Teaching Your Child to Organize
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As a child grows, his world expands. At first, the walls of his home confine that world. But within those walls the number of things begins to increase — clothes, shoes, toys, books and so on. As soon as your child can walk, talk and understand you, it’s time to help him learn about being organized.

When he starts school, his world is going to expand beyond home. And that means more things arrive on the scene, such as school papers, projects and things that help children have friends and fun.

Organization is one more thing to teach your child, but the effort will seem worthwhile after you start noticing the benefits.

How do you teach organization? Here are some guidelines:

Provide the necessary tools your child needs to become organized. And     be sure to explain that every person needs organization, regardless of age, personality or interests.

Observe the results of your child’s efforts. She needs to know her tasks will be checked. This also gives you the opportunity to praise her for a job well-done.

Create an organized environment at home that your child will benefit from, such as an arrangement of healthy snacks in the pantry.

Be an example in your responsibilities. Take care of the mail or return phone calls in a timely manner.

Learn about some common mistakes to avoid.

Include your child in the process as much as possible when something needs to be organized. Even though it takes longer to help a child do the work — and even though you may have strong organizational tendencies and want things done the “right” way — your child will benefit from being included.

Notice the way your child prefers to organize things. While one of your children may have been born knowing that everything should be in its place, her sister may be the type who miraculously finds whatever she needs in her overturned room. Both of these are examples of varying approaches to organization.

— Jean Stephens