teach your kids time management sm

We all know that before school starts we need to schedule annual checkups and go back-to-school shopping, but how do we set our kids up for success that will last through the school year and beyond? By empowering our kids with the gift of time management. Stephanie Katleman, a mom and founder of The M.O.M. Method (Manage and Organize Myself), shares her tips to help get  kids on the right track.

Set a bedtime.
Ease your kids back into a consistent sleep routine one or two weeks before school starts. Kids ages 5–12 need 10–11 hours of sleep per day. Set a reasonable bedtime and stick to it.

Turn your child’s routine into a checklist.
This is the best thing you can do to reduce family stress during the week. During the school year most kids generally follow the same daily routine—take a shower, get dressed, etc. Instead of badgering your kids to get stuff done, work with them; create a personal checklist that includes personal care tasks and age-appropriate chores. Hold them accountable to finish their tasks. When you hear “but I didn’t know!” or “what should I do now?” send them to the chart. No more excuses.

Have the kids create their own calendars.
Work with your kids to add afterschool activities to a virtual or physical calendar to help them see what their days will look like, and make the mental shift back to school. The earlier your kids start learning about calendaring, the more independent they will become—and the less you’ll have to do for them (which is a good thing!).

Put time on their side.
While your kids probably know how to tell time, they may not understand why it’s important. Help them to develop a greater awareness of time by buying a watch and teaching them how to gauge the amount of time needed to complete routine tasks.

Teach kids to plan.
Being somewhere on time (whether it's a traditional classroom or the dining room table), prepared and ready to learn, requires planning. Does your child need to get homework together? Does she need sports gear for an afterschool activity? What time does your child need to get up in order to be ready on time? Post a checklist including what they need to do, and what time to do it so everyone is accountable for their own schedule.

Establish set meal times.
Perhaps it’s a throwback to the Cleaver household of 1959, but setting regular meal times for the entire family (e.g., 7 a.m. breakfast) will not only help kids become more aware of time, but it helps ensure time spent together as a family.

Establish rules for electronics (goodnight, iPad!).
We all know that it’s not good to be glued to screens 24/7. Many parents establish the “what, when, and how much” as it relates to screen time, but it’s also a great idea to set a concrete “bedtime” for technology, when all screens are turned off for the night. Yes, parents, too.

Designate a study zone.
Kids need a designated study area where they can do homework without being distracted. Do you have a plan for the papers that come home from school? Some you’ll need to keep while others can be “filed” in the recycling bin. Figure out how you will manage the paper flow.

Let your kids voice concerns.
Give your kids the opportunity to voice what concerns they have about going back to school. New teacher expectations, rules or a new school can cause anxiety. Once they’ve shared concerns, brainstorm solutions. Having an action plan can help allay fears and smooth the transition for everyone.

Be a coach, not a manager.
With the return of school comes added responsibilities and more opportunities for parent-child conflict. Consider making a mental shift—from your kids’ manager to their coach. As a manager, you nag your kids to get things done because you feel responsible for the outcome. That’s when everyone digs in their heels and the power struggle ensues. As a coach, you instead act as a caring outsider providing guidance and support. You empower your kids with facts and then step back and allow them to make choices—good or bad—for themselves. It’s liberating for everyone and builds kids’ self-confidence for the long term.

----------

Stephanie Katleman is a former San Diego mom.

Setting Healthy Boundaries with Gift-Giving Relatives

Setting Healthy Boundaries with Gift-Giving Relatives

It's a common problem. On one side are well-meaning relatives—grandparents, aunties and uncles—who want to shower the kids with gifts. On the other side are parents trying to raise children who . . .

Read more

Parenting with Purpose: Simplify Life and Help Your Family Thrive

Parenting with Purpose: Simplify Life and Help Your Family Thrive

This year, consider applying the springtime ritual of cleaning and getting things in order to all areas of your family’s life. Don’t just scrub corners and clear out closets—evaluate how too m . . .

