What is the value of time? It’s a gift that we receive every day when we wake up. As we get older, we realize how precious time really is. Once it’s gone, it can never be recaptured. I’m not sure when it happens, but at some point in our lives, it’s like a bell goes off, and we realize that time isn’t everlasting. We start to take advantage of every second of the day and make every moment count. The true value of time is your perception of how well you spent it.
With our natural instinct being to raise our children to be prepared for all of life’s challenges, we want them to learn the value of time earlier than we did. We don’t want them to waste as much time as we did to discover one of life’s greatest secrets. But, how do you teach them the value of time without them experiencing it themselves? Here are some things to think about.
When Do You Start Teaching Them About Time?
You actually start teaching them before you may even realize it. Since our entire lives revolve around time, we have time-related habits that we don’t even realize we’re doing. From the time your child is born, they hear you talking about the timing of food, diapers, bath time, and nap time. While they don’t fully understand your words, they begin to understand certain intervals of time.
You can start talking about time when they start talking to you. They will gradually put the concept together as you are relating it to different things that they are doing. At this age, you are really just trying to reinforce the concept of time and how valuable it is.
What Tools Will You Need?
You’ll be mostly teaching with your words and actions. But, there are some things that can help you illustrate time.
1. A large clock with hands is the first way that they’ll be taught to tell time in school. You can also use one at home.
2. You can use your wristwatch to show them passing time. Use phrases like, “We only have this much time to get there,” or “See how much time it took to do that.”
3. You can introduce them to a digital clock once they are beginning to understand how to tell time.
4. An hourglass is a creative way to show them how quickly time can pass. You could use it to measure playtime or television time.
5. Timers are fun to use when stressing the importance of not wasting time. Setting it for a few minutes for cleanup time is one way to stress the value of time.
6. You can also find calendar apps on your smartphone that they can interact with.
7. You’ll find that a lot of board games are based on time limits that you can take advantage of.
Are There Books That Will Help You Teach The Value Of Time?
There are some great authors out there who can give you some in-depth tips on how to teach your child the value of time. Or, you can use the books that they already have. Set time limits on reading, or talk about how much time it took to read. You could also compare the quality of the time reading to spending that same amount of time doing something not quite as fun and enjoyable.
Who Can Teach Them?
While parents will begin the process, educators will continue to reinforce the value of time. Parents should consider involving anyone who comes into contact with their child in knowing how much emphasis that they are putting on not wasting time.
Talking About History Can Teach Them About The Limits Of Time In Life.
As you are reading to them or helping with their homework, take advantage of any history related topics. Showing them how much someone was able to accomplish in their lifetime is a great way to validate the value of time.
Teach Them How To Deal With Things That Can Steal Their Time.
Point out the things in life that can potentially steal their time if they aren’t careful. Here are a few ideas.
Since we are the most productive during the daylight hours, if we could end daylight saving time, we would at least gain back some daylight time. Help your children to understand that their day doesn’t have to end just because of a seasonal time shift.
Toxic people can steal their time. Children won’t recognize this behavior until they are older, but you can reinforce the value of surrounding themselves with positivity and people who inspire them rather than dragging them down.
Avoiding the things that they don’t want to do is also the time that’s wasted. We can teach our children to face their challenges head-on and conquer them. They need to know that they can always ask for help, but avoiding life’s daily battles only makes it take more time to get past them.
Walk The Talk.
Show your children how you take advantage of your time. You are trying to teach something that you are still learning about. You can instill the value of time in your children while you are still trying to find more ways to get the most out of your time every day. Take them on the journey with you, and learn how to not waste a moment.
While you and your children may never be on the exact page with the way that you value time, you can heighten their awareness of this rare commodity early in their life. Think of it this way. If you are only able to give them a few more precious moments in their lives, isn’t it worth it? How much would it be worth to you to get back a few moments that you feel like you may have missed?