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Little known tips to help children to be more punctual

Team StoryWeavers|June 21, 2022, 17:27 IST| 1

time management

“How did it get so late so soon?”

Dr. Seuss

It is fair to say that every parent has experienced at least one situation where their child would have stated the ‘5-minutes-more’ request or any other variant of this statement. It sure is difficult to explain the concept of time and the virtue of punctuality to little children. Many of them find it difficult to estimate how long a minute is, or how much work can be done in five minutes. This lack of understanding affects parents and children both as it disrupts routines and can create a bit of chaos in their schedules. 

Previously, we have discussed how parents can manage their child’s routine by setting a timer, creating family schedules, setting an agenda for the day, etc. In this article, we will cover how parents can teach their children to be more punctual. 

How to help children be more punctual

The book, Time Management for Children, mentions questions that parents must ask to help their children become more punctual: 

  • What am I doing as a parent that is contributing to this problem?
  • How can I help my child see the bigger picture by creating links between different aspects of life such as home, school, sports, etc.?
  • How can I show my child what it means to be punctual rather than just telling them? 

It also lists a few tips for helping your child to become more punctual. They are as follows:

  • Make it fun to be on time. Ensure that daily agendas appear colourful and look fun. Add stickers and use themes based on your child’s interests. For children, it is not about tight schedules and fixed timetables. It just needs to look fun, and the child will automatically take more interest in the concept of time management and punctuality. 
  • Teach the child to work with the timer. Even if your child can read and tell time, it is helpful to set a visual timer so that the child can learn to estimate and measure time. It will help them understand if the given task or activity can be completed in the allotted time frame. It is a critical aspect of being punctual. 
  • Reward the child for sticking to the schedule and for being punctual. These rewards can be as simple as their favourite vegetable for dinner or something that the whole family can enjoy. Rewards can be given on a weekly basis at first, and later, can be changed  to a monthly basis. 
  • Help the child in figuring out their priorities. Ask questions that will help them understand which tasks need to be completed first, such as homework. Encourage them to sort out their scheduled tasks in buckets such as high-priority, non-urgent, time-consuming, etc. This will help them be more punctual and prompt in the way they do things. 
  • Finally, teach the child to say no politely and clearly. It is important that the child knows that they can say no to requests and favours (not to parental instructions that must be followed) on a busy day with many tasks. Assure them that saying no when appropriate is not a bad thing and that others will understand their reasons. 

Being punctual, and on time, requires children to think through multiple things and is a complex skill. Like any other habits, this will also take months, if not years, for children to become masters of time management. Be consistent and patient with them. Unconditional support and timely help from parents will definitely speed up the process. 

Did you enjoy reading this article? Did you find these tips helpful? Share your thoughts in the comments section below. 

Also read, 


Time Management for Children: How to develop and improve Kids time management skills for better future. (2017). Scorpio Digital Press. ASIN: ‎ B07VFQF6QC 

About the Author

“Me-kha-la!” That happens at least once when she introduces herself to new people. She wholeheartedly believes in the quote by Arthur Rubinstein that says – “if you love life, life will love you back”. She is an organizational psychologist and psychometrician. She was a class teacher of 36 adorable girls for two years, grades 2 & 3, as a part of the Teach For India Fellowship. These little girls have a special place in her heart, and when she writes for children, she writes for them!

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May 16, 2023

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