Create Order Out of Disorder 10 Tips to Help Your Child Get Organized
Your child is about to go out the door to school when they cry out, “Wait a minute, I have a form for you to sign. It’s in my backpack!” Parents, have you gotten that message home from the teacher, “Your child forgets to do their homework and they can’t keep their assignments organized!”
What do you do now? Your first instinct may be to raise your voice to them or worse yet, deny them privileges such as play time or computer time? Before you go off the deep end, parents, here are 10 TIPS to help you, help your child, get organized at home or at school:
- Go through your child’s backpack every evening with them so they, and you, are aware of what needs to be done.
- Provide your child with a list of necessary materials for homework, especially if they can not remember your verbal reminders.
- Provide storage space for materials your child is NOT using at any time and have them put out only the necessary items needed at that time.
- Parents, act as a model for being organized and prepared for specific activities.
- Have your child establish a routine schedule to follow (e.g. what activities are next, determine what materials are necessary for an activity, collect materials).
- Provide an organizer for materials a child is going to need.
- Provide your child with a SCHEDULE of events so they know exactly what and how much there is to do in their day.
- Develop a monthly calendar to keep track of important events, due dates, assignments, projects.
- Give your child one task to perform at a time and introduce the next task only when your child has successfully completed the previous task in an organized manner.
- Reinforce your child for being organized/prepared for specific activities: give them a tangible reward such as stickers, extra playtime, extended story time with mom or dad, computer time…and don’t go overboard with tangible rewards. Sometimes give your child an intangible reward such as praise, high-five, or a smile.
Above all, make your training consistent and part of every day. It may take a lot of repetition before it sinks in for your child. Don’t let them slack off, not even on weekends.
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