How To Encourage Your Kids to Build Productive Habits
Productivity is key to being successful. A productive person knows how to manage their time and complete tasks in a timely and effective manner. With that said, being productive is a skill most people aren’t born with; it’s something they have to learn. That’s where you, as a parent, come in. It’s important you teach your kids how to build productive habits so they can thrive in adulthood. In this article, we offer tips to help you encourage your kids to build effective habits.
1. Make a To-Do List
Do you want to teach your kids to become more productive? Start each day with a to-do list. Writing down a list of daily tasks is known to increase productivity and improve one’s mental health.
Chances are, as a parent, you’ve grown accustomed to creating your own to-do list first thing in the morning. Or maybe, you prefer making a checklist for the following day right before you go to sleep. Either way, you probably know just how beneficial recording tasks can be in helping you manage your day. So consider passing down this habit to your children.
To do so, have your kids write down what they have to get done for the day. Their list should include necessities like going to school and finishing their homework. It should also include their chores, like making their bed or cleaning the dishes. Once you have the necessary tasks, have your kids write fun things they would like to accomplish for fun. For instance, a play date with their friends, spending an hour playing video games, etc.
Teaching your children how to write a to-do list shows them how to prioritize their day. It can also motivate them throughout the day and offer a sense of accomplishment whenever they complete a task.
2. Be Smart with Technology
According to a poll conducted by Common Sense Media, 50% of teens say they are addicted to their cell phones. While there’s no denying technology plays a vital role in the world, it can also be incredibly harmful. Technology addiction can lead to anxiety, depression, and a host of other mental and physical problems. To ensure your kids don’t become obsessed, teach them to use technology productively.
Instead of letting your children have free range with their devices, monitor what they’re looking at and how long. Consider downloading educational apps onto their devices rather than social media. By doing this, your kids will hopefully get into the habit of using tech as a tool rather than a form of environment.
After downloading the right apps, consider downloading software to monitor how long your kids spend on social media. Even if they’re reading, you don’t want them to spend hours at a time staring at a screen. Thankfully, there are several tools you can integrate. For example, Qustodio monitors screen time and will even block certain websites from your children’s devices. Once installed, you’ll also have access to location tracking, so you always know where their devices are.
Technology isn’t going anywhere. That’s why teaching your kids how to use tech productively is essential. The sooner you teach this lesson, the better off they’ll be.
3. Make Exercise a Priority
Contrary to popular belief, the point of exercising isn’t just to look good. While exercise can help you lose and maintain weight, it provides additional benefits. For one, exercise helps build strong bones and muscles — something your children need. Exercise can also reduce one’s risk of disease, help maintain a positive mood, and boost energy.
Unfortunately, some children don’t get nearly enough exercise as they should. Thanks to technology and convenience, not every child has an active life. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to teach your kids to prioritize exercise so they can stay healthy.
Thankfully, there are several ways you can go about teaching your kids about exercise. One way is by taking advantage of after-school programs. Chances are, your children’s school or local community center offers team sports like soccer, dance, baseball, etc. So go ahead and sign them up.
You can also integrate exercise into your children’s day to day. For example, carve out 10-15 minutes daily and have your family walk around the neighborhood. You could throw on a virtual yoga video and participate as a family. Whatever you choose, ensure you’re consistent about it, so it becomes a habit for your kids.
4. Introduce Household Chores
The best time to teach children household chores is when they’re young. In fact, according to research, kids who do chores are more likely to be successful later in life. With that said, you shouldn’t just teach them how to do chores — show them how to do them productively. The best way to do that is through example.
Make sure you’re being productive with your chores. For example, instead of taking out the trash in the middle of the night, take it out the next morning when you’re already heading out for work. Instead of spending all day cleaning the house once a month, spend a few minutes a day tidying up, so you don’t have a big mess.
After teaching your kids, go ahead and assign them their own household chores. Again, remember that you want the task to complement your child’s age. For instance, let’s say your daughter or son is only five years old. Having them make their bed, put their toys away, and water the plants would be a great place to start.
5. Teach Coping Methods
It’s easy to be productive when everything is going your way. But what happens when something goes wrong? Maybe you’re thrown a curveball, or something/someone that you’re working with upsets you. Your kids must learn how to deal with frustration when it occurs without letting it derail their productivity.
Teaching your children how to deal with frustration takes time. After all, they’re only kids. But don’t worry, there are things you can do to help. For one, provide a safe place for your children to express themselves when they’re upset. That might mean taking them somewhere private and asking them what’s wrong. Or, let them be by themselves for a while if that’s how they prefer to process things.
Besides providing a safe space, make sure to praise your children when they positively deal with their emotions. This kind of positive reinforcement can help your kids become more comfortable and confident with opening up. Remember, the goal is to teach your kids how to calm down rather than letting their emotions overwhelm them.
6. Make Lessons Fun
Regardless of what you say or how you might struggle to get your message across to your kids, the truth is. While children mean well, they’re naturally impulsive and usually need to be entertained. So instead of lecturing, consider using a game to encourage productivity.
For example, consider rewarding them every time your child does something productive. It could be something simple like giving them more gaming time or letting them have extra dessert. Creating a reward system can motivate your kids to adopt productive habits that’ll set them up for success in life.
Another way you can make these lessons fun is by turning them into a race. For example, let’s say you assign your kids a few chores. Tell them that you’ll reward the person who finishes their chores first. The more fun you make being productive, the more likely your children are to pay attention.
For children to become successful in adulthood, they need to learn how to be productive. As a parent, it’s your responsibility to teach your kids these vital skills. Easier said than done, right? The tips above can help you prepare your kids how to use their time effectively. With that said, it’s essential to lead by example. After all, your children look to you as a role model. To ensure your kids are productive, ensure you’re effective in your everyday life.
Featured Image Credit: Photo by Yan Krukov; Pexels; Thank you!
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