Organizing the life of a child in the chaos of today’s fast paced life is extremely crucial as it comes with a wide variety of classes, play-dates, celebrations, submissions and examinations, all of which must get factored into the waking hours of a 7-day week. Planning is important to help them stay on top of their game, also so that they can backtrack on deadlines and learn to prioritize. However, it is not only important to organize and plan their routines, but even more so to equip them with these skills that reach beyond academic growth and achievement.
Organization is an important aspect in play (mental sifting and sorting), language, social interaction, personal management (such as self-care and taking care of one’s belongings) and academic task performance. It is a skill that needs to be modeled by parents and is generally difficult for children to implement and complete tasks or instructions with haphazard thoughts. This skill also requires support by sensible structures such as planners, time tables and to-do lists, and reinforcement by a realistic approach that is structured, consistent and achievable by a child.
A child with underdeveloped organizational skills would have lack of awareness of a time frame, difficulty accumulating things required for a task, trouble processing information effectively and logically especially when learning tricky concepts in mathematics and sciences, and working towards a study plan or completing a project. The crucial part of organization is to understand the requirements of a task, mapping what needs to be done and understanding how and by when the task needs to be achieved.
Organizational skills help children holistically with-
- Mental processing: Mental abilities require filtering, filing and execution, which enhance a child’s development of critical, higher-order thinking and reasoning skills. Consequently they are able to keep pace with life and the constant influx of large amounts of information that is typical of a childhood.
- Accomplishing goals and setting priorities: Something as simple as setting a bedtime routine teaches time management and goal setting with a breakdown of tasks such as eating dinner, brushing teeth, changing into pajamas and getting into bed. It is a series of subtasks that lead to a final goal that needs to be achieved in a certain timeline. Over time, this ability develops into skills for meeting deadlines, achieving milestones and keeping track of progress.
- Physical organization: Working chores (such as putting away their toys and clothes, buying supplies, arranging fruits and vegetables, etc.) into a child’s timetable sharpens their organizational skills over time.
- Following directions: Following instructions requires careful listening and strategizing to follow through. Preparing and following a checklist helps develop higher-order skills like resource and asset management.
- Academic tenacity: Lastly, the prime focus of parents that is academic success. When children grow up with good organizational skills, they easily overcome learning challenges and are better in reception, delivery, perception and introspection, all of which factor into personal and professional growth in life.
Teaching a child organizing and planning can in itself be easily broken down into diligent and persistent usage of daily and weekly planners and to-do lists or checklists. However, making sure that their planning is not only academically oriented, but also more holistic in terms of household and personal chores will result in a far greater life achievement as compared to a short term goal of excelling in academia.