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Make Life Easier for You and the Kids

Your Family magazineTake the pressure off yourself by equipping kids with the skills they need to be organised and independent. Being organised keeps stress to a minimum (yours as well as theirs!), and develops self-control and self-reliance

My son went off to school this morning with a huge bag of cricket gear, a lunchbox and water bottle, a recorder and a music book and a large backpack. In it was his completed homework, R2 for charity collection, a signed homework diary, a signed reading list, a class reading book and a library book. Getting that lot together was quite some effort, and we’re 95 percent sure that’s everything he needs for an ordinary Wednesday in Grade 3.

Our kids’ lives are so full that it’s hardly any wonder they have trouble organising themselves, their time and their stuff. Often, they need our help. That doesn’t mean we must do it for them, though it often would be easier than supervising the process.

But if mom takes over responsibility, packs the bags, drives to school with forgotten lunches and so on, the child doesn’t get the chance to do it himself, or to experience the good and bad consequences of his actions. He doesn’t feel the sense of pride that comes with independence and self-directed success.

Encouraging kids and giving them the chance to do things for themselves – at an age-appropriate level of course – helps them to build skills,independence and confidence.But the ‘sink or swim’ approach won’t help a child who really does not knowhow to organise himself.

Nagging and punishment are not going to helpeither. He needs real skills and the chance to practise them. As parents, we provide stability and routine, which is the basis of organisation. We create an environment that is conducive to organisation, put in good systems, and, most importantly, assist them in developing skills so that they can help themselves. Remember, repetition builds skills and creates habits. Don’t expect instant results,but know that persistence will pay off in the longer term.

Being organised keeps stress to a minimum (yours as well as theirs!), and develops self-control and selfreliance. It sets your kids up for success. Here are some tips and ideas.


  • Keep a Routine: Kids who have a regular routine of homework sessions, playtime, family meal times and bedtimes are well-rested, calm and off to a good start as far as organisation goes.
  • Communicate your Expectations: Be clear about what your child needs to take responsibility for in terms of himself and his belongings. Let him know that you believe he is old enough and capable of being in charge of these areas of his life. This can be a loving and empowering lesson. 
  • Manage the Space: Your child needs a place to do his homework, whether it’s a desk or just a corner of the kitchen table, and a quiet environment. No TV or noisy siblings. 
  • Have everything at hand: a basic stationery kit, a dictionary etc, so he won’t be hopping up and down fetching things.
  • Pack the night before: It seems like an annoyance after a long day, but teach them to get sports equipment, uniforms, tuck money and so on ready the night before. They should also pack all homework books into their bag.

more... Getting Organised / Organise the Stuff / Organise Study Time

Your family magazineArticle reproduced with permission from Your Family.
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