Teach­ing your kids to be OR­GAN­ISED

Daily Mirror (Sri Lanka) - - LIFE -

If it's not in my calendar, then it never hap­pened or will hap­pen! With such a busy house­hold to run, as un­flat­ter­ing bor­ing as it sounds, Sun­day evening de­mands that I sit for a few min­utes, trusty or­gan­iser in hand, go­ing through what to ex­pect for the up­com­ing week. From not­ing down play prac­tices, to mid­week birth­day par­ties to trips to the den­tist, I am com­pelled to be or­gan­ised to suc­cess­fully steer the kids through an­other busy week. If I fail to note the time for a par­tic­u­lar class, then the sched­uled events for the day crum­ble like a pack of cards leav­ing a dis­ap­pointed child in its midst. A part of me rebels at the need for me to be so bor­ingly or­gan­ised, how ex­cit­ing to be­gin a day and see where the day takes us. But of course I have chil­dren to raise and those fan­ci­ful ideas are for the young and care­free.

But in hind­sight, I do have a house full of teenagers and two lit­tle misses, who are 9 and 6 and prac­ti­cally adults ac­cord­ing to them, so why can't they or­gan­ise them­selves! It's high time that my chil­dren take a vested in­ter­est in or­gan­is­ing their own ac­tiv­i­ties. In fact, by tak­ing that step in help­ing them to be re­spon­si­ble for them­selves, you are teach­ing them life lessons for the fu­ture. Of course it will be an ut­ter fail­ure if you sud­denly an­nounce to your child that to­day you stop be­ing their un­paid sec­re­taries and it is up to them to fig­ure out their day. As kids are, they usu­ally ooze dis­or­gan­i­sa­tion flit­ting from one task to an­other. Keep­ing that in mind teach them the first steps to be­com­ing or­gan­ised.


If they are old enough, get them di­aries, white­boards etc and en­cour­age them to write down the events for the next day. It could be bal­let classes, a class test or some­one's birth­day. Teach them that they are the in­sti­ga­tors and the re­minders for the events for the day. They will feel in con­trol and feel the need to step up to their re­spon­si­bil­i­ties.

Get­ting Started

Teach your chil­dren to gather sup­plies needed, to stop pro­cras­ti­nat­ing and start the project at hand.

Stay­ing focused

Re­mind your child that a task once be­gun needs to done and say­ing no to dis­trac­tions is very im­por­tant.

Get­ting it done

This means that your child will have to com­plete the task, be it a home­work project, clean up, pack it away in the right folder or file. The task is com­pletely fin­ished in this sense.

Once th­ese ba­sic guidelines are es­tab­lished then by ad­her­ing to the fol­low­ing steps, our chil­dren get an in­tro­duc­tion into be­ing or­gan­ised in­di­vid­u­als.

Step 1

Chil­dren learn best from ex­am­ple, by see­ing you run an or­gan­ised house­hold, they feel com­pelled to be sys­tem­atic in their own ac­tiv­i­ties. Also by hav­ing a smoothly run­ning house­hold, chil­dren know what to ex­pect when they get home. Lunch at 1.00pm, din­ner at 7.00pm, home work from 3.00 to 4.00, this en­cour­ages your chil­dren to blend into an or­gan­ised rou­tine.

Step 2

Invest in a diary, calendar or white board for your child. Get them to write out their ac­tiv­i­ties for the week. Use a white­board to write out last minute re­minders, such as re­mem­ber your swim­ming bag. Th­ese last minute no­tices help a child plan their day and is much bet­ter than digging through a pile of hand­outs from school to find out which event is when.

Step 3

Min­imise stress, be pre­pared. Try­ing to do projects at the minute or cram for tests at the umpteenth hour only re­sults in un­nec­es­sary stress. Al­ways re­mind your child of their pend­ing tasks, by re­mind­ing them you are not do­ing the task for them and this will not negate or­gan­i­sa­tional learn­ing.

Step 4

Rope your child into do­ing tasks at home, this gives them the con­fi­dence when they com­plete a task suc­cess­fully and that feel­ing of hap­pi­ness flows over and we have happy proud chil­dren. Thus re­mem­ber­ing this feel­ing chil­dren feel com­pelled to take on re­spon­si­bil­ity for their own tasks.

Ob­vi­ously some chil­dren are born or­gan­is­ers, then this exercise will be an easy one to in­still in them. But of course there are the day­dream­ers, the time wasters who we will find hard to break in. But this is the time to in­still such qual­i­ties in our chil­dren, for when they are young we can mould their be­hav­iour and set the stage for adult­hood. Live life right, get or­gan­ised!

If they are old enough, get them di­aries and white­boards

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