Parenting 101: Getting organized

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Most of us are quite aware our need to adhere to a schedule. I am unsure if it is my own problem, or if many other have dealt with this. I generally made it a rule after having both my boys to not follow a set schedule out of fear I would make them too dependent on one. After learning their need for more structure, especially with their diagnoses, I put my thoughts aside and now keep a schedule.

All kids need structure, whether or not they are ASD or NT. This is the mantra of this lesson. Before our children can gain structure, we must gain organization in our own lives. Kids may be unpredictable, but we can do things to keep those distractions to a minimum.

1. Keep a daily schedule. While this seems simple, it can be rather difficult, especially as your children get older. I highly recommend using Google Calendar. Reason for Google calendar is that most programs have the option to sync with your Google calendar, including MS Outlook 2007 and Mozilla Sunbird. You can easily set up multiple calendars for each member of your family. As well, Google Calendars can be private or public, be shared with other people, and be edited by only the people you chose.

2. Make a weekly chore chart. This may be difficult for you to get younger children to do, but this will even work for yourself. I keep this as a weekly to leave flexibility in my day, but still helps me get everything done within a week. Specifically, chores such as mopping, laundry and grocery shopping are on the list.

3. Everything has a place. Maintaining an organized environment keeps things predictable. Labels, well-defined locations, and accessibility are all things that should be taken into account. Have a place for everything in your house, include a quiet spot for yourself and each member of your family.

4. Get your family involved. This is the most important step, in my opinion. You want to consider everyone’s needs. Each person should be able to see your daily schedule and weekly chores. Find out which chore each family can do. We all have sensory needs, and some chores are easier for certain members of your family.

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