I have 6 kids, ages 30, 28, 22, 21, 18, and 16. So I have some experience with teenagers. I have said numerous times that it was easier to get my youngest four out the door when they were little than it was when they were all teenagers. Teaching my teenagers these time management tips made a huge difference for them. And made my life easier, too!
Teaching Teenagers Time Management
1. Set good example – If you’re late all the time, you can’t expect them to be on time. If they see you goofing off on Facebook instead of getting ready to go somewhere, they are going to do it too.
2. Set them up with a calendar – paper, computer or on their telephone, to record their upcoming events, assignments due, work hours, etc.
3. A morning routine, after school routine, and evening routine all help teens to remember to get everything done. Once they get in the habit of doing these routines, it becomes easier for them to manage their time effectively.
The routines shouldn’t be long. Just 3-5 things to help them stay organized. For example, an evening routine could include getting clothes ready for the next day, getting books and papers together so they are ready in the morning, and checking the calendar for the next day to see if they need anything special. Things that will make the morning go much smoother.
4. Get them started using a to do list. This doesn’t have to be elaborate, with everything they need to do every day, but get them started with the 5 most important things to be done that day. This list could also include the things they need to bring with them for outside activites.
Making a to do list will help them learn to prioritize their chores, homework, activities,etc. This will also help them to learn not to procrastinate. Whether on paper, an electronic list, or written on a chalk or white board, a to do list is a big step toward time management independence for teenagers.
5. Have a planning day with your teen once a week. Go over school assignments, outside activities, chores, etc. This will enable them to plan ahead. and help them to not over commit.
This is also the time to tell them “we have to leave at 6 on Monday night” or “have your assigned rooms clean and ready for company by 3 on Saturday” or “You have a game on Tuesday, make sure you have your equipment packed by the time your ride gets here at 2” or any other special activities or events.
Teaching teenagers time management happens a little at a time, not all at once. Introduce these ideas to your teenagers, then pick one to start with. Add the other tips in one at a time. And soon the days will flow much smoother for your teenager. And you!