5 Ways To Teach Your Kids To Use A Planner | Giftie Etcetera: 5 Ways To Teach Your Kids To Use A Planner

Sunday, January 11, 2015

5 Ways To Teach Your Kids To Use A Planner

Parents are supposed to teach their kids all sorts of things. In that spirit, my husband and I have managed to teach our kids tons of useful stuff.

For example, both of them know not to even blink around angel statues, Dr. Who style. 

(Unfortunately, as they attend a Catholic school, this lesson can cause awkwardness. 
My six year old, the only kid in the whole school named after a Norse god of mischief, refuses to blink in the lobby near the principal's office because of an Angel Gabriel statute.)

They know how to use The Force properly. In a pinch, they can play a mean game of UNO. One of them is Hufflepuff and Dauntless while the other is Gryffindor and Amity. 
They are learning the words to the song American Pie. 

Okay, some of these things also cause awkwardness, with the Chevy and the levee and the whiskey and rye. In my defense, they don't know what whiskey or rye means. 

(Same six year old. Family wedding with a Catholic mass last weekend. He tried to trick the person serving communion into giving him wine. I had to run across the church, waiving and saying "nooooooooooooo." May he never know about whiskey.)

The point is that some lessons are worth teaching. Using a planner is one of those lessons.

If you want your kids to love planning like you do and to enjoy all the blessings that come with planning, take some steps to introduce them to using planners now.

1. Let them pick out their planners.

Give the kids a budget and let them pick out a cheap, but fun planner. If they pick it out, they will take ownership of it. If you pick it out, it'll be a chore.

2. Create bonding time.

Have a time, once a day, when you sit with your kids and your planners. Maybe it is over cocoa or right before bed time, but sit together and plan. Talk about what is on tomorrow's agenda. Ask what they want to achieve tomorrow. Decide if there is going to be a sleepover this weekend, and let them write that down.

3. Give them freedom to plan in their styles.

Every kid is different. Your perfectionist kid might like pencil. Your artsy kid might draw more than write. Your annoying kid might make a list of all the Yu-gi-oh cards he wants to collect...and he might ask you how to spell ALL of them. (Ask me how I know. {frowns})

But it is their plan, not yours. Let them enjoy it.

4. Keep it up.

The first day, it is exciting. The first week, it's bonding. The first month, it is almost doable. The second month, it's torture for Mom and Dad.

But planning is a lifetime skill. It's worth investing in. Keep teaching them. Remind them to write down the information from a party invitation. Have them put chores on their task list. Teach them how to make a budget and track their allowance. Encourage wish lists and idea lists and doodling.

5. Give the planner a home.

Help your kids decide where the planner will live. A nice box or tray, a backpack, or a purse works. The important part is that the planner is special enough to merit a home.

Give your kids the gift of planning. They will thank you later.



Lee said...

Both of my kids mock me relentlessly for my planner obsession.

Unknown said...

This is wonderful! Kids really need this kind of a life skill. And yes, they will thank you for it as an adult :)

xx Amanda | Teatimetails.com

Unknown said...

I remember my mom and her planner, and wanting one of my own. And then I got a cheap one, and loved the thing - I knew what was *supposed* to be in it, and never knew you could put things in there that weren't what the pages already had on them! Now, as an adult, though, I really wish my mom had thought of more ways to use a planner, ha!