Teaching your children to better manage their time is a skill that will serve them in all areas of their lives. And it's an essential tool in helping your family function effectively. This process begins with helping your children understand that time is a valuable resource that requires their attention.
The first step in this process is identifying and labeling family priorities. This includes daily home, school, and social expectations. It may be helpful to let your children label priorities with you; or, it may not. Typically, your teen may have different ideas than you about what is important and what's not. So it may be safer and less difficult to not make this a democratic process at first.
Once you make a list of daily needs and "to-do's," the next step involves ranking the tasks in order of importance. A helpful tactic is to use the ABC method to label tasks. A's stand for tasks that are "must do's;" B's represent tasks that are "should do's;" and C's signify activities that are "would be nice to do's." As suggested, the "A" tasks are priorities that require attention before B's and C's, and so on. For example, study time might be an A task while talking on the phone to friends might be a C level task.
The obvious goal is to practice putting first things first.
The typical parental mission is to survive the initial frustration of getting this practice into a consistent pattern. There will be exceptions, of course, but imagine what it would be like to have help before and after meals and with keeping the house neat most of the time. Supervision is mandatory, especially at first.
Teaching your children to structure their time requires learning how to say no to trivial activities and fun at times, including socializing with friends. The goal is to simply redirect such activities to times after essential responsibilities have been completed. Such fun activities can then serve as rewards for completed tasks, and do not interfere with more important obligations.
Remember, perfection is out of the question, but successful steps towards a helpful routine are reachable and practical most of the time.
Also, remember to reinforce small steps of progress as you go and coach when needed. Having a day off as a reward can be helpful; for example, Sunday's and holidays.
For further ideas, blogs, and tactics, check the information available at our website: hightouchlearning.com.