time management

Help a disorganized child take responsibility for belongings

Your child has a special notebook to keep track of school assignments—but left it at school. Your child needs to turn in a math worksheet—but it is sitting on the counter at home.

Some children have difficulty taking responsibility for their schoolwork. Here are three steps you can take to help your child learn to be more responsible:
  1. Ask your child to help develop a plan. Talk about ways to get more organized. You might say, “You’re having trouble getting to school with all your assignments and bringing home everything you need. What could you do that would help you remember? Why don’t you think about it, and we’ll discuss it at dinner.”
  2. Let your child try to make the plan work—without jumping in to help. For example, if your child leaves an assignment at home, don’t rush it to school. Instead, let your child face the consequences.
  3. Suggest changes to the plan if it’s not working, but let your child put them into action. Say something like, “How about if we try placing a box here by the door? Then you can put everything that needs to go to school in the box. What do you think of that idea?”

Reprinted with permission from the February 2023 issue of Parents make the difference!®  (Elementary School Edition) newsletter. Copyright © 2023 The Parent Institute®, a division of PaperClip Media, Inc.