How to Teach your Teen Time Management to get to Work on Time

“Early is on time, on time is late.” Teaching your teen this lesson from the very beginning will give your teen a valuable perspective for being on time to work. This philosophy will provide a basis for learning how to be prompt.

Let’s look at why it is important. Suppose your teens shift is from 5:00 – 9:00 pm and they walk in the door at that 5:00. Chances are your child will not actually start working for several minutes after their start time. Say it takes 5 minutes to actually be ready to work, that means that they will expect to be paid in full without working 2% of the time. Or to look at it another way, if they work 5 days a week for 50 weeks out of the year, they will have cheated their employer out of 1250 minutes. At $10 per hour that comes to a little over $208.00 per year. It is much worse if the teen is actually late. If your kid is part of a team, it can be an even bigger problem. The time the team is inactive due to their tardy teammate can result in significant lost time to an employer. When it is time for promotions and raises, an employer will remember which employees are often late and costing him money.

So how should you teach your teen to manage their time to get to work on time? The first thing you should do is to set a goal for when they are to arrive at the workplace. Ten minutes early is a good starting place. Then work backwards from there. Add up how long it takes for travel and the time to get ready for work. Say it takes 35 minutes. Then they should consider a few minutes for any needed stops, such as to fill the car with gas. If their start time is 5:00, then they should start to get ready at 4:00.

A good idea is to anticipate obstacles to arriving on time. Have a specific spot for everything that they might need to bring. That way they won’t be delayed trying to get out the door looking for those items. This is especially important when they are bringing something unusual to work.

Set a good example of being on time. When they see your example of prompt arrival, they will know the importance of showing up to work on time. Finally, give them lots of positive reinforcement for developing good work habits. Let them know how proud you are of them. Perhaps it is a small achievement, but it will serve them well as they enter the work force.