Is it even possible to have organized kids? Sometimes it seems that having kids saps all your time, all your energy and all your money.
But it does not have to be that way.
You can enjoy an organized lifestyle even if you have kids. You just create the life you want and do things in an organized manner. Your kids will learn from you.
They will at least accommodate you if they know that being organized is important to you.
Plus, they are not stupid. If they see how well your life works by being organized, they will naturally want to enjoy a smooth, easy going life as well. They will love how you are able to do all things well as related to them.
I got the idea for this article a number of years ago.
My daughter was in the 7th grade and she was attending her middle school dress up dance. The dance started at 6 pm and lasted until 8:30 pm. I dropped her off a few minutes after 6. It took her a little longer to get her hair, dress and makeup just right. It was easy to drop her off. I drove right up to the door, dropped her off and went home.
We live 5 minutes from the school, so at 8:20 pm I left to pick her up. When I got to the school I was immediately shocked and irritated at the massive line of cars. I was barely able to get off the highway and into the school driveway. It looked like I would be waiting for hours to pick her up.
Everyone was following the same tired routine of lining up to pick up their child one by one. I thought what if the first car in line happens to have the last kid to come out? Then we will all be waiting.
Nobody was even parking in the big parking lot, they were all lined up like a long herd of cattle, waiting to pick up their child one by one.
As soon as the line inched up a few more feet I turned right into the smaller parking lot. I saw that there were some spaces available. After I parked I got out of my car and walked up to the school. I was hoping my daughter would see me. It was kind of embarrassing because I was wearing my pajama bottom pants. I kind of broke my own rules about what to wear, but I am not perfect.
Anyway, I saw my daughter talking to some friends. She had her back to the parking lot so did not see me. I had to walk right up to her. I was hoping that she would turn around so I would not have to embarrass her too much with my appearance. Finally, she saw me and we walked to the car.
As we were driving away we could see the line of cars snaking for a half mile on the highway.
I was pleased with my decision to park and then walk in. I would have been waiting for far too long.
Having organized kids means you sometimes do the opposite of
what everyone else is doing. I find that this way always seems to help
I trust my kids. I do not bother them too much. I let them handle the details of their schooling and their social calendar. I do not get overly involved.
I think this encourages them to become more responsible. It seems to work. They stay on top of what needs to be done. They get to school on time. They mostly handle their homework. They get good grades. They have not been in much trouble.
I do ask questions to make sure I know what is going on. But mostly so I can determine any conflicts with our schedule and to show I care.
They know I care. They know I want the best for them. They know they can come to me for help when they really need it.
But they also do for themselves. They see me living my life how I like, and they let me do that. They seem to enjoy doing the same for their lives.
This is the type of relaxed parenting that I love. I do what I want. They do what they want. They know what I need from them and they just naturally fall into that.
They are kids, so at times, they get into small amounts of trouble. But not a lot and not consistent. I am very happy about that. Kids can get into the wrong crowds and do the wrong thing. It helps to set a good example.
I monitor what they are doing. I want to know where they are as much as possible.
This is much easier with cell phones now. I
bought phones for all of us and it has really helped. There is really
nothing that helps having organized kids as much as giving them a cell
Part of the reason picking her up from the dance episode was so rough was that my daughters cell phone was not charged up and she did not bring it that night. With all the getting ready with the dressy dress, hair styling and makeup she did not remember to charge it up.
kids to charge up their phones is something that I try to do and they
are good about doing themselves. But this extra measure of security is
more for giving me peace of mind than just having organized kids.
Here are some thoughts for you to consider:
When to Have Them
The first thing to having organized children is when you have them.
The best time of year to have a baby is spring or early fall. December is very tough because then you will have to buy birthday gifts and Christmas gifts during the same month. It will either be an enormous extra expense for you or your child will get shortchanged. You want your child to enjoy their birthdays as a special time not be squeezed into an already overcrowded Christmas time. Plus the weather is bad and you may have to get to the hospital in a snowstorm.
That is why having a baby during any winter month is a terrible idea unless you live in a climate where it does not snow.
Having a baby during the summer is hard on the mother because she will be at her biggest and most uncomfortable in the heat of the summer. Plus the child will either be the oldest or the youngest of their class. Both situations are undesirable.
They say timing is everything and this is magnified with the birth month of your child.
What Not to Buy Them
Don't buy too many toys for them. They really do not like them that much. Your house will be cluttered up and you will have spent a lot of money for nothing. Children do not really play that much with excessive toys. Once they have a small selection, quit buying. At least get rid of the toys as your child outgrows them. Having a huge stash of outgrown toys will just clutter up your life to no end.
What to Expect
Don't plan on doing that much when your kids are small. It is just easier to stay home for a few years. If you can't see yourself doing that then don't have kids.
Avoid traveling. It is just not worth it. If you love traveling, you may not really want children. Small children don't get much out of traveling. Older children do, the big problem is the expense. Traveling is something you do for you. I know there will be examples of couples traveling around the world with a baby, but seriously, can you see yourself doing that? Just living in an apartment or house with a baby is extremely difficult.
I know this is a tough subject. I think we get confused between loving someone and happiness. You love your kids, but the day to day stress, time commitments and lack of money make you unhappy.
Loving and caring for your kids and your own happiness is two different things.
Probably the best thing for organized kids and your own happiness to do is your own soul-searching. The next best thing to do is realize that you will be a much happier dad if you just wait to have then until the right time.
It's better to just let them be a little messy in areas of your home that you can live with.
Instead of getting on their case all the time, being upset and making them mad, just let them be. Being organized or not is a personal choice.
I think it is one of the best choices you can make for yourself, but it is still a personal choice.
As long as I can keep the majority of my home picked up, organized and functioning well, I am happy. I don't have to have organized kids to be happy.
You just mostly go about your business of
getting clutter free and organized. Most of this work you can do
yourself. You kids may or may not follow your lead. But at least you are
a great example.
I do not give my kids a hard time about being organized. I show them how I am well organized by living it. I get everything done in a relaxed. stress-free manner. They like it. They comment on it. They do it themselves as much as they can. They are able to get rid of things. They are not wanting to keep accumulating stuff forever.
I watch them. I know them. I know what they are capable of and not doing. I know when they need more rest or are getting sick. I listen and observe.
The only reason I can do all that is that I have lots of free time from being organized and clutter free. I spend as little time on the basics of life as possible so I can create more free time for what is important and that includes my children.