Amidst all the values, skills and habits that are learnt in childhood, time management for kids is another important lesson. In the initial years, parents manage their timelines, meal times and play time for kids. As the kids slowly wean off and get into scheduling their own time and priorities, there is a lot of scope for improvement. Often, kids in the final years of their alma mater find it difficult to manage time. The ‘me-time’ is practically not there, so children play truant from the scheduled time meant for academics. They are not-so-interested about the family trip and it gets more difficult to bring to their notice that time is getting wasted. The result is that the personality of the child gets obscured if the time is not managed well.
Children model the roles of their primary care givers i.e. mom and dad. It is important to tell them that ‘Time is precious’. It helps them stay organized and brings out a strong characteristic in their personality.
Tips to inculcate time management in schooling children
- Establish a routine for yourself and the children.
- Set meal times and bed times.
- Weekdays to have entertainment schedules as well as television viewing.
- Avoid gadgets as kids need more time to be outdoors and learn social skills.
- Make it a priority to set a time for reading, scribbling, colouring and writing. Enrol them in a hobby class of their choice.
- The most important part of the day is morning. Wake up time is the most influential factor of time management.
- Also, allow them a free time-schedule over the weekend. They will then value the ‘free time’ on holidays or a weekend. This will be effectively used to schedule other activities.
How to establish time management skills?
- Fixed time for waking up sets everything right.
- There is no need to helicopter, just guide them when they miss it.
- Words like hurry, speed up, buck up create anxiety. Coax them with, ‘let us do it’, ‘Hey, time is running, lets run and catch it.’ Keep it light and funny.
- Do not blame them if they miss the school bus but be firm with them so that they respect their own time, parents’ time as well as the time of the bus driver and other classmates.
- Prior to an outing, let them volunteer a little chore. That will help them learn to ‘save time’ and ‘respect others time.’
- ‘Planning’ is the key to everything. Let them keep all the reading or study/writing materials ready and then begin their activity. This allows them do their activity without interruptions. Slowly this will be habitual in their academics.
- Let them pack their own bag. It will be messy; you can always clear it up. This empowers them from the beginning. An organized bag is such a time saver during rushed mornings.
- Praise them, hug them and pat them on their back, every time they are on time.
- Encourage them, guide them and tell them firmly that ‘time is significant.
Says Rakhee Doke, a proud mother of a 14 year old, sports enthusiast Ved, “Time management plays a key factor in sports. For a sportsman, apart from the rigors of training, a lot of balancing in other spheres is required. Being disciplined early in life and treating time with due respect helps growing children with keen interest in sport. In India, given the high level of importance on academics, sports get side-lined as children reach higher grades. But if children are taught the basics on how to manage their studies with their passion (sports) along with right amount of rest to rejuvenate the body, I am sure they can balance on this tightrope with good time management skills!”
The benefits of learning time management early are :
- Kids are alert and shake off their laziness.
- There are assured of play time and entertainment, thus do not escape academics.
- Excess time during weekends is well utilized for pending academics in the later years.
- They make up for the lost time in the crucial academic years as they value their time.
- Health stays better as they are particular about meals and sleep schedules.
- Travelling with them gets easy, as they have learnt early to plan their time.
Time is scarce and a very important resource for success. Let us help them treasure it.