Sunday, February 5, 2012

Organizational Styles

     Do you wish your child would be more organized?  Do you wish your child would remember where he put his things?  Do you wish your child would get her homework done in a more organized way?  Do you find yourself nagging your child to clean his room, pick up her toys, move his games out of your way, get her homework done, practice his musical instrument?
     Keep in mind that when you criticize your children for not being organized, you may be doing so unfairly.  Ask yourself a few questions: 1) Is my child able to find things when he needs them?; 2) Is my child comfortable in her surroundings? Is my child a . . . child?
     Some people are most organized following the adage, “A place for everything and everything in its place” (Type A) while others are most organized when their papers are in piles, items used every day are visible, and the untrained eye sees their space as a recent tornado scene (Type B).
      Parents, BOTH styles are organized.  A problem arises, however, when a Type A parent has a Type B child or vice versa.  We have to remember that our children do not need to organize in the exact same way we do so long as they can find what they need and are safe.    
      If, however, you would like to try to mold your Type B into a Type A, make sure that you provide appropriate spaces for his “stuff.”  Cubbies, shelves, hooks, and baskets are often acceptable to Type Bs since they allow for everything to be visible.  The Type A parent may be able to adapt to this visibility since everything now has a place. 
        If you would like to try to mold your Type A into a Type B in your image, however, that might be a little more difficult.  I remember a parent telling me of a three-year-old who chased after her with her shoes to inform her that they had not been put away where they belonged.   
        Whatever your organizational style, just remember that organization does have to be taught.  It is not something that children are born knowing.  Often, they will copy your style, but sometimes they will develop their very own.  Try to be patient and enjoy the ride.

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