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When Should Your Child Start Organizing & Cleaning

Little known secret, it is developmentally appropriate for kids, as young as toddlers to clean up after themselves. Yep, you heard it! For those that don't know, prior to beginning my business, I was a elementary teacher and in education for close to a decade.

Everyone has their own parenting style, but when it comes to your sanity, let me tell you, you cannot do it alone. More to the point, young kids find joy from helping others beginning as young as toddlers. Putting things back can be a game a simple practice to do with your child. As a parent, it is your job by leading by example. So if you are teaching your kid to put things back, buy you don't do it yourself, it is going to be an uphill battle.

When you start when kids are young, they learn these simple practices which help them in so many ways as they grow up. First off, they aren't stressed by "stuff" or a messy household. They learn what it means to work as a team, they take pride and appreciate what they have, and learn how to take care of themselves. Isn't that the goal we have for all children, that they become independent?! So here are the basics: EVERYTHING HAS A HOME

That's kinda all you need to know. If something doesn't have a home, it instantly becomes clutter. Like dominoes, once it starts, there is little to no stopping it. For kids, this means, toys have a place where they each go when they are done being played with. Same rule goes for the backpack, jacket, art projects, and homework. As a former teacher, I can easily correlate a student's academic and life success to their desk and backpack organization. The greater the mess, the higher rates of tardies, missed homework, incomplete classwork, and even tiredness.

For some, specifically with learning differences like ADHD and ADD, not knowing where something is or having the attention to put it back is the biggest challenge. This is when having a designated and highly visual "home" is essential. For ADHD and ADD, when something is not visible, it no longer exists. Using clear bins and labels will help curb this difficulty.

Please, if you take one thing from this article, take this: INVOLVE YOUR CHILD. Make sure to involve your child in the process of developing systems and homes for items. They need buy in, and more importantly, it needs to make sense to them. They shouldn't have to think where their permission slip goes, it should be second nature.

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