My 13-year-old daughter is quite unorganised. Her books are scattered across the house. Her wardrobe is messy. She is never able to find her things in place. The nagging and scolding had left me tired but her organisational skills continued to be poor. When I asked around fellow mothers of teen children, I realised we all were sailing in the same boat.
We have been trying a few ways to teach our kids to become more organised and we have seen some improvement. I hope this helps you too.
Understand Their Reasons
Ask your children why they don’t like to put their things in order. Is it due to a lack of time? Is it due to forgetfulness? Is it due to carelessness? Is it due to a lack of space in the home? Let them figure out the reason and come up with a suitable answer.
Find a Solution
If your children are unorganised due to lack of time, teach them time management through prioritisation and a to-do list. The forgetfulness can be tackled by setting up reminders on the phone. If the reason is carelessness, you will need to become firm with them and reinforce ground rules. Give your children a dedicated space for their things so that they can’t complain about lack of space.
Create a Planner
Help your children make a list of all the activities they have to do in a day. This list should include things they have to organise on a daily, weekly or monthly basis. Put these activities in a paper diary or virtual planner. These days, task management apps are also easy and fun to use. Let them tick each activity as they finish it. This will help to stay organised.
Explain the Implications in Adult Life
Make your child realise that childhood habits, whether good or bad, have far-reaching implications in adult life. If they do not learn to become organised, they will face difficulty when they leave home and will have to shoulder the responsibilities of their home and career. They may miss work deadlines or may not be able to find important documents during emergencies.
Give Them Time to Adapt to the New Routine
Don’t expect miracles to happen overnight. Your children won’t transition from being messy to becoming Marie Kondo in a few days. It will take them weeks to come into a disciplined and organised routine. Be patient with them and yourself.
My daughter is not yet there but I can see bits of transformation happening in her organisational skills.
I hope these tips help you as a parent. Please share your hacks too!