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Teaching Your Kids to Be Organized

Every parent dreams of a child that neatly puts away its toys after playing with them and maybe helps out with the dishes after dinner. However, that’s rarely the case, especially with very young children. Being organized is a learned behavior, which is why you need to set those expectations from an early age. In this article, we will take a look at how you can help your children to be more organized and help you out without throwing a tantrum. Set clear expectations Young kids don’t understand the concept of cleaning and tidiness. For them, it is not clear why exactly their mum or dad is getting angry at some toys on the ground or a crayon drawing on the wall. Start off by explaining calmly why being clean and tidy is important both for children and adults. Let them know what is expected; it can be tidying their bed every morning, making sure the toys are put away, not making a mess when eating or playing. To make things easier, you can make a planner for them. Draw a fun calendar together and write down which chores they need to do daily and which ones should be done less frequently. For the smaller kids, we recommend doing the calendar together, make it a fun memory, let them draw pictures of the chores, make them feel included in the process. This will make them a lot more enthusiastic about the whole ordeal. Don't get angry Staying calm is very important. As we previously mentioned, young kids don’t understand the necessity of being organized. No matter how frustrating it is or how much time it takes them to make it a habit, don’t get angry and don’t yell. Learning to be organized and cleaning regularly  needs to be a positive experience for your children, so they don’t look at it as something they dread doing. If they associate cleaning and organizing with negative emotions from an early age, they might have problems with it in the future, as well. A lot of experiences and emotions transfer to our adult lives and we may be left wondering what’s wrong with us for years until we finally realise the core of the problem. Just think about it, if your kids have the image of their angry mum every time they have to clean, they are not gonna look forward to it, they will make excuses and postpone forever. Divide the chores into small tasks This is a very useful tactic for all the things we don’t really want to do. Split the big chore into smaller digestible bits so that it doesn’t look that scary in the beginning. For a small child having to clean an entire room can be daunting. So you need to make the whole process easier for them and not as scary. For example, instead of telling your kid “Tidy up your room”, try with - “Tidy your bed”, “Put your toys away”, “Put the dirty clothes in the basket”; etc. It’s good to have a sort of a guide for those tasks that your kid can turn to if needed. Similar to the schedule, you can make those guides with your kid and just position them in an accessible place, such as the back of the door, the wardrobe or the mirror. Once your kid is told to do something, they can easily turn to the guides and complete the chore accordingly. Set an example No child will take on these habits and understand the importance of being organized if they don’t have an example. Meaning, you can’t really expect them to tidy their bed or clean up the dishes if they don’t see you doing it regularly. Of course, there are days and moments where we don’t feel like cleaning or we don’t have the time to do it but you need to be clear that those are just exceptions and should not be the norm. Many times when kids don’t want to do something it’s because they feel upset or they don’t understand why. Sit down and talk with them, offer to help out if needed, whatever gets them to express their frustration and reasons why they don’t want to deal with the task at hand. Make sure all the other family members are also setting a good example. It’s a team effort, not a one-man job! Make it a fun activity A great way for your kid to associate cleaning and organizing with fun times is to combine it with something they like. For example, their favourite music or an audiobook. It’s a tactic that works great with adults, as well. If there is a podcast or a book you really want to listen to, cleaning is the perfect time to do so. You will be physically occupied and it will be easier to concentrate instead of getting distracted and missing the entire point. It’s the same with kids. Ask what their favorite songs are and make a cleaning playlist together. This way, when they have to clean their room, they will immediately associate it with a fun time when they can listen to their favourite tunes. Another thing you can do is try some cleaning games like a treasure hunt that requires kids to tidy a certain section in order to find clues about the treasure; a game of musical chairs, without the chair; and even a wheel of chores where they get to spin the wheel in order to get assigned a task. Conclusion At the end of the day, you’re the one who knows your kids best. Just communicate with them, have patience and remember that you were also once a kid who hated tidying their bed.
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Teaching Your Kids to Be

