By Jennifer Chung
Some kids are born with a natural bent for order and routine, some kids are born with a free spirit and need some coaching to find systems to help their lives run more smoothly. Learning organizational skills can help family life run more smoothly and reduce friction when it comes time to do homework or keep their rooms clean. Below you'll find 10 tips to help your kids become more organized and responsible with their time.
1. Track family activities on a family calendar. Post it on the refrigerator for everyone to see. Go over the next day's activities at dinner the night before. Encourage children to consult the calendar before asking if they can add an activity.
2. Use daily checklists to keep track of chores, homework or instrument practice. This tool will also help kids learn to prioritize.
3. Assign chores that involve sorting, like laundry or emptying the dishwasher.
4. Have kids prepare what they are going to wear the night before and lay everything out. This includes packing their back pack for school and making lunches if they take lunch to school.
5. Use plastic containers to organize closets so everything has its own place.
6. Use a folder system to store homework notes and old assignments to make studying for mid-terms or finals easier.
7. Establish a homework routine. Set a time and place that is conducive for studying to help your child create a system that works for him.
8. Include your children when cooking or baking. Have them follow the recipe and use measuring cups to measure out ingredients. Explain why a recipe will fail if the measurements are not accurate.
9. Encourage your child to keep a collection. It could be rocks/gems, stamps or coins. Items that can be sorted and organized or classified are best.
10. Develop a reward system to help your child develop a routine. Be consistent to cultivate steady habits. Kids learn by following their parents' example; the best way to get them to fall in line is to model the behavior you hope to instill in their routines. Establishing a consistent pattern for expectations will encourage them to follow the routine and bring more order to their home and school life. Learning to be organized and manage time is an essential skill for success in school and beyond.
ABOUT JENNIFER CHUNG Jennifer Chung is a parenting expert and co-founder of Kinsights: part parenting community, part online health record. Kinsights provides parents with a safe place to seek answers to their questions while also helping them track their child's health information. Organize your child's growth and developmental milestones, immunizations, medications, allergies, and more. Connect with Kinsights at Kinsights.com to learn more and sign up. You also can follow them on Facebook/kinsights and Twitter (@kinsights).
Distributed by MCT Information Services