The world loves to rib the hyper-organized and fastidiously neat, but the truth is that life is easier when you possess a healthy helping of organizational skills. The Monica Gellars, Felix Ungers, and yes, even the Sheldon Coopers who walk among us may have to endure some gentle jibing, but deep down inside, everyone longs to have their knack for having a place for everything and keeping everything in its place.
Thankfully, no matter how neurotically neat or cloistered-in-clutter you may be, you can take steps to ensure that your children learn the value of being organized.
If you want your child to adopt organizational skills, you are going to have to demonstrate them–no matter how much this pains you. No one expects you to label your kitchen cupboards or arrange your underwear by color, but you will have to model the behaviors that you would like your children to exhibit.
You may pride yourself on being a fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants free spirit, but the fact remains that children thrive when they have the predictability of a routine. Not only will a routine enable the family to better manage its time and fulfill its commitments, but it also relieves stress.
Make sure that you establish a regular time for meals, chores, homework, and sleep. Scholastic also recommends adhering to a “study hour” even when your child does not have homework, having them read, review notes, or do a crossword puzzle, instead.
If you’ve become accustomed to operating solely on brain power without the assistance of a planner, a to-do list, or a calendar, you have likely missed a lot of appointments. Life is far too busy to operate without some organizational tools.
By introducing checklists like Things to Pack for Camp, School Supplies Needed, or Books I’d Like to Read, you are teaching your child the value of being organized. When they are older, “5 Ways to Teach Your Children About Organization” recommends letting your child pick their own planner and teaching them how to use it as this ability to plan and schedule will be serve them well in higher education and adulthood.
No amount of organizational skills can cram 30 square feet of stuff into a 20 square foot space. In order to prevent your “things” from taking over your living space and, subsequently, your life, it is important to learn how to purge. And the earlier this skill is honed, the better.
Good Housekeeping‘s “How to Teach Your Kids to be Organized” recommends the A-B-C-D Method. “A” toys are favorites that a child plays with as often as they brush their teeth. “B” toys are played with about as often as they go to the supermarket with you. “C” toys are only played with occasionally. And “D” toys are rarely played with and, therefore, are to be donated. By sorting and storing toys according to priority, it will not only make for a tidier living space, but it will also teach your children the importance of giving to others.
By teaching your children to embrace their inner Monica, Felix, or Sheldon, you will be granting them a lifelong gift. And set them on the neat and tidy road to success and happiness.
How did you teach your children organizational skills?
Kimberley Laws is a regular contributor to HowDoYou.com and the author of two blogs, The Embiggens Project and Searching for Barry Weiss. A "Jill of all trades," she is a High School English Teacher and Certified Career Counselor with a background in makeup artistry, retail banking, and graphic design. She is also a scrapbooking, PEZ-collecting, car enthusiast who loves travelling and New York City.
Sep 25, 2013 1
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