Career Woman

Time management for working mothers is child’s play

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Time management, it’s something we all struggle with at times and children are no different.  We’ve all had those days where we are frantically trying to get out of the house, just when we think we are ready to head out the door one of our children declares they are missing a shoe! It’s these constant little stresses in households around the world that are creating angst in the relationships between parents and their children.

As parents we often wish our children were more organised and also wish there was a magic trick to get them on track, whilst maintaining their youthful carefree spirit.

So, what can you do to help your children develop these necessary skills and go through life seamlessly?

  1. Lead by example. Children are often miniature versions of their parents, look at your own practices and what messages your children are absorbing when it comes to the time management of the household? If children are surrounded by chaos and adults who are always running late, they will often think this is the norm. Our tips are great for any age, they can so be adapted to adults who need some tweaks to get themselves back on track.
  2. Set a plan. If your children are young a visual plan is best. Create a chart with key items they need to action at different points in the day. This can be as simple as getting dressed, cleaning their teeth and packing their bag for the day, or a more detailed plan adding chores and homework. The key is to identify when tasks need to be done and have times next to each task. Get them involved by encouraging them to help make the chart or asking them what additions to their routine they would like to add, this may be hobbies or sports. Spend time each evening looking at the plan for the following day and getting items ready for a smooth start to the new day. A reward system may also be an incentive to stay on track, charts can have stickers to encourage consistency with a small reward at the end of each week.
  3. Think ahead. Meal planning is a great way to get children involved and to begin changing their mindset about thinking ahead. I encourage clients to do a big brainstorm session and develop a list of meals they all enjoy as a family. This can be done by talking through meal options or looking at magazines and cookbooks for inspiration. Sit together once a week and choose meals you all enjoy and then schedule them for the upcoming week, writing a list of grocery items to help you stick to your plan. Children will be excited for the meals they have chosen. A visual meal plan is also a great way to reinforce this type of time-management planning helping children feel involved in the entire process whilst also giving them an understanding of meal preparation and nutrition.
  4. Tidy up. If you keep things tidy, your children will be more likely to see that as the standard. Everything should have its place and if possible, evenings should be spent doing a quick tidy up to get everything the way it should be for the next morning. Encourage children to keep their room and play area tidy. Declutter a few times a year to remove unneeded items, I encourage clients to do this either at the beginning of Spring & Autumn or prior to children’s birthdays and Christmas. It’s a great time to review clothing, toys and other items that children have outgrown and donate to charity where possible.
  5. Be kind. Even the most organised adults have days when things don’t go to plan. Showing children that being kind to yourself and moving on when things get a little stressful is a great skill and will build their resilience. It will show them that a bad day is isn’t a bad life and you can always start fresh tomorrow.

Using these tips whilst adjusting them to suit your family will make for a fresh start and serve as an opportunity to create family harmony.

About Caroline Guillemain-Brunne

Caroline Guillemain-Brunne is the Founder of Organise.Curate.Design. and works with families as their Life Assistant to help them create work life balance and help professionals ease their mental load. Coaching clients to build time management and organisational skills, whilst actioning items on their to do list Caroline is the Life Assistant you never knew you needed.

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