Does your teenager wait until the last possible moment to complete their high school English essay or math homework? High schoolers that don’t learn to manage their time well may end up as lifelong procrastinators. While handing in late homework with excuses to a lenient teacher might just get your teen a reprimand, future college professors and employers may not be so forgiving. And constantly rushing to get things done with only hours before the deadline can result in shoddy work, lack of sleep, and high stress levels.
What are the Benefits of Good Time Management for Teens?
Your adolescent may think the high school years are the busiest time in their life; they have no idea that the adult world can be even more hectic. So, it’s worthwhile to try to teach them how to manage their time more effectively now. The following are some benefits of good time management for teens.
- Reduced stress and anxiety when exam dates are coming up or projects are due.
- Better scholastic performance.
- Improved decision-making skills.
- Increased feelings of independence and responsibility.
- More available time for relaxing with friends and family.
How Can I Teach my Teen Effective Time Management?
Your goal should be to encourage your adolescent to manage their time wisely without constant reminders from you to get the work done. Here are eight steps you can consider taking to teach them essential time management skills.
- Set a good example: If you’re always missing your own work deadlines or constantly running late, your teenager will get the impression that this is ok.
- Provide tools: Help your adolescent find the time management tools that work best for them, whether it’s a planner to write in or an app on their laptop.
- Teach prioritization: Encourage them to create a schedule that prioritizes what needs to be done.
- Help to solve conflicts: It’s common for high schoolers to have conflicting activities. A swim meet, a birthday party, or a church activity may all coincide. Sit down with them and talk about how to prioritize activities based on values and commitments.
- Encourage routines: Try getting your teen to establish healthy habits like doing their chores as soon as they arrive home from school. Once a routine is set into place, they won’t have to waste time thinking about what to do next.
- Avoid nagging: Although it may be tempting to keep reminding your teen about doing their homework or chores, if you overdo it, you are reducing their sense of responsibility.
- Set expectations: Come up with sensible, clear guidelines about the way you expect your adolescent to manage their time and follow through with consequences when necessary.
- Don’t forget about free time: Your teen’s schedule should not be so crowded with tasks that they have no time for some relaxation and fun.
Remember: Rome Wasn’t Built in a Day
Don’t expect your teenager to develop perfect time management skills overnight. There will be a learning curve and times when they will forget a deadline or miscalculate how long a project will take. Be patient, and, over time, you are sure to see results.
Impediments to Successful Time Management
If your teen has a problem that makes good time management too difficult or impossible, you need address the underlying issue first. Adolescents can have a variety of issues that will interfere with successful time management – substance abuse, depression, mood disorders, and attention deficit syndrome, to name a few. So, if your teen is struggling with one of the above and you live in or near Phoenix, schedule some time with Doorways for a free consultation to see how we can help them get their time management on track.