Starting off on the Right Foot: Teaching Your Child How to Stay Organized

The human mind responds to order, so lay the foundation for good habits now.

It’s getting harder and harder in this complicated world to stay on top of the details. When you are a kid, it’s so easy to be bowled over by the demand of objects, activities, relationships, and school. Frankly, it only gets worse as an adult.

So how do we help our kids maintain a feeling of order? We give them tools, that’s how. Set them up with the basic principles of automation, especially if you don’t do these things out of habit yourself. As a family, it’s crucial you coordinate and get this skill down. Here are some easy ways to make it happen.

  1. Write it down. Even if you use a device and online calendars, nothing quite replaces the whiteboard method. Post it somewhere everyone can see, and coordinate dates and priorities.
  1. Assign chores that require forethought. Getting into the habit of organizing needs to start small. Kids can sort recycling, fold and put away laundry, help with shopping and shopping lists, or any other daily or weekly tasks that require planning.
  1. Contain. When they are young, group like toys and possessions into containers. Whenever they play, they also put away.
  1. Dedicated homework spot. Start off good study habits by creating a little personal think-tank for your children. It can be as simple as a desk or as elaborate as the whole space under a bunk bed. The idea being the environment lends itself to concentration.
  1. Encourage bursts of focused productivity. Kids need to get their wiggles out and that is also true of teens. Teach them how to use pointed concentration for reasonable intervals of time. Trying to sit in the chair for too long will actually hurt productivity.
  1. Rewards. By creating goals and meeting them, kids can learn about the value of ongoing effort. Rewards should center on doing things like going to see a show, rather than objects like toys or food.
  1. Progress mindset. Place the emphasis on the headway, not the product. Many studies have been conducted about the subtle but important distinction of seeing effort as a long-term continuum; with this in mind, kids perform better.

You might not be the most organized parent in the world (who is?) but your kids certainly stand to benefit from guidance in this department. Avoid a negative perfectionist attitude; as long as the kids get it mostly right, they are more likely to get it very right as adults.



About Susie Almaneih

Susie Almaneih spent several years during her young adulthood teaching children dance at her church group, as well as other cultural-based activities. Susie now spends as much time as she can giving back to the families in her community. Over the years, this love for community has evolved into a deeper love for delivering positive and creative content and awareness to families of all ages.

Leave a Reply