top of page

How Can Parents Help Children Improve Time Management Skills?

little girl holding an analog clock looking down

As educational therapists at WeThrive Learning, we often encounter preteens and teens who struggle to manage their time effectively. They may plan to complete a list of assignments in one night, only to face the harsh reality that their plans exceed their time management skills. The root of this issue lies in their limited awareness of time itself – a concept that remains abstract to neurodivergent learners.

So, how can we help our children with this concept? We're excited to share three simple yet powerful strategies that can make a significant difference:

1. Model Time Estimation Out Loud:

Begin by modeling your own time estimation process out loud for your child. When planning tasks or activities, verbalize how you estimate the time it will take, including factors such as transitions and unexpected delays. For example, if estimating grocery shopping, break down the process and consider factors like travel time, waiting in line, and unforeseen obstacles. By vocalizing your thought process, you provide a concrete example for your child.

2. Time Estimation Practice Sessions:

Once you've demonstrated the process, engage in time estimation practice sessions with your child. Start by timing yourself as you complete daily tasks, such as chores or homework assignments. Then, invite your child to join in and time themselves as well. This hands-on approach allows both you and your child to gain insight into how accurately you estimate time and identify areas for improvement. You may be surprised by the discrepancies between estimated and actual time spent on tasks!

3. Introduce Analog Clocks Throughout the Home:

In today's digital age, analog clocks may seem unpurposeful, but their visual and concrete nature makes them great tools for helping children grasp the passing of time. Consider purchasing analog clocks and placing them in every room where your family spends time. Unlike digital clocks, which only display the present time, analog clocks provide a visual representation of past, present, and future time. This allows children to not only see time passing but also calculate how much time has elapsed or remains for a given task. There are even analog clocks that can be color-coded for daily routines and tasks that your child needs to be on time for, such as bedtime routines, homework or practice sessions, or even meal times. By utilizing analog clocks as a visual in the home, your child can orient themselves with the abstract concept that is time going by and learn to see themselves in the process. 

By implementing these three strategies, you can empower your child to develop a better understanding of time and improve their time management skills. We invite you to share your insights and experiences in the comments– we'd love to hear from you! Thank you for being a part of our WeThrive Learning family, where we support each other in thriving academically and beyond. Click on this link to schedule a call with us to learn more about educational therapy and ADHD student coaching to decide if this is the support your child needs to learn and thrive. 

Recent Posts

See All


bottom of page