29 November 2009

Little Helper

I’ve been to Orgjunkie again and found these very insightful and helpful tips on how to teach kids to be organised. This trait or habit if you may call it that is very essential in the place where we live – where help is not really affordable (for us that is).

Here are some developmentally appropriate examples of chores for the 2-to-4-year-old age group that you might use if you want to adapt the TV incentive:

• Unloading the dishwasher. Watch for sharp knives!
• Putting away toys/games when finished with them. Try to label boxes/tubs/drawers with pictures and words so even the littlest children (and visitors to your home) know where everything goes.
• Putting PJs under their pillow.
• Feeding fish.
• Clearing dishes from the table. Learning to carry plates carefully teaches caution and respect for objects.
• Folding small items like washcloths and hand towels. Do teach the proper way to fold; this will take longer the first few times, but then you can delegate the task entirely.


Responsible organizational habits and routine
Immediate incentive
TV is a privilege, not a right
Paper makes system clear, hopefully fewer battles
Reward is not a sweet
Priorities first

Jens has been very good with putting away stuff after using them. He has lots of bath toys and he’s been “packing away” them without being told when he’s finished having a bath. He puts used utensils on the sink. He keeps his toys away – this is a painful process (for me watching him) as he puts back everything that he has taken out of the box piece by piece. Imagine how many trips and how long does it takes as he has 2 sets of blocks among others. It is exercise enough that weight loss diet is not necessary – if done by adults.

He is at the age when helping is always fun and he is finding his independence. My little boy is slowly turning into a big guy, really.