As any parent will know, trying to convince a child to do something, even if it is for their own good, can be difficult as well as frustrating. It is even more difficult if it is something that the child doesn’t enjoy, such as tidying up after themselves and being more organized.
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Instead of simply accepting that kids are naturally messy and tidying up their messes for them, it is much better to guide them towards being more organized. Not only will it make life easier for the parents, but it will also benefit the children in the long-run.
Although shouting at children might seem like a good way to get them to clean up after themselves, it is not an effective long-term solution. Unless you want to end up shouting at your kids every time they need to tidy up their surroundings, it is better to teach them how to do it on their own. This might seem impossible at first, but there are some things that can be done to make the process a little easier.
Set A Good Example For Your Children
Kids often look to their parents for the actions and habits they pick up, especially at a young age, so one of the most effective ways to guide them is to set a good example for them to emulate. Children won’t care if they make a mess if the rest of their environment is messy too.
Make sure that you always keep the rest of the house in a clean and neat condition in order to establish that this is supposed to be the norm. Encourage your kids to help you with the cleaning, and guide them while they are doing it to establish good habits.
Make Their Personal Space Special
If their personal space, such as their rooms, is not special to them, kids won’t feel very compelled to keep it neat and organized. To ensure that their rooms feel like their own personal space, make sure that it is filled with furniture and items that the kids enjoy.
By involving your child in the selection process for decor and furniture as well as the colors for their rooms, it automatically becomes more personal to them. This way they can learn to take pride in their personal space and will be more inclined to keep it looking neat.
Show Them The Ropes
Just like setting a good example is important, so is ensuring that you and your kids are on the same page in regards to what actually counts as an organized room. Don’t just assume that kids will share your idea of what a tidy room looks like. Instead, show them what steps they need to take in order to become more organized, and make sure that there is no confusion about what is expected from them. By knowing exactly what to do and what their end goal should be, it will also give kids more confidence in themselves.
For younger kids it is better to break complex tasks down into smaller steps to make them more manageable. This will prevent tasks from being overwhelming to the child. It also helps to make the process of cleaning and organizing fun, so think of games or activities they can play while they are busy. Also remember to stay positive and upbeat so that they don’t associate cleaning with negativity. Finally, be sure to always praise kids when they accomplish their tasks successfully.
Get Them Into A Routine
As children grow older they’ll be able to become better judges of when and where they need to tidy up, but when they are still young it is best to get them into a routine. Let the kids know exactly on what days and at what times they are expected to do certain chores. As they become used to the routine you can gradually increase their responsibilities in and around the house.
You can make this process even more fun for the child through the use of checklists as well as to-do lists. By keeping these lists in a visible place the child will be reminded of what must be done and can tick off tasks as they are accomplished.
Set Aside An Organized Workspace For Your Child
If you want your child to be more organized while doing homework it is useful to set aside a dedicated workspace area. This area should contain all the school supplies needed for the homework so that the child doesn’t have to search for them. Being able to work in an area that is free from clutter can also be beneficial for the concentration and productivity of the child. For younger children it is best if their study space is close to where you are so that you can provide help and assistance if needed.
Encourage the child to always keep the workspace orderly and make sure that this neatness extends to their school backpacks as well.
Teach Your Child To Think Ahead
Sometimes things can come up that interfere with your child’s routine, so teaching them how to cope with such events can help them to stay organized. When any changes occur discuss possible solutions and compromises with the child. By making plans together, you can help the child feel more secure, and it will also encourage them to think ahead, which is essential for being organized.
Enlist The Aid Of Your Child In The Kitchen
Cooking offers a great way for older children to learn to become more organized in a fun manner. It is also a life skill that will be very useful to them when they are grown up. Let your child assist you in the kitchen with tasks such as measuring, sorting ingredients and following the instructions in the recipes. You can even let them help you with the planning as well and create a shopping list of ingredients along with you for the next meal.
Educate Kids About The Value Of Space
Any house has a finite amount of space, which can quickly become filled up with clutter if kids are left to their own devices. Whenever your child wants something new, such as a toy, let them pick something old that can be given away to charity. This way they will learn to understand that there is only a limited amount of space for keeping all the things that they value. The best time to introduce this concept to them is during holidays or birthdays.
Not only will this help keep down the toy count in your house, but your child will learn valuable decision-making skills. Besides, knowing that they would have to get rid of something to make space for a new item will teach kids that they can’t have everything that they want.