Self-Management is a solid skill that children need for their future success. Every day we see children (and adults) struggle to stay focus, on tasks or even get themselves together. The noises and distractions around the children are unavoidable so, let's help them develop these five skills to use to navigate successfully in the chaotic world.
It is the ability to say “NO” to things that you have considered not appropriate for the place and time. We can teach children to deliberately ask themselves “Do I want to do this?" and “What are the pros and cons of doing this?”. This practice puts the control back to the children’s hand.
Sometimes kids don’t realise how stressful they are. It could be stress from not getting along with friends at school or the coming up tests. Stress doesn't usually go away by itself; it needs to be managed. Unmanaged stressed could turn into suppressed stress; this could cause kids to be constantly irritated and angry. It is important that we help children to recognise signs of stress and various ways to release it. Children benefit from mindfulness practices, communication strategies, sports, musical and other recreational activities.
How to help kids stay on track? It is not a one-day acquisition skill; it needs constant practice. For example, a ten-year-old child can set a task (such as writing, sports training or other hobbies) to focus on for ten mins. If he/she successfully stay on task by him/herself, the time can be extended. Small tasks can be combined to daily routines, and the skill will be mastered gradually.
Daily goals, weekly goals, monthly goals, yearly goals and life goals. Goal setting drives us; it gives us a sense of purpose. Many kids are “lost” because they don’t know what their goals are. Children can develop this skill by setting themselves small achievable goals and later on bigger ones. For example, “I will read for 15 minutes every day" or “I will learn how to ride a bike in one week”.
Motivation comes with passion and interests not (always) rewards. Rewards could be a short-term driver when you want to get your children to do something but when you stop giving the rewards so does the desirable behaviour. Inspirations, passion, sense of achievement are the long-term motivation which comes from within. Love, support and encouragement are vital to lifelong motivation skills. So help your children find their true passion, embrace their capabilities and show your appreciation in what they do.
Kids are messy, and some kids grow up to be messy adults. Children need to develop organisation skills for both their personal and professional life. It starts small with making plans, arranging school materials and equipment to more elaborate things like completing a thesis. You can help them by introducing them to organisation tools such as a clock, calendar, planning diagrams and places where they can organise their work and materials.
Remember that all skills need the practice to acquire. Consistency and meaningful support are crucial. Children don’t learn by what they’ve told, they learn by practice, example and actions.