Organization means different things to different people, even within families. Getting organized can mean a household in which everyone pitches in to complete chores, it can mean finding time for complex school projects, or it can refer to juggling complex family schedules. Teaching kids the skills to plan future events, manage homework and activities, and complete responsibilities, and well serve them into high school and beyond.
- Start using a family calendar to write down everyone’s commitments and responsibilities so that the whole family can keep track of who is going where and when. A family whiteboard can also be a useful method of keeping track of commitments.
- Encourage your older child to use a personal planner. Track homework and big projects that have long term deadlines. Talk about how to break up big projects into small pieces so that deadlines are not melodramatic events. Check planners together every night.
- Expect your teens to play an active role in keeping your family organized, from doing their chores to giving you advance notice when they need your help, money, or permission to participate in an activity, and so on. When they fail to be organize, let them deal with their own consequences.
- Modeling organized behavior is also important—if your child see that you consistently forget to pay your bills on time or are constantly losing your car keys, it will be difficult to convince them that organization is important to you and your family. Set a good example for your child by using the tools available to you to stay organized and on-track.
Teaching your children to stay organized can be a difficult task—especially if you’re starting late. But through practice and patience, you can impart a very valuable life skill on your children that will help them be successful throughout the rest of their lives.