As all busy parents understand, juggling multiple activities and obligations can be quite overwhelming, leaving most of us wishing there were a few more hours in the day. Children, too, have a lot on their plates: school, homework, extracurricular activities, family, friends, chores and more. As a parent, how can you help your child handle all of his or her responsibilities without feeling frazzled and stressed? Especially now that UPCAT is getting nearer. By instilling in him or her the vital skill of time management.
Teaching your child to practice good time management is so worthwhile now that he/she is in senior year in high school. Quite simply, effective time management leads to success. Graduating students who learn to manage their time effectively are able to reach their goals—especially their UPCAT dream. They are less likely to procrastinate or cram, and therefore less stressed. And while time management is certainly important at a young age, it will become crucial in college when students have a greater amount of flexibility in their schedules.
Here are a few tips on how you can help your child develop good time management skills:
1. Establish a routine.
For any UPCAT aspirant, a daily planner is an invaluable tool. Encourage your teen to record all assignments, upcoming tests, project deadlines, extracurricular commitments and other tasks on a daily basis, and mark them off as he or she completes them. Of course, there should also be an allotment of at least an hour to review for the UPCAT.
2. Encourage goal-setting.
Life is full of many exciting opportunities, and your child surely wants to get a slot in UP. Goal-setting and time management go hand in hand. Take your child's ambitions seriously by helping him or her break the UPCAT goal down into smaller ones and assigning target completion dates to each one. A student who dreams of going to UP must take a number of smaller steps along the way.
3. Teach your child to prioritize.
A large portion of your child's day is spent in school, but what must he or she accomplish after the school bell rings? Consider the following sample schedule (lifted from 3 Sure Ways to Achieve Your UPCAT Dream):
4:00am Morning Prayer and Bible Reading
4:30am Visualization and Internalization Session (part 1)
5:00am Physical Exercise
5:30am CR Moment
7:00am – 5:00pm School (make use of the vacant time productively like play practices, group report preparation, science project, etc)
8:00pm Online Time (for research, assignment, and social networking)
9:00pm Visualization and Internalization Session (part 2)
10:00pm Evening Prayer then Sleep
This child's schedule has approximately 2 hours of available time for school assignments and UPCAT Review, but how will he or she spend it? Let's say the child has a Physics test in two days, Math homework due tomorrow and a school play in a week. Obviously the Math homework should be first priority, followed by studying for his or her test. And there should be still some time left to review for the UPCAT. And remember that all children need some down time, but with their busy lives, it can't hurt to plan ahead. In the above example, if the child wants to read or watch television in the 8:00 to 9:00 window, he or she should make sure to be efficient between 6:00 and 7:30. Help your child keep his or her schedule in mind when making plans with friends or joining a new club or sports team so that he or she can avoid the stress of over-committing.
One final tip for parents who want to teach their children to become good time managers: practice what you preach. Do you struggle to manage your own time? Are you constantly running late or regularly missing deadlines or appointments? Remember that you are a role model to your child. Do your best to effectively manage your own schedule.
Good time management skills will help your child achieve his or her goals, enjoy his or her free time, avoid anxiety and stress, and most importantly, lead a productive life. Encourage these techniques early and your child will gain the very most out of each and every day.