Dr. Gary Hill
Time Management for School-Age Children
A Game to Help Your Kids Feel the Passage of Time
Part one of this time management series, which we posted last week, addressed how to organize time for efficiency. But what about school-age children and adolescents who have trouble "feeling" the passage of time? If they cannot accurately sense the time passing, their organizational skills and ability to prioritize fall apart.
How many times have you said the following things to your child or adolescent?
· Why haven’t you completed your homework?
· Why are you staying up so late?
· Why didn't you start earlier?
Hearing them answer, "I don't know," can be very frustrating, but there are things you can do to help them.
School-age children, especially those with ADD or processing issues, have difficulty sensing the passage of time. For example, ask your child to look at a homework assignment and guess how long it will take to complete. If they cannot sense the passage of time, they will not be able to do this, making it impossible for them to plan and prioritize.
Here is a simple game you can use to give your children and adolescents a better sense of the passage of time:
1. Have them look at a task, like a homework assignment, and ask them to guess how much time they think it will take to complete.
2. Have them complete the assignment without checking the time until they have finished.
3. Have them look at how long it actually took to complete the assignment and compare it to their estimate.
4. If they are way off, have them continue this game for a few weeks. It will help train them to better feel the passage of time.
5. Make this game fun, by joining your child and guessing along with them. Not only will this make the game more enjoyable for your child, but it may even improve your relationship with him or her. After all, having fun with your kids is the best way to improve your parent/child attachment.
This simple technique will help your kids get better at feeling the passage of time which will, in turn, improve their organizational skills and efficiency. Good luck!