Our kids are busier than ever! Between school, homework, socializing, extracurricular activities and technology they are being pulled in so many different directions. When it comes to something important, like schoolwork, it’s crucial that kids use their time wisely and stay focused.
BUT with so many distractions, how does a kid (or adults for that matter) get the stuff done that needs to get done? Minimizing distractions, i.e. time wasters, is the only way to stay on task. Here are some of the top time wasters for kids and how they can minimize them.
How to Minimize Time Wasters for Kids
We live in a world full of gadgets, electronics, and all the technology that we sometimes feel we “CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT.” It’s pretty normal to see kids on their iPhones, iPods, iPads, iEverything all day, every day. It’s no wonder their time is so easily eaten up and wasted with these distractions at their fingertips 24/7.
To help combat this time sucker, you’re going to need to set some boundaries. Perhaps you’ll want to assign a certain time-frame for when your child can use their gadgets. If they know that at a certain time every day they can click on, tune in, surf, text, and get connected, they will power through their work, not wanting to waste a moment, so they can get to their ‘screen time.’ Bribery you say? Yes. And it works.
One of the biggest time wasters for most people is procrastination. We tend to put things off until the last minute. If you have older kids that you don’t have to monitor closely, you most likely have found them doing homework at the breakfast table or in the car on the way to school. They have put off doing their homework the night before, or the week before, and now they are squeezing it all in during the last moments before it’s due. (Does that sound familiar? 😉 )
To help minimize procrastination, we (the parent) have to consistently remove the distractions. This means reminding your kiddo that they don’t get to do anything until their homework is done. Set a time for them to do homework. (With so many after school activities it can be challenging but try to have some type of schedule.) Turn off the television, the computer, the phone, or whatever it is that is distracting your child enough to create the procrastination. Sometimes, a few gentle reminders about this is enough motivation to get them moving. You might have to enforce a consequence if it is an ongoing problem.
If adults have a hard time getting things done in an unorganized space, think how much more difficult it is for kids. Having an unorganized space can cause anyone’s mind to wander even more than usual. And, as we know, distractions keep kids from focusing on the task at hand.
It’s pretty simple to cure this time waster…make sure your child’s work area is as clutter-free and organized as possible. Use things like bins, folders, shelves, and even color-coding to help your kid see their busy schedule laid out in an organized fashion. Don’t take on this responsibility all by yourself. Kids are perfectly capable of keeping their area clean and organized once you help them set it up.
Teaching your child how to deal with time wasters and distractions isn’t an easy task, but it can be done. Battling time wasters is a great skill to learn early!
Do you have any suggestions for time management for kids?
Check some of our other posts to help your child with organization