Proper Prior Planning 9 Year Old Style February 22, 2017 08:22

Alex sat began planning out her week on Sunday afternoon. It was clear she knew how to do "Proper Prior Planning to Prevent a Poor Performance." This is how her dialogue with her mom went, "Mom, I don't want to go to silks' class today. I am stiff, and I think I need a day of rest. I don't think I want to take silks again, because I won't have time to get my homework done. Can I do one extra karate class on Wednesday? I want to practice my form before graduation." 

"You have two silk classes left. When will you get them done? You don't have to take silks after this series is done, but you do need to complete what you started."

"I think I can fit them in in the next two weeks, because I won't have karate."

"Can you do your karate class on Thursday?"

"No, that's graduation day. I want to practice my moves, and I won't have time before then."

"You are right. I didn't think of that. Sure, I can take you on Wednesday."

This is proper prior planning at its best. Alex wanted control of her time, and her mother allowed it to happen. If the schedule didn't work with her mom, she would have found another way to manage. She asked this favor a few days in advance, which gave her mother time to schedule what she needed to do to make it possible for Alex to fulfill her planning desires. 

When given the opportunity, children will plan well. Alex felt respected and had learned from previous experiences that planning in advance could make it possible for her to do what she wanted to do. In the past, there had been times when her mother would tell her, "I'm sorry. If I had known this earlier, I could have rescheduled my day." 

To help students practice "Proper Prior Planning to Prevent Poor Performances" parents need to consider the following:

  • Children are capable of knowing what they want
  • Children are capable of scheduling their time
  • Children need to be taught a system of time management
  • Setting a weekend family scheduling meeting will assure all time needs are considered
  • Consequences are a valuable lesson for children, and will help them learn to honor their parents' time scheduling needs
  • Identifying how it feels to plan well will promote more of the same
  • Identifying how it feels when one does not plan will also promote better planning

Side note: Alex's mother started time management when Alex was old enough to understand she had five minutes to put her toys away if she wanted to watch Sesame Street.