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Teaching Time

By Jennifer Snyder
Have you ever been that parent hoping to get your kindergartener to school on time, but he's spent the past 20 minutes wailing that he can't find a pair of socks that don't feel weird or wearily encouraging your fifth-grader to finish his science project before dawn breaks?

Be it finding socks or finishing science projects, many parents take it as a given that children are simply time-challenged, and there's little to be done about getting them to complete a task within a set schedule. But recent studies suggest that moms and dads would do well to approach time management as important and teachable as reading and writing.

Body beautiful: Create a chart for your preschooler or kindergartener to be hung on the bathroom wall and call it "Body Beautiful." Use words or images to illustrate the tasks she needs to complete to maintain her hygiene, be it brushing her teeth or putting her dirty clothes in the hamper. This teaches your child how to efficiently finish a set of tasks on her own.

Leaner screen time: Television is one of the biggest time sucks for kids (and, admit it, for adults too). Decide with your child how many hours of television she'll watch a week. Read the TV guide aloud with her and ask what programs she wants to watch, have her circle the shows, and then keep the marked-up guide next to the television. If she's watching too much TV, have her cut back the first week, then more the following week. This raises awareness of how much time is spent in front of the tube, teaches her to take responsibility for screen time, and might even open up her schedule for other leisure activities.

Excuses don't count: This is an especially good exercise for older children (7 to 12 years old) learning to manage their own after-school time. Have your child create a chart and fill in all of his responsibilities, be it setting the table at 5:30 p.m. or doing homework at 7:30 p.m. Then have him check off each task when he's done. This teaches personal organizational skills and learning to watch the clock.

Homework helper: Have your child make a homework chart and list assignments for Monday through Friday. After she's finished each assignment, she can put a satisfying check mark next to it. This teaches children how to keep track of deadlines and duties.

These are but a few small ways to work together with your children to ensure they have the time of their lives under control!

Have a Neat day!

Jennifer Snyder, CPO
Neat as a Pin Organizing Experts
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Categories:  Parenting Tips

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