Teach Your Child How to be Organized
None of us are born to be organized. It is a life skill that we all must learn and practice.
Teaching your kids how to be organized will take some work and patience on your part, especially if you like to get things done fast and efficiently. Keep in mind kids need space to learn and learn from mistakes.
Below are strategies for teaching kids organizational skills you can start today.
Create A Calendar
Keep order in the house and have children be part of the process by creating an age appropriate calendar. Include things like:
- School schedule (gym, library, projects, etc.)
- Sports & activities schedule
- Events & birthdays & parties
If you have young children, use stickers or graphics to help them understand what happens what day and how to plan ahead.
Make a Schedule or Checklist
For kids who struggle with time management, create a schedule or checklist that they can refer to and stay on task. Post in a clear space so less time is spent opening a drawer or notebook to find a piece of paper.
For example your schedule can look like:
- 7:00 - 7:30 - Get up, eat breakfast, brush teeth & get dressed
- 7:30 - 7:45 - Pack backpack with homework, lunch, gym clothes
- 7:45 - 8:00 - Shoes on, coat on, head out to bus
- 8:05 Bus comes
Our kids both play lacrosse and have lots to remember for practice. We post a checklist outside by their gear so they can run through their bag and make sure they have everything. It saves us from mentally going through the list and keeps them accountable. Their lacrosse list looks like:
- Water bottle
Routine is King
We all do best when there is a sense of routine to the day. It is what helps us anticipate what is next and to manage our time throughout the day. This is especially true when nurturing your child's organizational skills.
Work with your child to establish a routine for the morning, after school and on weekend mornings.
If kids know upon coming home that they need to wash up, put away backpacks or do homework, there will be less to fight about.
Establishing and Managing Chores
Just as going to work is a fact of life, so are chores for children. Studies show that kids who do chores at a young age are more likely to be successful as they grow up.
Establishing a set of age-appropriate chores for children helps them understand the value of working and of taking pride in a job well done.
Wondering what is is an age appropriate chore for your 5 year old? This list offers age appropriate chores for kids 2 - 18 years old.
Keep in mind doing chores is not something children innately know how to do. You will need to take the time to teach them techniques and be patient as they take much longer to do it than you would.
Get Organized to Stay Organized
Teaching kids how to be organized likely will start with you. This doesn't mean every room in your house has to be perfect. But it does mean that the area you are putting your child in charge of staying organized has to be one that can be maintained by them.
- Have a place for everything and everything in its place. Clearly marked and labeled containers and organizers are a great place to start.
- Designate a homework station with pencils, adequate lighting and space to spread out is one way to practice organization.
- Pick out outfits for the week ahead with the help of The Hanger Valet.
- Pack lunches the night before.
Rewards as a payday
Don’t forget to reward your child for their efforts and achievements. Recognizing kids for their work and perseverance builds confidence and esteem.
If their “work” is to help stay organized and prepared, then it is within reason the should be “paid” for their efforts.
Paying children for their contribution also lays the foundation for appreciating and managing money in the future.