Establishing good strategies for organization are important to implement as soon as children are of school age — and even before. Think of organization like a good habit, but habits must be forged over time. With a dedicated and concerted effort, you can help your child build a strong organizational foundation. Combining mobile apps like daily planners and reminders with fun more organic activities centered around management, structure, and order, you can work to curb any tenancies your child may have toward sloppiness and disorganization.
ADHD Strategies for Organization to Try with Your Child:
1.) Start simple. Before your child begins his day, make a checklist that covers all activities he intends to complete over the course of that day. Ensure that he’ll never forget equipment for sporting events and material for school, by incorporating these checklists into his daily routine. For example, your child could develop a pictorial checklist for an upcoming football game that might include a helmet, shoulder pads, cleats, a water bottle, and any other essential that is not provided by the league. At first he may need help packing while using the list, but over time he should be able to take on this task by himself, as it will become more habitual. These checklists allow your child to prepare for any type of project; whether it’s soccer practices, classroom assignments, or music lessons. Incorporate checklists apps into the activity like Springpad to help your child develop an affinity for using technology for more practical purposes.
2.) Make organizing fun. Of course it’s important that your child develop organization skills that translate directly to the school or workplace. But sometimes the best strategies for organization are those that are removed from their traditional environment: like the classroom. Then your child will likely be more apt to practice them. Match the organizational activity to your child’s area of interest. Organizing favorite songs on an iPod for playlists, alphabetically arranging trading cards in a binder, ordering stuffed animals and dolls by size,or books by title will help your child see how he can benefit from simply taking the time to arrange favorite items in a way that makes logical sense. The iPod playlist is particularly interesting, as your child can arrange songs by theme, tone, artist, style. Encourage him to organize songs for a party playlist, as well as songs to listen to while doing homework. Compiling music is a fun activity; it caters to the preferences of your child, while providing him with valuable organization skills. Making different playlists with iTunes or Spotify are some of the best and most engaging strategies for organization.
3.) Strive for a clean room. Keep your child from misplacing items. A well-organized room is also an environment that is more conducive to being productive and doing homework. A messy room is less hospitable and inviting, which makes it more difficult to find the space to start and finish projects Talk to your child about where he would like his bed, bookshelf, desk, and personal belongings. Then create a blueprint, noting where each item and piece of furniture belongs. Once your child’s room is in this condition, take a few pictures so he has something to reference the next time he cleans. Schedule a time each day or week for your child to go through a cleaning routine — just be sure to regularly reinforce these efforts, providing an appropriate allowance or incentive for successfully arranging his bedroom.