How to Teach Your Teen Time Management

Tallahassee Parents,

Time management is a challenge for adults, balancing family, work, extra curricular activities, exercise and the list could go on. How do you teach a teenager, when a lot of adults struggle with the same challenge?

Here are a few tips that can help:

  1. Get visual and get it out of their head. What spirals in a person’s head and what is actually real can be very different even if the brain does not know the difference. Having a white board in your teenagers room, showing them the big picture or when assignments are due can be a big help. Getting it out in the open where you can see all tasks more clearly often eases the stress and helps them realize there is not as much work as you think.
  2. Phone notifications are great way for constant reminders. Depending on what you need to remember, writing it down might not be enough. Not everyone naturally checks their planner or calendar every day. It needs to be a habit, just like brushing your teeth. Have your teen set their phone to remind them about events, assignments and other important dares/projects. Phones can usually be set to remind you several times and most like your teen has one close by at all times.
  3. In your face reminders can also help. Sticky notes on a mirror or in front of your doorway keep you informed on a regular basis. Notes on steering wheels, key rings or anywhere else you teen frequently looks is a great way to keep important reminders fresh in their mind.
  4. Have a plan. Don’t hesitate to sit down with your teen and help them come up with a plan that works for them. Your job, be their coach, plant seeds and help them come up with a system that works for their personality. Teenagers are rebellious by nature, weren’t we all at that age? Let them come up with a plan. Most likely, they will follow what they came up with rather than someone else’s plan.
  5. Enroll them in organized activities. Organized activities, sports in general is great therapy for the mind and soul. Exercise improves blood flow, flexibility and relieves stress. If your child is not a team sport kind of person, martial arts is a great activity and it is usually an easy place to make friends. Joining a gym or a boot camp type workout can also be very beneficial.

Be patient and supportive while your teen works to improve their time management skills. Remember, it is in fact a skill. All skills take time and have a learning curve.

If you are interested in contacting Brad Fantle for speaking engagements you may reach him by email at He is a 7th Degree Black Belt with Tiger Rock Martial Arts, has 25 years experience working with children and teaching self-defense, an ADHD Coach and has a BA in Sports & Fitness from the University of Alabama

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