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Friday, August 15, 2008

Time management tips for kids

Time management is an acquired skill. Parents can help their kids learn to be better managers of their time. The first step to help them learn is to accomplish your own daily task on time. Because you are the first role model for them.

"The difference between successful and unsuccessful people, a lot of times, is their ability to manage time," says Severson, who is a chemistry teacher in a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota. "Fundamentally, it's a learned skill."

Tips to learn time management for kids:

This report provides advice to parents on managing their child's time. It focuses on critical transition times across a child's daily life when parents say they have the most problems.

Most parents find that by using the following strategies, they are able to increase the amount of time spent on positive interactions with their children while greatly reducing the amount of time they spend punishing and scolding their children.

Most of these strategies require time and effort from parents in the beginning to get their children to follow a schedule. However, by following these strategies, parents often find that they end up having more time in the end.

Morning Routine

Here are some tips for establishing a more pleasant morning routine:

- Get up early. Make sure you wake up at least 15-20 minutes before your children so that you can focus on what you need to get done to prepare for your day.

Many parents find its easiest to complete the majority of their personal morning routine (e.g., shower, get dressed, etc.) before waking their children.

After waking the kids, parents work on making breakfast or lunches so they can easily check up on the kids' progress in their morning routine.

Make a chart. Parents often complain that their children always "forgets" to do something when they're getting ready in the morning. Truth is, many of us "grizzly bears" are forgetful in the morning.

Help your kids to remember by creating a morning routine chart. (Chart is included in full article.)

Include things like washing their face, brushing their teeth, getting dressed, making the bed, etc.

List all the morning activities you can reasonably expect your child to complete on the left side of a piece of paper.

List the days of the week across the top of the paper.

Give your child a sticker or a star for every morning activity they successfully complete on time.

- Reward them with praise each time you give them a sticker.

Give a bigger reward at the end of the morning, or for older children, at the end of the week, for successfully completing a number of morning activities on time.

- Some examples of rewards include:

- choosing a snack or dessert for lunch

- earning 5-10 minutes of free time before school

- and choosing a fun weekend activity (big reward).

Don't demand perfection, especially if your child has not performed many of these activities on their own before.

Reward them for improvements even if it just means completing one activity per day.

Focusing on progress rather than perfection encourages your children to become more enthusiastic and take pride in completing their morning routine.


This document is, one of a series of the Department of University of Florida.

Read the document in detail: Time Management for Kids

- Download 8 page-pdf version

More readings about the topic:

- Download another report from 'Indiana.edu: 'time management'

- Time management, have-to's, want-to's, and goals at: Pbs-kids

- At "Better homes and Gardens" magazine: (There are ads on the page, you can skip by selecting 'skip the page')Time Management for Kids
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