How to Help Your Child Stay Organized
We begin the school year with fresh notebooks and clean lunch boxes. Everyone wakes up early in anticipation. We try to start the year off on the right track before the familiar patterns slowly start to appear.
The kids are going to sleep way past bedtime, waking up with just a few moments to spare. Notebooks are left in school and sometimes food inside lunch boxes until the following day! Nights spent struggling over homework for hours, studying for tests left for the last minute, assignments forgotten … it feels as if we are going backwards instead of forward.
Instead of just accepting that this is the way our home is meant to be, let us think about reachable goals that we can work on. When we create a plan, we can do away with unnecessary failures and strive to help our children feel and be more successful.
If you want to be followed, ask for clear possible actions. If you want your kids to follow your rules and stay on track, build them the system to work with first then ask them to follow it. For example, if you want them to put their clothes and books in place, create the place first and make sure they understand where to put each piece, where each book belongs and so on. Then if they misplaced something, you help them get back on track.
If you want them to understand and feel the importance of time, you have to be a good example first. Teach them about time and how it is important, then ask them to be on time.
You don’t only want your children to follow your rules, you also want to help them become independent.
When children feel as if they are gaining skills and becoming self-sufficient, they grow more confident in their abilities. You will watch their self-esteem take off. Each year, every child should be able to point with pride to a newfound skill or added responsibility that comes with age.
We can help our children grow independent by:
Teaching them to pick out their clothing, dress themselves as they grow older, tie their own shoes, pack school snacks, make lunches the night before, set their own alarm clocks instead of waking them up, and having them put away their books and organize themselves.
Allow young ones to complete puzzles and feed themselves on their own; and as they grow to do homework and projects themselves. It is much healthier to tell a child that you will check his work when it is done rather than sitting beside him and correcting the answers as he goes along. Book reports and science projects should not be parent’s homework.
Have your child help around the house and gain responsibilities instead of waiting to be served. Some chores children can help with are putting away laundry, setting and clearing the table, helping to serve guests, cooking and keeping their room in order.
Set times and rules for using electronic games and social media before allowing them to use it. They have to know when to stop.
Let them join an organizational skill development workshop in the summer; sometimes it’s better to learn in groups!
Organized Kids workshop: Active Minds