Pre-teens have many obligations to juggle, including school, family and friends. However, they can benefit significantly from learning time management skills, and the sooner they start, the better. With guidance from the trusted adults in their lives, pre-teens who learn time management will grow in maturity and independence, have more time to spend with friends, minimise stress, and improve academic performance. Specialist providers of student care in Woodlands offer four great ways for you to get time management on your child’s radar.

1. Discover what works

Each one of us has certain moments of the day when we are more productive than others. Parental scheduling of pre-teens’ activities does not help – your child needs to identify their productive times, so that they can use these periods to prepare, complete homework, and deal with other priorities. You can help your child become more aware of gauging their energy and concentration levels to identify when they feel most productive. Through reflection, they develop an awareness of their habits and the conditions that help them work more effectively.

Putting your pre-teen in charge is essential for effective time management. Even though some of us might live and die by our daily to-do lists, your child might prefer a different method. Find out what works for them and nurture their organisational abilities by using valuable tools, such as Pomodoro timers, task list reminder apps, or organiser journals.

2. Manage technological distractions

While there are many benefits to having the internet and smart devices on hand, your child can potentially become addicted to using their phones or computers, which can affect their studies, social skills and self-esteem. With your pre-teen, track their phone and internet usage for a week or so. 

Discovering the amount of time spent on social media and internet browsing can be a good opportunity to discuss their media and device habits and identify how they are spending their time and why. Why are they addicted to an Xbox game or spending hours scrolling through Instagram? You can also help them explore other activities and tasks that will offer tangible and meaningful rewards. By taking a step back to analyse their time, you are teaching your child to maintain conscious control, set goals, and block out distractions.

3. Learn how to prioritise

Children frequently lose sight of what is important in life because of peer pressure. Most parents have heard, ‘can I go out and play?’ when their children have a test on Monday. Pre-teens, whose brains are still developing the ability to perceive consequences, might not think there is any problem with that request. Teach them that the first step in learning how to prioritise is to determine what their goals are, before thinking about whether their actions and choices will help them achieve that goal.

4. Focus on preparation and punctuality

Being late for school, extracurricular activities, not finishing homework or projects, or doing everything at the last minute are obvious signs of procrastination and poor time management. If you are seeing this pattern of behaviour with your pre-teen, then it’s time to intervene and teach them how to prepare for their day and week while keeping an eye on upcoming assignments. Refrain from telling your kids what they should do, but rather openly discuss their challenges with the aim of discovering solutions together.

Some children aren’t good at keeping track of time, so they constantly fall behind, setting off a ripple effect of stress and last-minute work. We hope that these principles and tips teach your pre-teen to be conscious of time and value it as the limited resource that it is. In doing so, they will be able to prioritise and ensure that their lives are constantly in line with their goals and aspirations.