Organized Child - Urban Myth or True Story?

Photo by Big Cheese/Big Cheese Photo / Getty Images

Photo by Big Cheese/Big Cheese Photo / Getty Images

Some kids are organized, some kids are neat, some kids are hot messes, some kids are organized about one thing and hot messes about others, some kids are always on time, some kids wake up at the first sound of an alarm clock, some kids are snooze-a- holics, some kids study, some kids wing it, some kids start a long term project the day they get it, some kids start a long term project the day before its due.  You guys, hell0? Do you see that I can change the words kids to people or us? This is US, this is YOU, this is your SPOUSE, this is ME.  Isn't it amazing that we are so far from perfect but we want our kids to be?  

Organizing & Children:  I feel a series coming on . . . there are so many, many topics for kids/stuff/organizing.  Let's start with this little nugget of neuroscience, what gets fired together gets wired together*.  When we yell, fuss, dominate, scream, shame and blame over chores and tidying up our kids might not be attracted to, want to, be able to, be inspired to do chores or tidying up.  See what got fired together (tidying up, organizing + yelling, shaming, blaming) got wired together (ick, stay away, don't help, unpleasant task, stress, never ending, shame).

I know this from actual experience.  I WAS the mom that let the playroom go and go and get messier and messier and grosser and messier until I had it and then, I am not even joking, I would stand there with a garbage bag and yell at those small children, "I am DONATING EVERYTHING that doesn't get PICKED up NOW!"  Sigh . .. . (right? and I am BOTH an Organizer AND Parent Educator - the universe can be be vindictive and mean).

If we want to lead our children into getting and staying organized we might want to try a few new techniques.  I'm not saying that you can't freak out with a large black garbage bag every now and then.  The parental over-reaction and dramatic dance has it's time, place and usefulness, but as an every day strategy - well, not so much.

Come back next week to learn what to say when you want to help a kid tidy their room (Yes! I will lay out an ACTUAL script).  

*From the fabulous  book - "No-Drama Discipline", Dan Siegel & Tina Payne Bryson.