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Organizing Kids

How to Use Calendars to Organize Your Kids

KidsCalendar-ShirinSherkatIn our two previous articles we have been discussing how to get your kids organized: Remind your kids without nagging and How to turn award charts into reward charts.

Now lets talk about how you can use calendars to teach organization and time management to your kids.

One of the best life skills you can give your school-aged children is an understanding of time management. To a young child the abstract concept of time can be puzzling.

Kids of all ages can use calenders…

Fortunately, you can find inexpensive, attractive, and easy to understand calendars to help children as young as four years old. They guide a child in following the concept of days and weeks. For example, when one of my nephews was only four years old, with the help of a calendar that showed a week at a glance. I was able to show him just how may “sleeps” (or nights) remained before his trip to Disneyland. By checking off each day at bedtime, he was able to “countdown” the days to the trip!

Check Lists help your child be independentThese calendars can be used for daily activities, and your child can count the number of days left to a special outing or a weekend treat! This tool can help you and your child visually follow how much time he/she has left to do a task. If your children are elementary school-aged, you can integrate their daily checklists into their calendars. At the end of each week, your kid can earn a special treat (or reward) for completing his/her weekly tasks. Using lists, checklists, calendars, and later, “day-planners” can be effective in helping your kids learn time management and organization skills that are essential as they grow up. The sooner you introduce the concept of time management and add FUN to it, the better!

Teach your kids now, they will be prepared for the future.

As your kids grow older, they will face more responsibilities and challenges with the demands of high school. The more your kids are skilled in using tools to manage their time and responsibilities, the less they will feel overwhelmed by the growing demands on their time. Time management will certainly help lead them to stay on task and meet their goals. By the time your kids reach high school, it’s a little too late to introduce them to the concept of time management! I believe that if you introduce your kids to this concept earlier and empower them to use the tools, such as lists and calendars, earlier in elementary school, and make it FUN, your kids would have some time to practice and master this skill before they need it the most – in high school.

And don’t forget, one of the most powerful tools you can use is the “First____; then____” sentence. It is a magical sentence and an effective tool to remind your kids, visually, in addition to verbally, about what they need to do. All you need is a strip of paper and a pen:

OrganizeKids-ShirinSherkat

For example: “First, finish your homework; then you can play video games.”

These tools and techniques use your kids’ strengths in visual learning and visual memory and foster independence when used correctly and consistently. When you use them, have fun and be rewarding! I hope you use these simple ways successfully to remind your kids ONLY ONCE and see results.

This is an excerpt from my book: “Create Happy Kids”

Dr. Sherkat is a parent strategist who is available to do Parent Education Workshops, either Private or PTA Sponsored Classes.

Contact her at 425-772-6698.