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Teaching Children Focus and Organization

Dealing with a child that is forgetful and unorganized can be very frustrating for any parent.  Feeling the need to give a school aged child constant reminders to complete simple tasks produces stress for both parent and child as heightened emotions often lead to increased yelling  and decreases motivation and self-esteem in a child. This persistent conflict and turmoil affects the entire family.

Today’s busy lifestyles intensify stress and tension in households as many overscheduled children do not get enough sleep or eat a balanced diet. The prevalence of ADHD, ADD, autism and other special needs in children are additional factors that make it difficult for children to learn focus and organization.  Fortunately, there are ways to help get children organized. Kenson Kids provides solutions for frazzled families through their I Can Do It! Reward Chart and On Track! Behavior and Responsibility System, which teach time management, responsibility, decision making, accountability, organization and overall positive behavior.

The first thing to consider in modifying a child’s forgetful and unorganized behavior is the underlying cause.  Is he or she allowed enough time to finish tasks?  Is too much time spent watching TV or playing video games rather than managing responsibilities? Are they getting enough sleep?  Are they eating healthy balanced meals?  Are parents setting and example by being organized themselves?  Are there physical or learning disabilities that are contributing to the problem?

Identifying the root of the behavior will help parents choose which strategies will work best for their child. We believe the following tips and tools can help help parents help their children, and the Kenson Kids’ Can Do It! Reward Chart and On Track! Behavior and Responsibility System can be used to implement these suggestions:

  1. Get enough sleep! Children have difficulty focusing when they are tired.
  2. Eat healthy, balanced meals. A proper diet can make a huge difference in a child’s ability to concentrate.
  3. Schedule downtime. Families with multiple kids participating in numerous activities can mean a lot of time spent on the run, causing added stress and fatigue. Children need designated downtime at home to recharge.
  4. Establish clear rules and expectations with corresponding consequences and rewards. Household rules should be discussed, agreed upon and posted so that there is no room for argument.
  5. Make teachable moments from a child’s mistakes. Minimize nagging, belittling or lecturing a child about their mistakes. Using mistakes as opportunities to teach decision making skills will be much more useful in modifying behaviors than preaching or trying to solve the problem for them. 
  6. Use a reward chart or behavior system. Just as adults are more productive when they use a checklist or to do list to help organize their day, kids need a visual to help remind them of the daily tasks that they are responsible for completing.

Becoming organized is a learned skill.  It takes time and repetition to create a habit of being organized and requires a committed decision on the parent’s part to help children form this habit so be consistent!  Lastly, being unorganized can be just as frustrating for the child as it is the parent so be patient with them! 

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