If you have kids, it’s likely you have clutter.  Don’t take it personally, it comes with the territory!

Since kids have so much stuff, many parents believe getting kids to organize it all should be simple. However, it’s not as easy as it seems.  In fact, there may be several reasons why you’re kids are having trouble keeping things orderly around the house.

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5 Mistakes You’re Making

As much as we’d love for children to be born with an owner’s manual or a guidebook,  sometimes parents have to figure things out the hard way. – through mistakes and learning from them. Here are 5 mistakes many parents are making while attempting to get their kids organized.  Are you guilty of committing one of these?

Mistake #1: Believing your kid is naturally organized.  Organizing is not an inherited character or personality trait that a child is automatically born with.  It is a skill that anyone can learn! While there will be some children who are more inclined towards an orderly nature, it doesn’t mean all is lost if your child has messy tendencies.  It just means that you will need to invest the necessary time to work with your child to develop his or her organizing muscle.

Mistake #2: Expecting someone else to teach them to be organized. Many parents falsely believe that their child will learn how to be organized while they’re at school.  That’s what school is for, right? While many teachers do an excellent job of introducing organizational skills to students, it’s almost impossible for teachers to individually teach each child all the necessary organizing skills, especially the ones that affect homelife.  In all honesty, the best teacher and example for your child when it comes to getting organized is you.

Mistake #3: Expecting them to do more than they are capable of doing. Just as a child develops physically and mentally according to their age and ability, they also develop their organizing skills along that same line.  One mistake many parents make is thinking that their child can handle certain organizing tasks when they aren’t quite ready for them. Younger children can easily pick up and put away, sort and declutter, and understand that items have homes, but they can’t use a planner or manage their time.  Be cognizant of what your kid can actually do and build from there.

Mistake #4: Wanting your child to organize just like you. Many organized parents wonder why their children can’t be organized like they are.  That’s because organizing isn’t a one-size-fits-all skill.  In fact, organizing is very individualistic (if there is such a word!) and forcing a child to organize in a way that doesn’t naturally suit him or her can have the opposite effect.  Understanding and implementing your child’s individual organizing style can make a huge difference in your efforts to help them.

**One great resource to help you figure out your child’s organizing style is “Every Child Has a Thinking Style” by Lanna Nakone.  In this book, Nakone looks at how you can recognize and foster your child’s personal organizing style in the areas of paper, time, and space.

Mistake #5:  Being organized isn’t necessary to your child’s overall well-being.  In the large scheme of things, does being organized really matter? Many parents feel that if they, themselves, haven’t suffered too much with a disorganized lifestyle, not teaching it to their kids won’t hurt them either. While it’s true that it’s not an absolute for kids to learn to be organized, it can make a difference in their overall well-being. Having the ability to create order in their lives allows kids to be more productive, happier, and less stressed.

Raising kids isn’t an easy task.  And discovering there’s one more thing you have to add to your parenting to-do list can be disheartening.  But teaching your children the skill of being organized from an early age is one of the best gifts you could ever bestow upon them.  It will take effort, time, and a lot of patience, but it can be done!

Don’t let these 5 mistakes be a stumbling block for you or your children.  The road to an organized lifestyle may be bumpy but learning from your mistakes and continually moving forward will be a great benefit for everyone in the long run.

Are you making any of these 5 mistakes with your child? If so, which ones?

How can identifying these mistakes and changing your thinking make a difference for you and your children?

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