Teens and Time Management
Joey and Carla Link
July 25, 2018
All through a child’s life parents work to help their kids learn to manage their responsibilities “on time” with questions/statements such as “Is your bed made? No breakfast until that’s done,” or “Why are you watching TV when your room is such a mess?” or “Your homework better be done before your phone comes out of your pocket.”
While it may not be intentional, statements such as these tell your kids there is a time-frame in which their responsibilities need to be done. For many families however, this is as far as teaching kids to manage their time gets, with reminders and lectures from parents.
Then the teen years come and your teenage daughter is babysitting a couple times a week and has marching band practice every day after school. Your son is mowing lawns on weekends plus football practice and games. You want your kids to grow spiritually so they attend the weekly youth meeting plus are involved in a small group Bible study. Time with their friends, time with guy/girl relationships, not to mention the time it takes to get their homework done every day. Time. No one seems to have any of it and something is always left undone.
Parents wonder how their teenager is going to keep on top of his/her stuff when they go to college and Mom isn’t there to remind them what they need to do. We have known way too many teens who have failed miserably at this and had to come home after their first semester or year away.
How do parents help their teens manage all the things they have going on?
- Start when your kids are 5 yrs. and older. When you give them a job to do, tell them when it needs to be done by, and have them come back to you letting you know it is done so you don’t have to check it yourself.
- With kids 9 yrs. and up, ask them when they think they will get the job done.
- Ask them if you can trust them to do it or will you need to check and make sure it was done.
- If you find it isn’t done, no reminders. Have them sit to get their heart right so they can go through the Repentance/Forgiveness/Restoration process. To make it right they should tell you they will get the task done now.
- Tell them to come to you when they have completed it as they will need a consequence. Taking away the privilege of what they were doing instead of the task is a good one.
- If you find it is done, be sure to praise them for getting it done when they said they would.
Start working with your teens to bring order to their fall schedule before it hits full force.
- Have them list on paper all the daily, weekly, monthly responsibilities they have and have them put next to each item listed how many hours a day/week/month it will take.
- Have them list other interests or activities they would like to add in, such as babysitting once a week, getting a part-time job or running for student council
- You and your spouse need to work on a list too. Be sure to put Family Night as a non-negotiable.
- Compare your list with theirs and merge them together. Keep asking them questions so they see what they need to make time for rather than you tell them.
Writing down all the activities they have going on will teach them where their time goes, where it needs to go and how to fit everything in and say “no” to what won’t fit in.
When our kids were teens they were making their homeschool schedule by the semester. They had weekly lesson plans written out and each Monday they would pull that week’s plan out of their notebook, update it with any changes and put it on their bulletin board over their desks. Included on that weekly calendar were all other activities they had in addition to school including free time. Briana told us when she was attending Moody Bible Institute that others made fun of her because she scheduled a non-negotiable study time at the library every day. They will carry the time management skills you teach them wherever they go.
What time management skills do you think your kids should know?
#gettingstuffdone #whetherwewanttoornot #lifeskill