Kids probably aren’t the first demographic you think of when you hear the words “neat” and “tidy” – but that still doesn’t mean that you and your kids must accept chaotic mess as a daily reality! The stress of living in a disorderly family home can have hugely detrimental effects on a child’s development, not to mention your sanity as a parent: and since it’s entirely possible to rear conscientious and tidy little people, why not start now?
Since it can be difficult to know which strategies to implement to best encourage your child to unlock their organizational skills, we’ve gathered the best tips on how to start for you below. Just keep reading!
Treat them like little adults
When it comes to learning new activities, kids love being spoken to like adults. Learning how to organize your own belongings and responsibilities is a critical part of growing up. Lead your kids through importance of organization – first by helping them plan, then assisting them, and finally – letting them organize their things by themselves. By helping your children become enthusiastic about these chores, you are setting them up for good habits in adulthood.
Try your best to explain to your kids the reasoning behind organizational activities like tidying up. For example, you might let them know that organized kids do better at school, and that tidying up immediately after mess is created saves significant time in the long-run.
Teach them the essentials of organization
For children, important things to organize include:
-Getting ready for school the night before, including packing lunch
-Making sure that each item (especially clothing) has a place in a drawer or container
-Keeping track of both what you do each day, and what other people need you to do
-Doing your homework at the same time every day
-Time management and prioritization (what's the most important thing on your list, and how much time must you reserve for it?)
Supply them with the right organizational resources
Kids like – and need – tangible reminders for organizational tasks, such as the spring-clean they're supposed to do next Wednesday or the room clean you expect of them daily). Help them eradicate any excuses by making use of checklists, diaries, calendars, and other fun stationery which will allow them to visualize what's left to do.
You might especially consider helping your kids create their own personalized routines for before and after school, which are usually the peak times where parents and children must both be organized. Work with your kids, checking off your list of family duties as well as their individual to-do lists.
Designate them their own “working” space
People with school-age kids will be familiar with the homework struggle. How can you teach your kids to fully focus on their work, rather than do it in front of the television?
One smart solution is to designate one room in the house as the kids’ study room. If you don’t currently have the space for this, consider an add-on or extension room. This kind of separation between the social, familial area of the house and the “focus” area can do wonders for your kids’ study habits into the future.
Lead by example
You may run a fine line when trying to get your kids keen on organization and cleaning. Children watch your reactions to chores – if you don’t look excited about de-cluttering and organizing your space, your child will very soon realize that, in fact, most people don’t enjoy cleaning up. However, if you keep your enthusiasm up, you still have the opportunity to frame organizational tasks and duties with positive associations - so pump up the music and make it a family tradition to dance through your nightly tidy-up!
Harper learned organizational skills from her parents at a very young age. Her hard work paid off – with her organizational skills coming in very handy in her professional life for scheduling, managing work, and meeting deadlines. And this all began with a pink paper planner her Mum handmade for her while she was in primary school. To know more about Harper and read more of her written works, visit Harper Reid.