"The rough seas are behind us now that we have found our beacon in the storm. Thank-you for all you do, thank-you for all you are, and thank-you most of all for all you have helped our daughter become. Words are not enough...". 

- Trudy Reynolds
(parent)

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The Challenge of Time

Everyone has the same 1440 minutes in a day to get things accomplished.  So why is it that some individuals seem to get much more done in a day than others?  The answer is really quite simple:  Some individuals are more disciplined in their approach to time thus allowing them to be far more effective and efficient.

Using time effectively and efficiently is a discipline that is really best learned when one is young so that it can become a good habit.  If you, as an adult want to start creating that habit for yourself – good for you! Remember to share that new found discipline with your children as well. The approach that you decide to take should depend on your child’s age.  Please continue reading on for a few helpful tips.

For toddlers and preschoolers, you can use a timer, like a kitchen timer.  This is a fun approach to take, as you are essentially creating your own time game with time as the measuring stick.  What you can do is time your child while they complete an easy task.  These tasks can be anything from cleaning their room, getting ready for bed, getting washed up for dinner, and so forth.  Just make sure that you set a timer with enough time for your child to reasonably do what you are asking of them.  Warning:  Do not try this one with your spouse – it never ends well.

With toddlers and preschoolers, it is important to remember that your child is still young.  At this age, be sure to reward your child for beating the time.  This reward can be a simple praise, a hug, or a sticker. If they are a little slow encourage them to pick up their speed.

As for elementary school aged children, a timer can still be used, but some children do tend to outgrow this approach. (Thus the spouse warning) Just be sure to talk to your children about time, its importance, and the consequences for not respecting it.  

For teenagers, you will also want to set a good example.  Have a discussion as to the importance of respecting time when it comes to school.  For example, if your teenager isn’t able to get their homework done or if they don’t study for a test, they may end up with poor grades.  School is the training ground for life so best learn the lessons when the training wheels are there to save them if need be. 

Make sure that your teenager understands the importance of the efficient and effective use of time.  In college, trade school or university your child will be responsible for studying, doing their homework, and other important tasks and they will not have you there to help guide them.  The same will be true for the workplace.  Unfortunately, this is where many young adults run into problems.  Don’t let your son or daughter fall victim to poor habits caused by the lack of skills in using time to their advantage. 

As you can see, there are a number of easy ways that you can go about teaching your child the importance of time, as well as tips that you can share with them.  Regardless of your children’s ages, the lesson is one that should be taught.  In fact, the sooner that you start teaching your children how to properly manage their time, the better the results will be in the long run.