A. Rey of Hope
unaddressed, socks can invade our homes like unseen bands of ninjas,
slipping in through crevices and then, suddenly, you are surrounded.
Socks! Who has time for these pesky garments and their management? The dilemmas of whose are whose, what matches what, holes in the toes and the search and rescue mission embarked upon daily to discover why and where the 'other' sock has gotten to can drive a person mad! Or, right to the nearest department store where, in desperation, they just give up and purchase more. (..and more....and more...)
Yes, socks can present a challenge, but adding countless more to the fray only ensures that you are forever outnumbered.
Stay ahead of the game by employing organizing strategies and tools designed specifically to keep these sneaky rascals in line!
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.
So many early learning toys are geared toward one of the most basic organizing tools - sorting. Children learn to sort by color, shape and size sometimes before they can even walk or talk! As parents, if we recognize that these are actually life skills, we can be aware of them as our children grow and remind them that they have these skills as they meet new challenges.
2. Make sure they have the necessary tools.
Children can't be expected to put things away if they don't have an environment set up that makes clean up clear and easy. Organizing tools for kids range from toy bins to reachable clothing hangers to timers that can be set for a round of "Beat the Clock" organizing!
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.