Read more

Not a Perfect Parent? Not a Problem. How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Kids

Not a Perfect Parent? Not a Problem. How to Raise Emotionally Healthy Kids

  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to parent with confidence that our mistakes and imperfections won’t harm our kids? That despite our flaws, they will grow up emotionally healthy and well-balanced? . . .

Read more

Early Childhood Red Flags

Early Childhood Red Flags

Are you getting a sense that your child may be "different" from other children? Here are early childhood red flags that need attention.  “Einstein didn’t speak until he was 4 years old” . . .

Read more

The Key to Strengthening Family Bonds

The Key to Strengthening Family Bonds

  A family of four recently caught my eye at the beach. Lying side by side on a blanket under a cloudless sky, with sand toys and a picnic basket carefully laid out, this family had the makings . . .

Read more

Teaching Kids to Care: The unexpected power of essential life skills

Teaching Kids to Care: The unexpected power of essential life skills

  This is part one of a two-part series. Read part two in our November issue to learn how teaching kids to care for themselves and family naturally extends to caring for community.   It's . . .

Read more

Why and How to Delay Giving Kids a Phone

Why and How to Delay Giving Kids a Phone

When I set out to write this article, I was hoping to provide an antidote to the alarming stories I’d read about kids and smartphones. However, the research really does paint a clear picture. Stud . . .

Read more

Parenting with Purpose: Solving the Mystery of Afternoon Meltdowns

Parenting with Purpose: Solving the Mystery of Afternoon Meltdowns

Ever wonder why kids seem to unleash their negative emotions as soon as they come home from school or daycare? A local dad (who wishes to remain anonymous) describes what many parents experience: . . .

Read more

Parenting with Purpose: Healthy Risk-Taking Helps Kids Thrive

Parenting with Purpose: Healthy Risk-Taking Helps Kids Thrive

It's a fact of life for every parent. Part of our job is to reduce risk and ensure the safety of the tiny humans placed in our care. After all, risks seem scary, right? Even the dictionary equates r . . .

Read more

How and Why to Develop  Growth Mindset in Kids

How and Why to Develop Growth Mindset in Kids

Is intelligence something you’re born with or something that develops? Is failure an opportunity to learn and grow, or something that impedes success? How a parent answers these questions greatly . . .

Read more

How to Make a Family Technology Contract

How to Make a Family Technology Contract

We raise our kids to be polite and respectful in person so why wouldn't we stress those same values in the online environment? A digital citizenship contract will help spell out your expectations of . . .

Read more

Turn Words Into Action: Create a Family Action Plan for Change

Turn Words Into Action: Create a Family Action Plan for Change

For families who want to be part of the change to end racial inequality, there's never been a better time to create a family action plan. A thoughtful plan, built around empathy and compassion, equi . . .

Read more

Give Your Family the Gift of Laughter

Give Your Family the Gift of Laughter

I was born on April 1, so I know a thing or two about humor. April Fools’ Day jokes and gifts make celebrating my birthday an adventure in laughter. I once received a large box of dirt topped with . . .

Read more

Parenting with Purpose: Raising Resilient Kids

Parenting with Purpose: Raising Resilient Kids

Teaching children how to do difficult things comes with parenting. We coach and encourage kids through frustration, tears and bursts of anger as they learn to tie shoes, write their names and ride a . . .

Read more

10 Ways to Practice Self-Care: A guide for busy parents

10 Ways to Practice Self-Care: A guide for busy parents

It’s necessary to take breaks from the hustle and bustle of life — to pause and recharge. Practicing self-care can mean something different to each individual, but the whole family benefits when . . .

Read more

Back-to-School Tips to Help Families Establish a Routine

Back-to-School Tips to Help Families Establish a Routine

The back-to-school transition can be tough on kids, especially after the year we’ve had. Whether your kids can’t wait to get back to full-time, in-person school or if they prefer to school at ho . . .

Read more

Be Family Informed – Sign up for our Newsletters below!

Subscribe