Are You Teaching Your Children Organization Skills?
Teaching your children organization skills is one of the most important skills you can teach them. Learning the art of organization is not only vital in helping them succeed and excel in school but will also benefit them later in life to achieve career goals, manage their own household, to prosper financially, and to get the most out of personal and business relationships. The fact that you're taking steps to get your own life in order now means you're forming the greatest teaching tool of all, your own illustration.
It's best to teach your children organization skills at a very early age to pitch in and do their share around the house. Even babies do better in an orderly home that follows somewhat of a routine. Toddlers can learn to pick up their toys at the end of the day and adhere to a schedule. While standing on a chair, little ones can even "help" you do the dishes. You can set the table together. Not only are you teaching your child responsibility and the skills they need to get along in the world, these are also wonderful opportunities to teach things like vocabulary and concepts of space, time, temperature, size, texture, and more.
Other skills they can learn are fine motor coordination and how to take direction and listen. For example, by labeling things in large printed letters, children can begin to learn to read. Silverware can be counted as they put it away.
This means working with the child. A task may take longer at first, but you're not only teaching your children organization skills, you're spending quality time with your child, becoming closer and sharing experiences. Don't expect too much, don't criticize, and don't push. Make it fun. By being inventive and making it fun for your child, you'll have a better time yourself. Provide tools that make it easy for a child to help: a small broom or snow shovel, garden tools that fit a smaller hand, a stool, lower shelves, an apron or smock, and baskets or carts to haul things and put them away.
The older the child, the more they can grow in responsibility. If you have more than one child in your household, give each one chores according to his or her ability. And each child should be responsible to you, not to each other, since this causes friction - and besides, you're the one assigning the chores in the first place.
Have a family meeting to discuss how everybody can pitch in. Make sure everyone knows what's expected and how to do the job. As much as possible, let children choose their own method or process for accomplishing a task. See to it that the proper tools are available and easily reached. Make chores simple and clearly defined. Don't expect a child to work too long or with vague instructions.
When teaching your children organization skills, you have to expect that sometimes your child will resist you and test the system. Stick to the rules, and be consistent. Allow some flexibility, but don't let the system break down. Deal with each instance individually. Be nurturing, but firm. If they don't do a job, don't do it for them. Be willing to follow through, even punishing if necessary.
Finally, teaching your children organization skills early on will make their life, and your life, so much easier in the long run. You'll be so glad you made the effort.
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