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How To Help My Kids Manage Time When I’m Not Around

Welcome to Tea & Tips, where we respond to burning questions from parents and educators — taking aim on one topic at a time, guiding you to improve communication, confidence and calm.

 

Diane:
The next question is how to help your kid with time management when you're not around.

Elaine:
Uh-huh, I get that question a lot actually.

Diane:
I do too. I think that the first thing that I want to say is-

Elaine:
You can't. (LOL)

Diane:
Yeah, it may be really really hard and part of it is about setting realistic expectations. If you have a child who has a hard time with time management, it may not be realistic for them to completely independently be able to get their homework done if there's nobody there to help them to manage their time.

Elaine:
Or get their chores done.

Diane:
Or whatever it is, right. That's the first thing, is to kind of check and figure out what is realistic. The second piece is to be really creative about maybe doing some remote parenting. Maybe you have some accountability around texting back and forth, maybe it's checking in. You may need to kind of step out of your world and into theirs a little bit to give them some support. It may be a time to think creatively and have them have a friend that can help them stay accountable. Not every friend can do that, but there may be something there that they can help with. But I think part of it is, it depends on the kids buy-in too. I've got one child who really wants to get her homework done as soon as possible when she gets home, and so she's really engaged and interesting in doing it. My other child was not interesting at all, and he could procrastinate and wait until like, 10 or 11 o'clock at night before he would want to do his homework, so it just depends. What would you add?

Elaine:
I think what I would add is that there's also a piece here that's about taking aim. We didn't really talk about that. Start with one thing that you'd like to make sure gets done at the end of the day, that everybody's agreed, and what the accountability is, and what the reward is, or however you're going to structure it. I was thinking about some clients we have, that that's what they did. They wanted one chore for each kid to get done at the end of the day. They didn't expect all the homework done, but they wanted one chore each. They really took aim on that and focused and that. It took a couple of weeks, and once that was achieved then you could sort of move on to the next one.

These are complicated issues and not just about getting things done -- it’s about helping kids learn what’s involved with managing their time.

 

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