Teenagers can lead extremely busy lives and as they grow older, they will need the skills to make time a friend of theirs instead of a foe.
Often parents will notice how their teenagers fail to get the things they need done at the time expected. Here are some tips on encouraging your teen to manage their time better:
How to teach your teen time management skills.
Talk to your teen.
Before you begin strategising on how your teen can manage their weekly schedule, have an honest chat with them. Mention why you think they need some intervention – they may have missed homework deadlines, missed training or forgotten things.
If something like this has happened or if they have simply proved themselves to be disorganised, then chat to them about it and explain how it may affect them as they grow older. Once your teen hits 17/18 they will suddenly have many more time pressures with part-time jobs, exams, college stress and juggling life/work/study. Now is the time to discuss these things.
Wall calendars and diary.
All teenagers will have a homework diary which is fine but for busy teens, they need their own diary covering homework, extra-curricular activities and life events or weekly meetings etc. Encourage your teenager to spend a half-hour on a Sunday evening organising their week ahead and noting all the things they need to do.
Teens need to take into account if their parents are working late as it may mean they need to get dinner themselves or walk to training if they have it in the evening. A schedule helps if it is on the wall with bold writing noting where they need to be each day!
Encourage your teen to look at their homework, projects and upcoming tests to organise their time. This is something you may need to help your teen with at the beginning to teach them how to best manage their time. If your teen has projects due in the next week, they should know it isn’t good to leave that till the night before. It also isn’t ideal to not do homework in the evening because it isn’t due for another two days - tell your teen to always try and keep on top of it as they may get extra homework the next day and become overwhelmed.
Get up ten minutes earlier.
Teenagers hate getting up early but making a small change like getting up ten minutes earlier gives your teen that extra time to organise their bag and ensure they have everything they need. If this isn’t possible, encourage your teen to do it before they go to bed and of course, let them have their free time but do a nightly check-in to make sure they are ready for the next day.
Teenagers may love grabbing their things before they run out of the door, but try and adopt an organised attitude, so your teen doesn’t forget things.
One of the best ways to manage time is to get your teen to time themselves. If they have a few pieces of homework, encourage them to put on a timer so they have a certain amount of time for each piece of homework. This will allow them to realize how long they spend on things but it also allows them to be more accountable in terms of their time spent. If they are timed, they’ll work faster and not want to waste time scrolling on their phone.