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Organising for children

Organising children early in their lives and getting them involved in home organisation can set them up for success in later life.

How can you help your children to understand organising and what are the benefits?

Routines = time management

  • Having structure such as a bedtime routine will help a child to know and anticipate next steps. Routines also help with establishing rhythm which can be useful as a teen in trying to implement and maintain a homework schedule or later at work when managing time and competing priorities.

Photos of two lists of chores for kids including: make bed every morning; strip bed on Saturday; help unpack dishwasher; put dirty dishes in dishwasher; unpack school bag and lunch boxes every day; wipe table after eating; help with dusting and vacuuming. Photo of morning routine for kids.

Chores = independence

  • Helping with household chores promotes independence and respect. Even from a young age children can help by: taking plates and cups to the kitchen bench; making their bed (albeit imperfectly); packing away toys, games and books; watering plants; and putting rubbish in the bin. As children grow older (and taller) they are able to help more and become part of maintaining the home. Contributing in this way to housework will help children to understand gender equity and respect for those who do things for you. Children learn to appreciate and respect the work in maintaining a home, understand personal drive and work ethic and will hopefully become fully independent and capable teens and young adults.

  • I personally don't believe in paying my children to help with housework because in our home it is what you do when you are a member of our family.

Three money jars labelled saving, spending and charity

Pocket money = financial management

  • As I mentioned earlier I don't believe in paying for children to undertake housework. My children have received a weekly allowance of half their age since they started school eg. my 8 year old receives $4/week.

  • The money is divided into 3 categories – spending, saving and charity – (spending receives the greatest share if the division is unequal). The children have been learning the value of money and that in order to buy something they need to have that money in their spendings jars. The savings is deposited into their trust bank account for later use. So far, the money in the charity jars has been used to buy books for the school library and donations to World Vision.

A photo of shelves in a playroom with kids games

Fewer toys = respect and appreciation

  • Teaching children to have respect for their belongings should begin as soon as they can walk by showing them responsibility for putting things away so they don't get lost or broken. When children have age appropriate storage solutions they are more likely to find the toy or game they want. Children are also more likely to put their belongings away when they have a designated home and it is easy to reach.

  • With too much clutter children may become confused and unable to focus. With fewer toys they can spend more time being creative and imaginative and may play more peacefully.

  • The trick to having fewer toys is to make intentional purchases rather than shopping on impulse. Collections are great for kids but they don't need to collect all the collections.

  • If you tend to acquire many toys and games as presents and have some room to store surplus items it is worth establishing a toy rotation. Bring out new toys as others become less interesting and as children reach new age groups and discover new interests.

  • We are lucky enough to have a playroom so we don't have toys in the children's bedroom but we do have bookshelves with plenty of diverse reading materials!!

  • When the focus is less on owning belongings you can start focusing on experiences. Instead of buying the newest toy or game try a family trip to the zoo or a local attraction. Family time is a win for everyone.

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