I’m Katie Zuverink, I’m a children’s therapist, adolescent therapist, and a parenting specialist in Frisco, Texas. So today we’re going to be talking about time management for your kids and how you can encourage and empower that. So you’re not running around chasing them and trying to remind them all the time what they’re supposed to be doing. This is something that feels really important to me and to my colleagues because we were thinking about how nobody really runs around and chases us and tells us when it’s time to leave the house or when it’s time to pay our bills. And so these are things that we have to manage and that it is really important for us to help teach our kids that as they get older. And so they’re not just gone out into college and like, “Oh no, no one reminded me to turn my homework in today.” “Oh no, no one reminded me to pay my rent.”

And so these are things that we can start teaching them at a really appropriate kind of younger age. And so we’re going to give you kind of a real short script and some tips and tricks today. All right, so here’s the deal. Our short script is have tos come first, get tos come next. Okay, so we’re going to give you some examples about how this works. So let’s say as they’re younger, right? This really probably works best around 5, 6, 7. And that’s really when kids start to develop that ability to start to look at and manage time, and really understand that. Okay, look at a list, follow it one item at a time, okay. So getting ready for school, all right. So I don’t know about you, but what this looked like at my house before we started managing this was like, “Okay, go put your socks and shoes on.” “Okay, go put your socks and shoes on.” “Okay, you had two socks on, why do you have one sock on now? Where are your shoes?” “Okay, why are they in the fridge?”

All right, so here’s how this is going to work. Okay, so first, you need to put together the list of have tos, okay, because as we say, they come first. All right, so the list of have tos in the morning are going to be something like, “Your backpack needs to be packed with the binder, the water bottle, packed lunch, homework folder.” Right? Whatever those things are. And this is going to be on a list that you’re going to put on the fridge or somewhere very public, maybe it’s a pantry door, whatever. So the backpack is packed, hair is brushed, teeth are brushed, your socks and shoes are on, okay? So those are the have tos in the morning, the have tos come first. Okay, the get tos come next.

So if you have a seven-year-old girl who really likes to put lip gloss on in the morning before school, or an eight-year-old boy who likes to practice his yo-yo before he leaves. And so prior to instituting our handy dandy script, you were following him around saying, “Give me that yo-yo.” So the way this is going to go now is you’re going to say, “Okay buddy, have to’s come first, get to’s come next. What’s next on your list?” Okay? And so you’re going to have them follow the list and then when they get to the end of the have to’s, whatever time they have left, they can use to do the get to’s. All right, so anything they want to do after that have to list is done, they can do all their get to’s. All right, so then that way you are empowering them to follow their list and then use that extra time for fun stuff.

All right, so you can use the same method for managing chores, right? And so again, in the afternoon you’re not following them around saying, “Okay, did you do your chores? Which chores did you do? Okay, I’m going to go check and make sure they were done.” Because the idea is, let’s say that they come in from school, most kids want to get a snack, fall down on the couch, be half asleep, watch TV, be on their phones, things like that, right? Okay, those mostly are get tos. So in a lot of people’s houses, kids are allowed to get a snack first, and then we advise that we move to have tos, okay? So when we get in from the day, we do our have tos, and the have tos are the chore list, okay? So the chore list that you’ve developed.

And it may be things like bring your laundry out, pick up your room, which means no dirty clothes on the floor, it means clean off your countertops, whatever those are, right? Help pick up the bathroom, whatever it is in your house that helps your house run more efficiently. But that’s on the have to list. And then the get tos come next. The get tos are veg out on the couch for an hour. At my house we allow our kids an hour of screen time, and sometimes more, it depends on the day and it depends frankly on my energy level, okay? So disclosure, I am a real person too.

Okay, so that’s how you can use this for chore time. Okay, so this also applies as we get into older teen land to extracurriculars versus whatever else you put here, okay? So extracurriculars, you are allowed to put in the “get to” category. Okay, and then whatever you put here can be in the have to. Okay, so we have lots of teen parents that put academics in the have to, okay? So what we mean by that is submitting homework. Okay, so I have a middle schooler and sometimes we get an email or a text message from a teacher that says, “Your daughter has forgotten to submit these two homework items.”

Okay, so that prompts for me a conversation with my daughter about have tos come first, get tos come next. She wants to be in lots of clubs and lots of things. And so we circle back to, “Hey girlfriend, all these extracurriculars are get tos, they’re not have tos, the have tos are the homework. And so if we have a regular issue of submitting homework, then we’re going to have to drop some of our get tos, okay? So again, these are all just tools that you can use to hopefully help your kiddos start to develop that internal monitoring skill.

And so, yeah, drop us a line, let us know how this is working, if you have any questions at all, and we hope it’s helpful. All right, thanks.