Imagination Expert, Preschool Teacher and mother of two
Taking care of young kids can be stressful at times. One way to take some of the stress out of your day is to organize your time and space so that you can more easily balance the demands of all your responsibilities.
Getting the kids dressed in the morning is one of those tasks that can often consume a lot of time. Instead of picking out clothes each morning, involve your child in choosing all the clothes he or she will wear for the whole week at the beginning of the week. Instead of arguing with your child about what he or she wants to wear each day, your child will have already made his or her choices for the whole week. Involving kids in the choice of clothing they will wear will make the kids feel empowered and will take stress out of the equation.
Don’t overwhelm a child with choices. Provide them with only one choice per day with the choice being limited to between only two items. For instance, on Monday they get to decide between their blue shirt or their red shirt. On Tuesday, they can decide between their blue jeans or their khaki pants, and so on. Don’t be overly concerned if the outfit your child has chosen doesn’t match perfectly. Part of allowing kids to make choices is helping them understand they need to take responsibility for the choices they’ve made.
When you are picking clothes out for the week, organize the clothes for each day of the week into bins, containers or boxes. Label each container with the day of the week. Before your child goes to sleep each night, you can place the container near the bed so that the child is ready to get dressed the next morning.
To help organize your day, you can follow a similar system when it comes to food choices. Instead of picking out clothes, your child will help decide the menu for the week. Again, provide children with only one choice per day with the choice being limited to between only two items. For instance, you can provide your child with the choice of which type of healthy cereal to eat. As you are making all the choices for the week, you can organize the food selections on shelves in your cupboard labeled according to the days of the week.
Not only are you helping take some of the stress out of your day by planning your child’s food and clothing choices for the week, but you are helping build your child’s self-esteem. They’ll be developing a sense of empowerment, as decisions that they make and see in action give them a sense of power.