Can poor time management scare kids?

May 26th, 2009 3:50pm

To answer this question, you have only to ask yourself this…if your employer walked into your office today and told you that your job depended on completing this project on time and then walked out without any mention of a deadline, what would your first question be as you chased him/her down the hall? …”WHEN IS THIS DUE!?”

Kids feel this way all the time. We tell them constantly “you have 5 minutes to clean your room”, or “we have to be ready to go to grandma’s house tomorrow morning,” or “you only have 2 days to finish that project.” While you might be giving your kids a “deadline”, you haven’t given them any tools to understand it. For instance, what is “5 minutes” or when is “tomorrow”, or how many days is “2 days”! …that last question had me laughing in spite of myself when I got that from my 4 year old! If you want to see first hand how difficult time is for a child to understand, try this little exercise. Gather your family and have each of them close their eyes. Tell them you are going to set a silent timer for 1 minute and ask each of them to clap their hands when they think the minute is over. Watch and see how many claps you get in just a few seconds! A minute will never seem so excruciatingly slow. Now ask each of your family members to draw a picture in one minute. Time them but ask them to clap when they think the minute is over. Give a reward for anyone who got it right. Ask your family what they thought about the minute…was it longer? Shorter? How long is a minute, really?

Giving kids an understanding of time and how it moves can make their world a lot less scary. It can give them a sense of control over their lives and empower them to greater responsibility. When they can predict and prepare for upcoming events and understand exactly what is expected of them to prepare for those events, they are less apprehensive of their schedule and more excited to be ready and on time. Nothing will incite a toddler tantrum like interrupting them when they’re not expecting it and asking them to immediately move onto a different activity. Having a calendar can help them know what the order of events will be in their day. A chore/task chart can help them understand the steps to complete an activity and know what is expected of them to be ready for each event.

MyTime Calendars allows you to share these concepts with your little ones when they need it most…as toddlers. One of the biggest problems with teaching time concepts to toddlers is the language…most 3-5 years olds are not fluent enough in their reading skills to make a written calendar productive. But using graphics allows MyTime Calendars to breach this barrier and make calendaring and chore/task charting easy and fun for early learners of all levels. Watch as your toddler takes an active part in planning their schedule and then actually begins preparing himself for the events! As a parent, there is nothing more exciting than watching your little one become more responsible and as a result, more helpful.