Growing children may look and even act mature, but they will not yet have the planning skills you might wish for more often than not. They may need some help to keep their world organized.
Here are some tips to help your children build the skills they will need to keep their lives running smoothly:
Decide what is important. Your children may not need to have every aspect of their lives organized, so figure out together what activities or times cause the most stress and make sure routines are set for those.
Does the morning routine always cause stress? Plan this out carefully. Is soccer practice driving everyone crazy? Develop a plan for when the gym bags get packed.
Stick to the routine. Once you make plans, be sure to follow them as well as possible. This will help your children understand how routines can keep life running smoothly. Reinforce that connection. Say things like: “We got to practice with no problems today — your morning checklist really worked!”
Reinforce your child's successes. Acknowledge the times when children are able to stay organized, and help them problem-solve when the routine doesn't work.
Stay involved. Once your children get a handle on a routine, they will still need your support. Check in and ask how the routine is working. This will also make it easier for you to help brainstorm problems and solutions if obstacles arise. These are important life lessons.