Organized

Every parent dreams of a child that neatly puts away its toys after playing with them and maybe helps out with the dishes after dinner. However, that’s rarely the case, especially with very young children. Being organized is a learned behavior, which is why you need to set those expectations from an early age. In this article, we will take a look at how you can help your children to be more organized and help you out without throwing a tantrum. Set clear expectations Young kids don’t understand the concept of cleaning and tidiness. For them, it is not clear why exactly their mum or dad is getting angry at some toys on the ground or a crayon drawing on the wall. Start off by explaining calmly why being clean and tidy is important both for children and adults. Let them know what is expected; it can be tidying their bed every morning, making sure the toys are put away, not making a mess when eating or playing. To make things easier, you can make a planner for them. Draw a fun calendar together and write down which chores they need to do daily and which ones should be done less frequently. For the smaller kids, we recommend doing the calendar together, make it a fun memory, let them draw pictures of the chores, make them feel included in the process. This will make them a lot more enthusiastic about the whole ordeal. Don't get angry Staying calm is very important. As we previously mentioned, young kids don’t understand the necessity of being organized. No matter how frustrating it is or how much time it takes them to make it a habit, don’t get angry and don’t yell. Learning to be organized and cleaning regularly needs to be a positive experience for your children, so they don’t look at it as something they dread doing. If they associate cleaning and organizing with negative emotions from an early age, they might have problems with it in the future, as well. A lot of experiences and emotions transfer to our adult lives and we may be left wondering what’s wrong with us for years until we finally realise the core of the problem. Just think about it, if your kids have the image of their angry mum every time they have to clean, they are not gonna look forward to it, they will make excuses and postpone forever. Divide the chores into small tasks This is a very useful tactic for all the things we don’t really want to do. Split the big chore into smaller digestible bits so that it doesn’t look that scary in the beginning. For a small child having to clean an entire room can be daunting. So you need to make the whole process easier for them and not as scary. For example, instead of telling your kid “Tidy up your room”, try with - “Tidy your bed”, “Put your toys away”, “Put the dirty clothes in the basket”; etc. It’s good to have a sort of a guide for those tasks that your kid can turn to if needed. Similar to the schedule, you can make those guides with your kid and just position them in an accessible place, such as the back of the door, the wardrobe or the mirror. Once your kid is told to do something, they can easily turn to the guides and complete the chore accordingly. Set an example No child will take on these habits and understand the importance of being organized if they don’t have an example. Meaning, you can’t really expect them to tidy their bed or clean up the dishes if they don’t see you doing it regularly. Of course, there are days and moments where we don’t feel like cleaning or we don’t have the time to do it but you need to be clear that those are just exceptions and should not be the norm. Many times when kids don’t want to do something it’s because they feel upset or they don’t understand why. Sit down and talk with them, offer to help out if needed, whatever gets them to express their frustration and reasons why they don’t want to deal with the task at hand. Make sure all the other family members are also setting a good example. It’s a team effort, not a one-man job! Make it a fun activity A great way for your kid to associate cleaning and organizing with fun times is to combine it with something they like. For example, their favourite music or an audiobook. It’s a tactic that works great with adults, as well. If there is a podcast or a book you really want to listen to, cleaning is the perfect time to do so. You will be physically occupied and it will be easier to concentrate instead of getting distracted and missing the entire point. It’s the same with kids. Ask what their favorite songs are and make a cleaning playlist together. This way, when they have to clean their room, they will immediately associate it with a fun time when they can listen to their favourite tunes. Another thing you can do is try some cleaning games like a treasure hunt that requires kids to tidy a certain section in order to find clues about the treasure; a game of musical chairs, without the chair; and even a wheel of chores where they get to spin the wheel in order to get assigned a task. Conclusion At the end of the day, you’re the one who knows your kids best. Just communicate with them, have patience and remember that you were also once a kid who hated tidying their bed.
Copyright 1998 - 2021 Get Organized Now!™ 611 Arlington Way, Watertown, WI 53094
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