How to help children and teens get organized

Friday, March 25, it was the day of procrastination, the art of procrastination what can be done the same day. While some adults excel in this area, children procrastinate naturally, lack of maturity to be able to anticipate.

How to teach them how to organize? The advice of Didier Pleux, psychologist, author of The Ten Commandments of Good Educational Sense (Ed. Odile Jacob).


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At school

"To help a child get organized, you have to teach him habits very early. At school, this can begin at CP, with 10 minutes of reading or writing every night, even if the homework is not fashionable. Later, in CM2, may have 20 minutes, then half an hour in 5th and an hour in second.

The goal is to get the child or teenager used to a daily work schedule to help him or her become independent in managing their time. In doing so, he will know that he always has a moment to anticipate and will not wait until the last moment to do the school work.

For older people, we can recommend "the salami technique" which consists in sequencing a task to make it more "digestible", avoiding doing everything the day before the date when we have to return to work: 1 understand the subject; 2 to inquire; 3 practice; 4 write and check.

Whatever the age, organization and anticipation are not obvious for children and teenagers who are very much in the immediacy and pleasure principle. This implies learning the frustration that must go through the mediation of parents. "

At home

"At home, too, a child needs help getting organized. To avoid being late for school, for example, parents can teach him how to pick his clothes and pack his bag the night before. If this anticipation fits into its daily mode of operation, it will become a habit that will make his life easier.

For recalcitrant children or sweet dreamers, it is sometimes useful to set up a family code, with good and bad points, such as the Highway Code. It's not very subtle on a psychological level, but sometimes you have to go through it because autonomy is not acquired spontaneously. "

In front of the screens

"Organizing at home also means time management in front of the screens. In this area, more than in others, young people need a framework and support. It is not enough to tell them: 'I hope you do your homework and you will not stay in front of the computer'. Screens lead to a very strong addiction among young people – and adults too – and it is naive to think that they can give it up without constraint. Video games, for example, solicit the reptilian brain, called the emotional brain, on the stimulus / response mode and it is very difficult to stop because this activates triggers a sensation of pleasure. Some young people are capable, of course, but that is far from the case for the vast majority.