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