You may ask, “How can I help my child to be on time”? Maybe you are struggling with that life skill yourself and not sure how to change your habits to influence your children to be on time for everything.
There are a number of ways you can train yourself to have a better perception of time and manage it. If we put systems in place, and our children witness our routines, they have a greater chance of continuing those habits themselves. There may be exceptions, like if you or your child have ADHD. If this is the case, you can put extra steps or systems into place to improve your perception of time.
Managing time is a great skill for kids to learn early, so they are ready for school and later work!
ADHD and Time Blindness
We have had to manage this in our home, putting systems into place to assure schedules and timelines are met. I am sensitive to my family member’s needs and understand their struggles. It’s also an extra challenge if one has dyslexia or other related issues where looking at a clock or numbers gets confusing.
Time blindness can mean for some that whether it’s minutes, hours, or days, they don’t understand how much time they have to do tasks. It’s not well defined for them. Having a passive timer, like a time timer, can be helpful. Writing out the steps and the amount of time needed may help. T st a few methods and see what works for your family member.
Practicing these skills regularly will make time more manageable with the tools and support you implement.
Have a Visible Schedule
Ever heard the saying, “out of sight, out of mind”? I have found this to be very accurate! Helping kids to be aware of their schedule using a visual reminder will be beneficial. There are various ways we can create visual reminders of what needs to be completed daily, including a daily plan.
There are many different ways to create a schedule or document events; you may have to try a few to find what works best. Have fun with it!
These come in all shapes and sizes, which is great because everyone can find something that will fit in their space. Do your research, and ensure it has enough space to include all your family does in a day. Some are paper, and some are dry erase. I made the mistake of getting calendars with too small of squares, and I got frustrated that I could not effectively use the calendar as I wanted. Again there is such a variety, and I know you will find the perfect one.
I have a few whiteboards in my home, and it’s a great way to write last-minute items or reminders for the family. Not only helpful with scheduling, but list making too. It helps the family to be on the same page. Some boards are plain, and some come with a calendar printed on them.
Our whiteboard is for upcoming event reminders, grocery lists, important phone numbers, and last-minute notes.
Maybe young family members won’t be able to use this tool, but it can be beneficial once your children are old enough to have a tablet, computer, or phone. Having a digital family calendar has been extremely valuable for our family. You can have different events marked for additional family members. I love having our family events in one color and my personal events in another.
We use Apple products, but I am sure that other products offer similar features.
Some families may have a central station or a family desk area in the home where a desk calendar can be used. It must be in a location where everyone can see it. It won’t be helpful if it gets covered by papers, homework, or projects – it must be easily visible.
You will never ‘find’ time for anything. If you want time, you have to make it! – Charles Braxton
This tool can be used for the family as well as individually. If you decide that having a digital calendar for the family isn’t a good fit, maybe a family planner would be. Keeping the family planner in a place where everyone has access to it and can see what is happening each day is important.
I love using a notebook for my planner. Something as easy as a spiral or composition notebook can be very effective. I like the simplicity of it. I date my page at the top and write what has to be done for the day and the events taking place that day. Kids may like this too. It’s a fun reminder of what they need to do, where they need to be that day, and at what time, and family members have the satisfaction of checking things off as they get completed. I love using stickers to spruce up the pages sometimes too!
There are many beautiful planners you can find, and there is every theme you could ever dream of. Using a themed journal that feels special to the individual may help them remain motivated to use it daily.
Planners also allow me to look back at what I had done in previous days if I need a reminder of when I met someone or if something was completed.
I also might write down thoughts I have or essential things I don’t want to forget. I feel that a daily planner or journal is a special tool.
Routines to Help Time Management
First, Next, and Last
Break down the day and even each task. Writing out the steps and sequence will give you and your kids a better sense of what needs to be completed and how much time is required to do it. This tool is great for younger family members.
Pick a task or something on your regular schedule. Figure out how much time it will take to do that task—for example, getting ready for school. The end goal is getting to school well before it starts. Have a specific time in mind. How much time does it take to do each step in the morning routine? Working backward, you can figure out what time to be up. Does it take a little bit to wake up? Factor in that time too. Then add each step of getting ready in the morning until it is time to leave for school. What is first, next, and last?
Whether the family gets ready for school and work the night before, preparing on Sunday or the coming week, or early morning for the next day, preparing ahead will give kids, and adults, a piece of mind that you have everything you need for the day or the week. Planning gives you the time you need to get yourself ready and not feel you are racing or rushing to get out the door.
Adjusting your clocks can be as simple as the clocks in your home, your watch, and the car. Changing the time on digital devices won’t be possible, but for some, setting a clock at home 2-5 minutes ahead may help to get you out the door sooner. You may have to play with it to see how much time you need to set ahead, which will help you get out the door sooner.
Be Early Always Is to Be On Time for Everything
You have made your daily plan, and you have the tools to help with the timing of the day. Wherever your family goes, if they have the golden rule of being early, like by 5 minutes, you have implemented a valuable lifelong habit. This habit is perfect for school, work, events, ceremonies, and meeting family and friends. People will know that you are reliable and always on time and ready.
Organizing your time and having a schedule helps the family get to places on time. It is a fantastic life skill to implement early in life. While having a plan is helpful, consider not overscheduling your family, and even more importantly, schedule free time!
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