At a recent local area Home Show, a fellow organizer and I played an organizing game with some of the children who stopped by our booth with their parents. The object: to sort out a jumbled mess of office supplies and fit them into a compartmentalized tray. The kids had a timed minute to complete the task and then received a prize.
What the kids learned: When organizing (or tidying up) is a game, it can get done Well, Quickly and with a bit of FUN (a la Mary Poppins)
What the parents learned: Kids can organize and tidy pretty quickly when they want to and are motivated.
What I learned: It's not easy for a parent to watch a child try and do a task without "helping", criticizing or correcting before the time is complete.
It is to this adult challenge that I would like to speak. that I'd like to offer some tips for parents to help their children become organized adults.
1. Promote organizing skills.
2. Make sure they have the necessary tools.
3. Give them a chance to do it on their own.
An infant needs help for everything, a toddler wants to start doing things on their own, a pre-teen's hormones make them see things differently. Each developmental stage our children go through is a also a developmental stage for us as parents. We are challenged to learn how much autonomy we should give at each stage. A good rule of thumb is: if there's no harm in trying on their own, let them try.
Organizing is a life skill that can support your child at every stage of their life for the rest of their life. Give them that gift.