calendar and clock on wall, take responsibility for actions

Planning is a key life skill – we all need to take responsibility for organising our own lives. Once children go to secondary school, learning to plan is important. Children need to plan their time and details like what, when and where when organising activities and meetings with friends. Planning is very much a part of everyday life. But does everyone like doing it? No, they don’t!

Many teens don’t like to plan ahead because they prefer a bit of ‘lets see how it goes…’ or ‘it will happen at some point’. Or they might think, ‘I don’t really want to take responsibility for something going wrong’. Particularly if they have to take responsibility for planning something with a group of friends. They definitely don’t want to get the blame for organising something that their friends don’t enjoy or goes wrong in some way. They would rather another friend take ownership and organised the activity. Invariably, it is left to the person who they think is the most organised. 


  • Get your child to break the activity down into the basics. Ask them simple questions to break it down. What? Where? When? How?
  • Then get to work planning each stage. Get them to see that approaching the plan in bite size chunks and implementing it, will make the activity more manageable.
  • They could make a list of each stage and what tasks they need to do. For example, set a venue to meet, check what day/time suits everyone best, etc.
  • If they get stuck planning, they can always check in with you right? Let them know you are ready to help them if needed.
  • They could also plan with a friend so that they can share ideas and responsibility.
  • Talk about what happens if something goes wrong. How will they handle it? Will it matter? This will make them feel more confident about handling unexpected problems.

We don’t want our children to be afraid to take responsibility, so talk to them about the benefits and life skills they will learn through planning. Encourage them to plan when they can and it will soon become second nature.

Every child needs life skills. If you would like some help in this area then please contact me.