this respected trait. There have been times when a party was supposed to start at a given time and my family has been there only to realize that the even hosts have yet to arrive.

Would I say now being on time is overrated? No!

For being on time is a huge sign of respect. It shows respect for the person who is waiting for you and respect for your own self, for we all are running a hamster wheel that needs us to stick to schedule.

When you are an entrepreneur, managing home, multitasking constantly, wishing the day had 48 hours instead of 24,  you begin valuing your own time like the precious commodity it is. In my case, more so. You manage your time with finesse.

Since I started working for myself, it simply offends me that people today have no respect for the time of another. And believe saying Sorry is all it takes to pacify the troubles and sacrifices I made to manage the same.

The truth is All it takes is valuing your time as well as another.

Teach your children early the art of time management. It is an imperative quality one needs to be on time as well as manage projects and goals that you set for yourself.

7 Steps To Teach Kids Goal Setting & Perseverance

Set An Example

Here I am, in all my years as a parent never found my children to be a hindrance in me being on time and yet I hear many parents saying, “Oh! You need to add a 30 mins of being behind to every child you give birth to. ” I am sure the children too consequently begin to feel that it is not a huge concern to be on time either. In a world which is full of people that are never on time, what hope do we have for children who follow such footsteps ?

10 Practical Ways to Teach Kids the Aet of Time Management

Counter Distractions

I see it all the time. You tell children to wear their shoes. They go off doing something else. It happens with us too. We are doing one thing, and yet we find ourselves distracted by a phone call, television or these days, social media. Children need to understand how important it is to work while you work and do the job at hand with a single mind.

Talk to them often that when you tell them to do something, you expect them to first do that. Explain to them that there are distractions all around them.

Do the Math

It is interesting to me, when people feel the circumstances around them are constantly working against them. It is in fact, just a matter of doing the math. If you are going to take x amount of time prepping for an occasion, y amount of time wearing your clothes etc, z amount of time to travel to the location, you need to give yourself x+y+z + a standard buffer amount of time to ACTUALLY get ready so you can BE ON TIME. The buffer can be any thing from 10-20 mins depending on your observation of how often you derail from your planned time.

Explain to your child as the get begin to learn time, why you ask them to get ready at a certain time.

Create a Work List

Every morning wake up to a list of things you need to have done this day. This increases your productivity 25-50%. Organizing your tasks with a list can make everything much more manageable and create a clear path for your day. Seeing a clear outline of your completed and uncompleted tasks will help you feel organized and stay mentally focused.

Kids having a journal is a great way to do this.


Set Priorities

Once your list is made, make sure to KNOW what is essential to do and what is okay to let go of. Follow the ABCDE rule after making your list.

A – Must Do
B – Not Urgent (Great to do but not urgently, can be moved to another day.)
C – Add Ons (Bonus if you get done)
D – Can be Delegated (You can assign to someone else)
E – Eliminate (Often we add things to our list that can actually be cancelled all together)

Of course for a child, A and B are enough. But as we grow and expand our lists we need to remember to assign the above to every item on our list consistently so we can learn how to be effective in working on our list.

Overcome Procrastination

Don’t wait for the last moment to start doing something. Whenever my son gets a project from school, we start prepping for it earlier than later. He always responds with, “But it’s not due TILL … ” and I come back with, ” If you are done with this early, you are free to do other things at the last minute. ” After the first two projects, when he witnessed his friends in class submitting projects early too, he realized how wonderful it is to be done with submissions. So, now he starts planning earlier himself.

Well Begun is Half Done

Speaking of planning, this is so important to do early. Whenever we start a project, we plan the materials we will need, time needed, and ideas early. This helps us a lot in prepping for everything. Be it cooking to party planning to school projects to work related organization.

Let Go of Perfection

This is something I see many adults struggle with. The desire for perfection leads to procrastination and delay in completion of any project. One needs to understand that we need to be okay with something as is. To just start with the project without a desire of perfection or guaranteed rewards. Time management needs us to give grace to ourselves to fail.

Review Your Day

Before sleep every night, we have to make sure we take a few moments to go over all that you did through your day. What held you back, what went wrong in your planning, what worked best towards helping your achieve your goals. This simple habit reinforces your strengths.

Talk to your kids about their day and all they achieved in it. These days many schools help kids set goals and achieve them. Do the same with your child.

Discipline

Time management is a culmination of all the above. It is so important to be relentless in practicing all the above through out your day, with your child. What works best with any child is consistency and conversations. Talk to them about how discipline is not just one trait that we have. It is a combination of a number of things.

Yes, showing grace to those who are struggling is important. But it is also important to show grace to yourself by being mindful of the one thing that you have NO control over. Time!

What would you add to this list?

To read more such ways to create confidence with a global mindset in your child, read my book. Strong Roots Have No Fear

Amazon #1 Best Seller – Strong Roots Have No Fear

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Author: Aditi Wardhan Singh

Featured on CBS and NBC, Aditi is an authoritative voice on cultural sensitivity and empowerment. Published on various publications like Huffington Post, Thrive Global, Richmond Family Magazine, RichmondMomsBlog, WriterMom, Desh Videsh Magazine etc., this mother of two has also coauthored the best selling book "When You're DONE Expecting". She is the founder of the RWC magazine encouraging other voices like hers to come forth to create unique resources for parents everywhere so children can be global thought leaders. In her spare time, she enjoys choreographing recitals, volunteering and having dance parties with her two charming kids.

5 Replies to “Teaching Kids the Art of Time Management

  1. Loved this one. We call our family …the family that never gets late. I have the opposite problem …compulsively being on time or before time😀

  2. My kiddo hasn’t really had homework yet but as she gets ready to start fourth grade I think it might be coming and we’ll need more help with getting things done on time. These are great tips!

  3. My daughter started middle school last year, and time management was a big issue with homework. She would start too late and I would let her stay up to do homework, so that she could learn from her mistakes. It really is something they need to work on.

  4. Love this. I have a procrastinator and it drives me mad. He will find a million reasons not to start!
    I also run my business from home and homeschool so time management is one of my ninja skills.

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