Ok, time to go,” you say cheerfully to your child. Then, you look down and realize your child still doesn’t have their shoes on. You sigh and crouch down to wrestle your child’s feet into their shoes.
It never fails!
Something’s always missing before you can leave the house. Your perfectly executed morning is now lost since you’re 2 minutes late for school. Sure, in the grand scheme of things it’s no big deal, but this everyday struggle can make you weary.
How can you get more organized? More specifically, how can you get your child to help you more? Here are 5 helpful strategies for keeping your child’s day organized:
1. Use a Chart
Charts can be used to help children navigate routines. Even the youngest children can use a chart if images are used instead of words. For example, you might put 2 charts up in your child’s room, one for the morning and one for the evening.
The morning chart might include things like: get dressed, eat breakfast, brush teeth, get backpack ready and put shoes on. Laminate the chart and then have your child use a whiteboard marker to check off each item as they move through the tasks. Then, erase it at the end of the day so that they can use it again in the morning.
2. Be Consistent
As much as possible, try to keep the same routine and follow through on rules. This will help your child know exactly what to expect and when. For example, always allow your child to have free time after school for one hour. Or, always read one book before bed.
If you do use charts with your child, point to them frequently and consistently. This will help your child learn to use them independently. Soon, they won’t need a chart at all!
Consistency helps your child predict what’s coming next and get ready for that task or activity.
3. Organized Spaces
Shoes strewn about the room make them hard to find. Help your child stay organized by providing cubbies, hooks, shelves and drawers for keeping their items. Assign every item a “home” and encourage your child to place items like their backpack, shoes and jacket in their “home” each day.
Also, create a special homework space where your child can keep notebooks, pencils, erasers and other supplies together. This will help eliminate time spent looking for supplies and increase productivity.
4. Prevent Breakdowns
Does your child lose it when they’re too tired? Or perhaps they get grouchy when they’re hungry? Plan your child’s day aiming to prevent breakdowns as much as possible.
For example, offer your child a snack when they get home from school. You could even keep a basket of fruit such as apples and oranges always available as a default healthy after school snack.
5. Get Help
Struggling to make it all happen? Even superhero parents who seem to have everything together need help now and then. Sign your child up for sports and afterschool activities to meet their needs for exercise, social interaction, academic support, and childcare. UrbanCircle is full of options for quality care and activities for your child. Raising a child requires a village of helpers who care for your child alongside their parents.
With these tips, your days are sure to run smoothly! Well, except for the days everything goes wrong anyway. Any parent knows there are always some days that are just tough to get through. On the bright side, with good planning and an organized day, you can make sure those harder days are few and far between.