Time Management Skills | Proven Tips: How to Teach Kids Time Management

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Last Updated: Mar 15, 2018

Based on personal experience, you must know how integral time management is in determining future success. Whether or not you are a staunch believer, a dearth of available literature linking time management skills and success conclude that teaching kids effective time management strategies get them primed up to perform better in the future.

Why is time management important for students?

For obvious reasons, other things are taking up a significant chunk of children’s valuable time these days. That includes spending too much screen time. According to a study about how much screen time children are spending, Common Sense, a non-profit involved in media use and affairs, reported in 2015 that teens 13 to 18 years old spend 9 hours daily onscreen, while children 8 to 12 years old spend 6 hours of onscreen time daily. That, alone, could have been time that was better spent with proper time management.

Despite many years of studies finding out the relationship between time and students’ performance in school, the results remain inconclusive. Two studies conducted among randomly selected students in Iran[] and Malaysia[] reveal that students who are trained on how to improve time management skills perform better academically than those who did not receive any training. According to the latter study, the benefits of time management also vary depending on academic activities pursued outside of the school.

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In more practical, straightforward terms, time management skills for kids redound to the following advantages:

  • It teaches kids the limited nature of time which makes it a valuable, irreplaceable resource.
  • It helps kids learn to take better control of their lives.
  • It supports better relationships at home and elsewhere.
  • It teaches discipline.
  • It helps children prioritize and leave free time for recreation and relaxation.

Recently, more and more experts are also advocating for energy management as a viable replacement to the often-stressful time management. This new practice is based on the principle that people, including children, have limited energies to expend given a specific period of time, like 10 waking hours everyday, and that no amount of time management can add more energy to enable performance beyond your energy limitation.

Nevertheless, there are just too many practical advantages that time management for students can bring that you should not ignore.

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How to Teach Kids Time Management

There are countless practical skills that you’ve been trained and honed to do throughout the years that you probably do not even remember how you acquired, including how to learn time management. For school-aged and adolescent children, detailed below are some tips on teaching them effective time management skills:

1. Teach children how to measure time. The sooner you can teach your children how to tell the time, the sooner your child will be able to tell when time is being wasted on useless endeavors. Although, a very young child may take some time to learn how much time is actually wasted.

2. Tell Stories in which someone faced big loss due to lack of time management. An easy, common example is someone, probably even someone you know personally, who was involved in a road accident simply because this person rushed driving. Tell your children that it is always best to plan ahead so that similar, unnecessary consequences may be avoided.

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3. Start before they’re teens. Doesn’t your bank always tell you to get your children started on savings early? The same holds true when teaching your kids to value time. Teach your children the basic facts about time management, including advantages that may be reaped by learning the skill, early on. Since managing their time well teaches discipline, it pays to learn this skill before your children turn into teenagers. Make time management an automatic preoccupation, a part of their subconscious. Proper time management makes your children avoid cramming and procrastinating.

4.Create a family calendar together. Consider your kids’ involvement in managing their day-to-day schedule. Increasing their involvement teaches them responsibility but, also makes time management more fun and more fulfilling on their part and yours too. Create art with your calendar. Smaller kids who cannot read yet may be guided by using signs, symbols and colors on your chart. Turn time management into a game or, sometimes, even a contest among your children, such as noting who finished his assigned chores first and ahead of a pre-determined schedule.

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5. Don’t over schedule your kids. This is, in fact, one challenge that you and your kids can overcome together by creating a schedule together. After-school activities are desirable to allow your children to either enrich their knowledge beyond school or, to relax or catch some entertainment — yes, that includes their Internet-enabled devices.

Too many activities loaded in a limited timeframe affects everybody in the family and can be stressful to all. One way to resolve this roadblock is by prioritizing. Determine what activities are more important. Where there’s less priority, consider lessening time allocation or, dropping it all together from your calendar.

6.Practice makes perfect. This, yet again, is another way to instill discipline. Stay true to agreed schedules and timelines. When starting on a new calendar, consider monitoring how much more or less time you spent completing each activity for several days. Then, adjust accordingly.

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7. Consider rewards for their efforts. Since you’re turning it into a game, what’s a game without rewards? When your children meet their schedules, rewards can mean a simple praise, extra time spent on their tablets or, some other ex-deals you can arrange with your kids (Boy, children love making these deals, don’t they?)


How do you learn time management? There are countless strategies that can be employed. One thing is for certain, however, and that is, time management is best practiced early. The earlier your child can learn this invaluable skill, the better control your child will have over his life and the growing number of factors that are affecting your child’s ability to succeed day-by-day.

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