It’s inevitable – you will get your kids ready for back to school and sure enough, within a month they cannot find their calculator or their binder or their paperwork for that big assignment due in a couple of days. Every parent goes through this process at least once while their kids are in school and it can be a struggle to keep calm while helping them look for something yet again.
There are ways to ensure that your kid not only gets organized for school but stays organized for the entirely of the school year! How do you achieve such a phenomenal feat? Well, let’s break it down and find out!
Stop the Nagging
The more you nag a kid to do something, the more frustrated they become, allowing them to dig their heels in even more just to prove a point. The first thing to do is to stop the nagging when it comes to your kid’s school supplies and homework. Allow them to set the time and place them want to complete their projects (within reason) and reinforce good behaviours with rewards. If they complete that assignment on time, then offer them a night of picking what is watched on TV. They managed to keep their paperwork sorted and desk cleaned off? Then allow them to choose a restaurant for a special meal out.
Offer positive reinforcement over constant nagging and express how proud you are of them to be keeping all their school supplies not only in order but also in good condition. This positive reinforcement should come across as genuine and not forced.
If your kid has issues with keeping their school supplies and work organized, then offer tools to get the job done easier rather than making them feel even more upset about it. Set up their desk or workstation with mesh organizers for papers, writing utensils, and other instruments needed to succeed in school. These organizers can be decorated with stencils, names and stickers to allow your kid to showcase their creative side and make organizing fun.
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Instead of saying the typical statements to your kids such as “please pack your backpack for tomorrow” and “did you complete that assignment yet?” ask them in ways that encourage them to discuss things with you. Try using saying something along the lines of “I bet you can’t pack your backpack within five minutes”, making it a game for them or saying “are you learning anything interested from that assignment? I can’t wait to see what you discover from it!” These creative ways of saying the same words you would always use is one way to not only organize your kids in terms of their schooling but will also show that learning can be fun.
Be Organized Yourself
If you are going to teach your kid to be more organized, then you have to practice what you preach. Set up checklists and timelines for certain tasks, such as packing their lunch for the next day and encourage your kid to help you with the process. Set a designated time for homework completion but use positive rewards to entice your kids to complete their assignments within the allotted time frame. Maybe allow them a half an hour of TV or allow them to play their video games once their homework is completely done and checked over.
Double-check with their teachers for upcoming assignments, concerts and projects and make note of them on a calendar. Set up a separate calendar just for them and allow them to decorate it any way they want!
This tactic might not work on older kids but you can then use incentives such as allowing them to borrow your car on the weekend or pay for them to participate in an activity with friends, such as going to a movie or out for a bite to eat.
Just because the school year has started, it doesn’t mean that you have to start the same old struggle with organizing your kids. A few pointers, a couple tips and some hefty doses of willpower will have you sailing smoothly through the school year in no time!