As teens become more and more independent, they will need time management skills so they can complete the responsibilities that are required of them daily. When your teenager learns to manage their time effectively they become capable of doing all the things that their hectic schedule demands with minimum stress. They will get their homework done, will be at work on time and will remember you told them to vacuum the family room. And by doing so, getting everything completed and making others happy because they’ve gotten their responsibilities done, they will feel good about themselves and boost their confidence levels.
Other benefits of good time management skills for your teen:
- Your teen will feel less anxiety when projects are due in school or test dates are approaching.
- Your teen will begin to act more independently and responsibly.
- Good time management skills will help your teen make better decisions.
- Your teen will have more time for family, friends and relationships.
- These skills will help your teen get better grades in school.
- When your teen knows how to manage their time it takes the ‘hectic’ out of their schedule. This will help everyone in the house feel calmer.
- Having more time on hand, your teen will be able to have valuable downtime instead of having downtime that is filled with the stress of knowing you have something to do or being disappointed that they didn’t get things done.
Steps Parents Can Take To Teach Time Management Skills
- Model good time management habits and skills. ‘Walking the walk’ when teaching time management skills is important. Your teen needs to see you use your time wisely so they can learn from you. If your time management skills aren’t any good, that’s okay! Start now and model learning good time management skills.
- Help your teen to obtain the tools they need to use their time management skills. Whether it’s a planner that your teen writes everything in or an app that your teen uses on their mobile device, get it for them. They need to understand that in order to have good time management skills can’t just rely on their brain to remember everything. They need to rely on their brain to understand how you can remember. People do this by writing lists and writing out schedules that can be checked at a later time.
- Encourage your teen to fill out and use a schedule. Then, make the time to go through schedules together at the beginning of the week. Check your teen’s schedule to be sure that they are including things they might otherwise forget without your reminder, things like quizzes, times their sports practice is finished, doctors appointments, etc. You may also want to encourage your teen to put time limits on activities so they can start to comprehend how much time it takes to do these things. Let your teen know it’s okay to make mistakes when you’re guesstimating time, but by trying they will better be able to know how much time they have in their schedule to do things they need and want to do.
- Help your teen prioritize their activities. For instance, if your teen has a varsity soccer game, it’s their girlfriend birthday and they have a chapter test in calculus the next day, they are going to be at a loss as to how to fit everything in. You can help your teen by first remembering what is important to them and what is important to their goals. Then, help them accomplish what they need to get done.In the above example, my teen and I would know that one night was over-scheduled because we would have seen it coming when we went over our schedules together. I would have explained to my teen that they needed to prioritize studying their calculus in the days before the test, spending more time going over the chapter and not just doing their homework. This will free up that time the night before the test. A varsity game is a responsibility that your teen has to attend when you make the varsity team, so that is a set time in their schedule. As for finding time for the girlfriend’s birthday, suggest your teen offered to take her on a birthday date during the upcoming weekend and give her a token – card or flower – on the day of her birthday. Figuring this all out will take a little bit of time at first and at first you will be more involved. As you teen learns how to manage their time, they will need less of your involvement and more of your trust.
- Encourage your teenager to develop routines. Once routine is developed, it takes less time to do. For instance, if your teen has to keep remembering to make their bed every morning and therefore go running back to their room when you remind them to do so, it’s a waste of time and causes a lot of frustration. If your teen gets in the routine of getting out of bed pulling up their bed sheet, comforter and fixing their pillow, they would be done in less then a minute. When your teen is in this routine, their bed is made without them even taking the time to think about it. Routines like this are godsend to personal time management and your teen will appreciate you showing them how.
By encouraging and helping your teen take the time to learn the lessons that they need to have good personal time management skills, parents can help their teen become a successful independent young adults. Just remember, Rome wasn’t built in a day.