How to Use the Pareto Principle with Your Kids and Reap the Results

Children looking at the camera with the title of How to Use the Pareto Principle with Your Kids and Reap the Results


The 80/20 Rule, or Pareto Principle, probably isn’t new to you.  The Pareto Principle is the idea that 80% of your results come from 20% of your actions.  You wear 20% of your clothes 80% of the time.  The top 20% of sales people make 80% of the sales.  It’s a powerful concept that can be used to change your life quickly. But can it help your kids?  How can a productivity principle help your kid?

The Pareto Principle can show your child how to better spend their time; whether it’s in school, with homework or in family life.  Once they learn the lesson and realize it helps them get more of what they want, they will buy in 100%!

What kids want more of is free time, rewards and play time with friends.  Teaching them that doing their homework and chores in a timely manner so that they can have more of those things will motivate them to use this method.

Use the 80/20 Rule to create the life you desire:


   1)  Realize that your instinct is to focus on the 80% of your options that provide minimal results.

The Pareto principle isn’t for the weak-hearted.  The easy, comfortable actions that kids like to do really show very little results.  Like playing games are fun but don’t get the homework done. The most meaningful actions are harder to do and not nearly as entertaining.

   2)  It can be applied to nearly any area of your life.  80% of your happiness comes from 20% of your actions.

Show your kids how much time they spend complaining and avoiding certain chores.  They just wasted their play time!  Now show them how much time it takes to do the chore.  If they can make their bed in four minutes instead of ten minutes of pretending to forget the chore, ten minutes of ignoring you, six minutes of whining about it and then four minutes to actually make the bed, then they have twenty-six minutes of free time!
What if they arranged their life so they could spend more free time for fun? Any kid would love that.  I know my kids did.

   3)  The 80/20 principle saves a lot of time.

By focusing on the actions that make the biggest difference, you can save a tremendous amount of time.  I just showed you the logic of your kid’s doing their chores efficiently and that’s valuable for life’s chores.  We all have them and there are even more as adults.

Now, take all the aspects of your kid’s day and show her that the same principle applies.

Doing homework quickly and efficiently leaves more down time to unwind before bedtime. Approaching homework in an efficient way pays off, too.  For younger kids,  just teaching them to tie into it and get it finished is the point but for older kids, learning the most efficient way to do it is the key.  As they get older, school gets more and more demanding.  They will be expected to do more on their own; more reading, more understanding what they read and more work done outside of class. Balancing time is key to success.
Understanding that out of a five hour study time for a test, you are probably only really retaining information for one hour of that time.  After that you are drifting away from the subject, checking your phone, going for a coffee, looking at Facebook and thinking of other things.  So it makes more sense to spend the one hour in  study and balance out other activities in between.  You literally reset your Pareto clock by changing what you’re doing.

It might look like this:

One hour studying for math final
1/2 hour writing a paper for English
20 minute work out

One hour studying for math final
20 minutes for a meal

One hour writing out note cards with study points for math final
1/2 hour running an errand

Studying note cards for math final while waiting in line doing errands

This breaking up your study time will re-set your Pareto clock and make those shorter study times much more efficient.  It’s a good method for optimizing your study plan and making those minutes true brain time.

   4)  Ask your child the important questions, using the 80/20 principle.

Then, he’ll have enough information to make a huge change in his life.  You know what makes him happy, who makes him happy, and what creates 1/2 of his success.  You and he also know which things and people are obstacles to his happiness


   5)  Begin to apply the principle to your child’s life.

What are you trying to get your child to accomplish?  Let’s imagine that you are the Home Manager and want to apply the Pareto Principle.


  • 20% of your family does 80% of the work.  That could be distributed more fairly.
  • 20% of your family cause 80% of the issues and time wasting.  It could be time to schedule their time a bit better.
  • 20% of your actions provide 80% of your free time.  Cater to those actions.
  • 20% of the actions you take provide 80% of the value you’re creating in your home. Spend more time on that 20%.


The 80/20 principle can be applied to any part of your family’s life.  Your kids can save a tremendous amount of time, get more accomplished, and have more time for the fun stuff.  Make sure that your child learns to spend her time on the activities that can create the biggest impact in her life.

Download my free printable right now to use with your kid!   Apply the Pareto Principle today! Go to the Free Downloads section of my store and download it now.  Send me a pic of you and your child using the Pareto Principle to my Facebook page.



Printable form on the table with a pen, pencil and a candy bar with a bite taken out

About the Author Angie J. Hernandez, C.Ht.

A graduate of the Hypnosis Motivation Institute, Angie J. Hernandez, C.Ht., has her private practice in Milford, Indiana. She is certified in hypnotherapy by the Hypnotherapist's Union Local 472. Angie is the author of "Weight Loss Epiphany: The Workbook" and "The Pretty & Smart Planner. You can find out more about Angie and how to schedule private sessions by calling (574) 658-4686.

follow me on:

Leave a Comment: