Helping Children Learn Organization

Amanda ColeSaints BlogLeave a Comment

While some children are naturally gifted at being organized, most of them have to learn to become organized. Teaching organization to a younger child can be tricky! With a few simple steps, children can learn to develop organizational skills that will serve them for life.

Develop Strong Routines

Children thrive from routines at home and school. When children know what to expect, and what time things need to happen, they naturally begin to develop the ability to think ahead and be prepared. Routines have the added benefit of helping children feel secure.

Assign Reasonable Tasks

Asking children to complete tasks will only be successful if the tasks are things they are capable of doing. Children need to feel successful in task completion. Why should they try if they know they will always fail? Gradually increase the complexity of tasks, allowing them to successfully complete goals as they go. Also, make sure that you don’t assign a task to your child that you aren’t ok with them doing in child form. If you give your child a task, you need to expect that it will be done in a way that is at a child’s level. Giving them complicated tasks makes you frustrated, and will frustrate your child. It’s the journey, not the destination!

Break Things Into Chunks

Giving your child multiple steps to do can be too much. They will never remember to do 8 steps at a time. Breaking things into chunks helps teach them a beginning, middle, and end. Instead of saying “Please scrape the leftover food off of the plates into the garbage, rinse the plates, put them in the dishwasher, sweep the floor, and wipe the cabinets,” try saying “Your first step will be to scrape the food off of the plates into the garbage.” When that is complete, guide them to the next step.

Utilize Checklists

Help your child by making checklists or to-do lists. Don’t overwhelm them with checklists – remember to break it into simple, attainable steps.

Use Color Coding

Color coding school folders, papers, and sticky notes can help your child more easily group their belongings together. You can also use color coding around your house. If each child has their own designated colors for water bottles, toothbrushes, and other needed items, children can more quickly sort items and ensure that they have the correct materials.

Check the Backpack Every Day

Ahh, the trusty backpack…a wonderful tool for ease of transport. It’s also a wonderful place for important items to go to die. Check your child’s backpack every day! Seeing notes from teachers, checking homework, and making sure that there aren’t yucky old snacks hidden in there will make everyone’s life easier!

Review the Next Day

As your child winds down for the day, take a moment to go over upcoming events for the next day. These simple conversations can help your child mentally prepare for a positive day, and can help jog their memories the next day as well. Remember, children find comfort in routine and structure. Providing them with a head’s up can truly help!

Communicate Effectively

Positive communication can help your child be organized. Speak in close proximity to your child, with eye contact. Share information in small, understandable chunks. Be clear about expectations. Speak with a positive, encouraging tone. If organizing your child always leads to unhappiness and fights, why would they want to ever try?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *