Time Management 101 for Kids
Let's face it, time management just isn't something that comes naturally to kids. And,
unfortunately, poor time management not only affects their grades in school but it also
inflicts much stress and anxiety, onto the kids and their parents.
It's important now to set the tone for proper time management for your kids. Here are the
lessons you as a parent must know to establish proper time management skills for your
• Start today. It's never too late to get started on time management skills for kids,
but it's also a good idea to get started as soon as possible in building their positive
• Use today's last-minute book report panic as a teachable moment. On a monthly
calendar, show them how they could have scheduled only 20 minutes of daily
reading for two weeks. It won't solve today's problem, but it's a much more
constructive move than scolding at them, and you'll make your point.
• Be consistent and follow your own advice. You'll soon learn that being consistent
with your time management lessons sets the best example.
• Note: As a practice, all kids should have their own calendar hung prominently in
their bedroom. Be sure to make it one with large enough space for them to write
• Create the right homework routines: Kids are more likely to develop positive time
management habits if you create routines they can follow. From the start get them
involved in the planning.
• Together, write out a list of daily after-school activities, including homework,
play time, chores and free reading. Be as detailed as you can be, because some
activity time you'll want to limit, such as with gadgets or video games.
• It's also important to list out homework activities in detail, listing the specific
subjects they need to work on each day based on their school schedule. This
will ensure that no work slips through the cracks, and that they're not avoiding
subjects they dislike.
• Show your kids that their scheduled days can emphasize both work and play. It's
a foolproof step for getting their habits to stick because they'll warm up to the fact
you're not imposing punishment but rather a helpful schedule.
• Using a student planner, notebook, or binder, create a daily schedule that
schedules the activities listed above, broken down into blocks of time. Be sure
to build-in short breaks, like a 10-minute play or snack time after 30 minutes of
• Work/play balance is vital. They're just kids after all, and play time is a
meaningful part of their lives.
• It's a good idea to avoid using play time as a reward because schoolwork will
become something they perceive as painful and arduous.
• Having a reward system is always a good idea for reinforcing positive habits. So
make it clear to your child from the onset that if they follow their schedule for a
predetermined period of time they'll be rewarded.
• Choose a reward they'll respond to, like allowance or something from the app
store. Don't go overboard though, the benefits of positive time management habits
should be rewarding enough.
• Always make a point of acknowledging when reports get done ahead of time and
when test grades improve due to better preparation. Learning time management
skills takes work, but the benefits are well worth it.
If you enjoyed this article you can see our other articles on time management for kids, as
well as other tips on planning organization at the Day Runner Success Center.