It’s never too early to teach your children the fine art of time management
Time to get up, time for bed, time to clean up, time for school, time to get home, time for homework… parents and children are often overwhelmed at the prospect of having to fit in everything they need to do, into their daily schedule. And while children do not have the cognitive skills to plan their own schedule till they reach middle school, at NFK we believe parents can enable children to understand the art of time management from a young age.
For Toddlers & Preschoolers:
Start by explaining the concept of time to your little one. Show them how the sun rises and sets each day. Use books or cue cards to show them how nature changes it colours and form with the passing of time. You can verbally nudge your child to understand that there is a marked time in the day for each task/chore and that schedule must be followed. Use phrases like “come on, it’s TIME for bed.” OR “It’s going to be bath TIME soon…let’s say good night to the toys when play TIME ends.” Do not forget to say the word TIME empathically each time you talk to them. NFK tip – You can use a countdown announcement to explain time and a schedule to your child on a daily basis. The chances of a conflict become substantially lower when your child is aware of the time that is passing by, and they expect to be moved onto the next task soon. For e.g. When you child is playing, let them know that they have 10 minutes of playtime left before they need to wrap up. Then give them another heads up at 5 minites to go, then at 2 minutes to go and finally make them say good-bye to their toys and slowly put everything away. This method gives your child the time to comprehend that play time has been coming to an end before they finally need to wrap things up.
Nudge suggestion – Have a reward system in place on the days your child follows his/her schedule and is in bed on or before time at the end of the day. E.g. create a chart with your child’s schedule for each day, dividing it into task slots. If your child completes a given task on or before time, stick a star into that task column. If all their slots have stars, offer them a reward at the end of the day – maybe an extra 10 minutes of games or reading before bedtime.