MANAGING TIME-A LIFE SKILL WORTH LEARNING
As parents prepare their youth for adulthood they focus on over 25 life skills that their child needs to learn and practice at a mastery level prior to entering into their adult years. Why a mastery level? Because if we allow mediocre work at home and in school and reward such-then we reinforce their mindset of a mediocre effort into most if not all areas of life. Do we want them to be satisfied with barely enough and live a life that reflects that mindset or do we want them to be their best in all that they do and then be satisfied with a higher standard of life? The parent must model each life skill and coach the child in small and repeated steps towards the standard that the parent feels is a mastery level with a calm and carrying approach and be willing to alter how one teaches these constructs to best fit each child’s learning style even if it differs from the parents.
As the child becomes older and has mastered multiple skills then some of the final skills that are cultivated along child hood and through adolescents would include self care, managing money, dependability, responsibility, staying safe, integrity, getting around, shopping and cooking; but also the one that we will concentrate upon today is: managing time. As with all of the other life skills, parents combat the many distractions and the self will of the child as they relax more and more of their need to control and micro-manage that child and this can be exhausting.
Your teen is challenged with all of the many things they want to do with all of the things they must or need to do that they may not like. Managing time is a quality life skill that prioritizes the Needs over the Wants; and teaches that wisely prioritizing time provides a better sense of self, more confidence, and less stress since the work is done and done well-and then their reward of their goals for things that they want that is earned with their taking care of the needs appropriately and with their best effort-affords them privileges and tokens or points; as well as, possible wages to attribute to their fun or interests.
Children/teens who do not put forth effort into the needed things and who procrastinate as they grumble are building a poor set of characteristics that will effect their career and relationships, creating continued issues that are overwhelming while building stress due to the losses and the other consequences that occur.
As the parent or caregiver models appropriate prioritizing skills without grumbling and do their best work and model the lowered stress and gratitude of a job well done the first time-and reap the benefits of this behavior-and teach the child the same as the child is held to a reasonable but mastery standard for their cleaning or their room, finishing their homework, and other responsibilities that provide them opportunities to earn their goals, privileges, or awards and NOT accepting mediocre efforts or excuses; then the child will be able to follow the healthier pattern of managing time and will reap the rewards of such prior to leaving the nest.
Many adults struggle and feel overwhelmed today as they put off college assignments until the day prior to its due date; are experiencing colleague and group negative comments when they are placed at risk while the adult is procrastinating; and or doing less than average work due to their staying out partying or watching a late movie the night before. These adults find relational issues as their mates have to ask repeatedly for something to be done without them following through with these requests-causing conflict, despair, and anger. As their mates feel un-prioritized-then relationships begin to dismantle. Putting off responsibilities leads to issues with income, relationships, career growth, and mental health as stress grows. Stress then contributes to also the physical health of the individual with high blood pressure, and other medical conditions.
Teaching time management is a vital and rewarding life skill to give to your child. It starts at home. As this skill is cultivated then the child will experience lowered stress and a higher self motivation to complete tasks timely which then will be positive attributes in every relationship that the child faces in their future.