OOrganizationis a pretty big deal. People who live life in a haphazard kind of way, without really keeping any kind of order in their lives, are routinely in a worse situation than people who have their ducks in a row. It’s difficult to move your life in the direction you want it to go in if you haven’t really got a handle on yourself, your routines, or your lifestyle.
Parents naturally want their kids to succeed in life, and to be as happy as possible with the course of their lives. A large part of ensuring that things work out this way for our children is instilling the right habits in them at an early age.
There’s no need to go overboard here and to try and turn our children’s lives into a mini-boot camp. But there are things we can do to help them become more organized at an early age.
Here are a few suggestions.
Introduce them to age-appropriate games and services for saving and thinking ahead
“Deferred gratification” is a really big deal, with research repeatedly showing that those who are able to defer gratification enjoy more success in all dimensions of life.
Deferred gratification is the art of passing up on an immediate pleasure, for the sake of a longer-term benefit. When you decide not to eat an entire chocolate cake today for the sake of your waistline in a month, you’re deferring gratification.
Various age-appropriate games and services exist to help your child practice deferring gratification. Goalsetter is a service which advertises itself as being the best savings account for kids, as it allows kids to set future financial goals with the help of their parents, and then begin saving accordingly, with the option for adults to contribute via gift cards.
Teach them the importance of good daily habits rather than just one-off positive actions
If your child cleans up their room once, that’s a good thing. But if they habitually take steps on a daily basis to keep their room relatively tidy, rather than waiting until it’s a complete mess to clean, that’s much better.
Good organization is largely a matter of instilling good daily habits, rather than a matter of taking big, dramatic actions from time to time.
Use things like star charts to help motivate your child to practice good daily habits that you want them to keep up with.
Give them a cool notebook or planner and give them some tips on how to use it
Kids will often play dress up as business professions, firefighters, and all the rest, in large part because they’re fascinated by the world of grown-ups and want to emulate their parents and the other adults they see in society.
Giving your kid a cool notebook or planner and giving them some tips on how to use it, can cause them to feel a sense of pride at the idea of being “professional” or “in control” of their lives.
Assuming your child knows the basics of how to read and write, using a notebook or planner can also help them to begin structuring their thoughts and being more organized in general.