Some people complain that their busy teens and adolescents won’t give them the time of day. This may be, however, because they don’t have the time to give.
For today’s adolescents, time is of the essence—and so, for that matter, are time management skills. This owes to the fact that, for the typical adolescent, there is no such thing as a typical day; not when any given 24-hour period might bring tests, quizzes, homework assignments that were due yesterday in all likelihood, sports matches, play practices, dates and hang out sessions with friends, scholastic commitments and household chores. This is why the singular act of learning time management skills is so vital for today’s young people.
How time management skills benefit teens
Time management is a simple enough concept, but it is one that many people struggle with. Time management may sound like an adult skill, but it is something that can be cultivated even at a young age. Building time management skills is just like building any other skill. It takes practice and time, but understanding how to properly use their time can help teens in a number of ways.
Teenagers today have so many different things on their plate every day, and that long to-do list can very quickly begin to feel overwhelming. When they are juggling family, friends, schools, and extracurriculars, it’s easy to see how things can begin to be forgotten or left behind. And when those forgotten things start to pile up, teens can begin to feel anxious or stressed about everything they have to do. Learning how to manage their time can help ease some of that stress. That may be creating a balanced schedule or even taking some things off of their schedule.
Goal setting is another important life skill and time management can also help teens learn how to set and achieve goals. Many adolescents dream of what they will be when they become adults but may feel uncertain how to take the steps needed to live out those dreams. This uncertainty can lead young adults to stall out or experience failure to launch. Part of goal setting is understanding how to complete those goals in a timely manner. For example, if their goal is to attend a college with a great creative writing program but they are unable to meet application deadlines they will not get into the college of their choice. Creating a timeline of tasks that need to be completed to reach their goals can help teens succeed in the next stage of life.
When it comes to living a healthy, independent life as a young adult, knowing how to manage your time plays a large role. When young adults leave home for the first time and experience independence it can be an exciting time that comes with its own set of challenges. For the first time, young adults are expected to make their own choices. The small ones, like will they eat oatmeal or ice cream for breakfast? And the large ones, such as will they leave the party early to finish their assignment for class or risk taking a zero? Time management gives young adults opportunities daily to make choices for themselves. Will they schedule in that break they know will make them feel better? Will they stick to the schedule they know they need to feel calmer and less stressed? They learn when a choice works for them and when it doesn’t. It is a learning process that helps them gain self-confidence in their own decision-making skills.
Teens who don’t learn time management skills are at risk of procrastination becoming a lifelong problem. It’s important to teach teens how to behave responsibly. That means managing their time wisely without requiring constant reminders or assistance from parents to get their work done.
Empowering your teen to build time management skills
Here are a few ways that you as a parent can empower your teens to get the time of day; and, with all likelihood, they even may be able to pencil in just a bit of time for you as well (hey, we can always dream!)
- Encourage your kids to make a life schedule. Your teen, in all likelihood, maintains a scholastic schedule that dictates their whereabouts during the school day; thus eliminating any sense of confusion and giving them a sense of structure. Yet if they develop a life schedule, also blending in their extracurricular and social activities and even their household chores and family dinner time, then they are likely to feel more balanced and organized; and considerably less likely to feel addled or overwhelmed.
- Help them prioritize. Remind your kids that, if they find themselves faced with too many demands on their time, they may have to pick and choose; cutting a school club or sport so they can have more time to study, etc. Remind them that their scholastic commitments always come first, and that they also should allow themselves considerable time to rest, eat, and exercise.
- Give tools to your teens. Basic and affordable time management tools could make a big difference to the time-challenged teen; so be sure that they have the planners, folders, clocks and watches, and organizers that they need to get and stay on top of things.
- Be there for them. Always be available to talk to your teen if they feel overstressed, tired, or frustrated with their daily demands. Ensure that they get enough healthy food and fortifying sleep each day, and assure them that it’s OK to make mistakes—to make a bad grade or miss a practice on occasion. Indeed, chief among time management skills is the ability to lose a little time once in a while—knowing that there always will be time to make it up later.
- Find help. If your teen struggles with time management and it is causing serious negative effects in their life, it may be time to seek out additional support. A residential treatment program gives young adults the structure and support they need to improve life skills with the guidance of a therapist and a community of peers.
A transitional program to build life skills
As a transitional independent living program, Journey Home East is designed for young women who have completed residential treatment and are looking for a place to help them transition from treatment back into their everyday lives. We also help our residents work on independent living skills, develop positive peer and community relationships, help them with academic success, and provide exciting recreational activities. Journey Home East provides key supportive interventions in a home-like setting. We include various types of interventions including group, individual, and family support.
Journey Home East focused on Five Core Principles: Personal Responsibility, Education, Life Skills, Healthy Living and Social Integration. Our core principles guide our program, from daily decisions to therapeutic goals. Activities such as daily accountability (chores, hygiene, cleaning, personal care) teach our residents to take care of themselves and their environment. They may seem like simple tasks, but they are the foundation on which they can build healthier, independent lives. Our residents are also given opportunities to work on task completion, keeping commitments, organization, and time management. Each of these skills helps our young women prepare for returning home, attending college, or finding a career they love.
With the transitional living program, the development of these critical skills is led by our therapists as well as the individual “guide” who acts as the personal role model for our students. Our students meet with these Guides every two weeks to review progress in the Five Core Principles. Guides provide advice and support by helping teens meet these Core Principles in order to accomplish goals. Guides also assist in studies, resume development, job interviews, and other vital “life skills.”
Journey Home East transitional living program combines practical life-based instruction with continued clinical work to help our students prepare for future success into adulthood. In truth, probably every young adult would benefit from this assistance, but only our Journey Home East students are fortunate enough to receive this guidance and support. Journey Home East helps provide the opportunity for greater freedoms and responsibilities entailed in pursuing further education or having a job. Residents are being supported in this process by our skilled staff.
Journey Home East can help
Journey Home East is a transitional program designed to help young women ages 16-21 who recently have completed a residential treatment program, and who may need additional help as they readjust to home life.
Journey Home East blends a traditional home setting with positive peer and staff relationships in their transitional living program. This means that our students live in a warm, inviting home setting with other young girls who are also coming out of treatment programs. The setting includes the comforts of home including a kitchen with food in the fridge, television, and a friendly neighborhood environment—while still having staff members who mentor, educate, and guide the young women. Call (828) 408-0767 or visit https://www.journeyhomeeast.com/ for more information.