Is your little person feeling meh? Motivate them with these 10 steps.
1. Think manageable chunks
Try to break down each organisational challenge into small, achievable steps. For instance, first, she should find her bag, then check the contents and finally replace any books that are missing.
2. Keep workspaces uncluttered
The more chaotic her surroundings, the less organised she’ll be. A tidy bedroom enables her to find her clothes more easily.
3. Support, don’t criticise
Arguments about tidying up rarely have a long-term effect and will not result in change.
4. Avoid comparisons
Chastising her with comments such as “Why can’t you keep your clothes as neat as your sister does?” won’t help either. Your plea will fall on deaf ears, and she’ll likely start to resent her sibling.
5. Use checklists and wall charts
These help to provide a step-by-step guide to her organisational tasks. Encourage her to look at the checklist each morning when she prepares for school.
6. Give regular reminders
Instead of waiting until she forgets something, remind her when she wakes up that she should check the contents of her school bag. When she gets home after school, ask her about her homework.
7. Start routines
She’ll be more organised when she follows the same routine during the day. That way, she gets used to, say, checking if she has recess money before she leaves the house, or ensuring that she has noted the correct homework assignment.
8. Encourage forward planning
Urge your young one to think ahead. For example, she should consider what she’ll need during the week – for example, a complete art bag with all the materials that she will need on days when the subject is taught, or her recorder on music days.
9. Praise success
There are bound to be good days when she does take down her homework details accurately and packs her bag properly. That’s when you should give her a big hug and let her know you are delighted with her.
10. Set a good example
Let her help you prepare your papers for work the next day, or plan the ingredients that need to be bought for tomorrow’s dinner. She’ll learn from you as you work together on this. Sharing your tasks sets a good example for her to follow.
By Dr. Richard C. Woolfson, Young Parents, March 2017
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