Getting Things Done
*Originally Posted March 17, 2016*
One of the most commonly asked questions I get is about teaching kids organization and independence skills.
Over the years of parenting I have learned one thing: the power of the third person applies not only to business or sales , but it is one of the most effective ways of engraving the principles you want your kids to learn.
Think of it : when it comes to listening to advice , between mom or friends , where would teens or pre-teens more likely to turn to? It also is true that no matter how much you teach your baby to do “the right thing” , the moment someone on a playground does something of the actions you would really rather not have your child learn, they pick it right up. Am I right or am I right? But this very phenomena works the other way around too. We make kids be accountable for the cleanliness of their dwellings to someone else - sometimes it is their friends, other times people that have influence (teachers, for example, or neighbors)
Kids’ closets or personal storage cubes have always been a battleship, so we tackled it with the same approach and this time brought on TaskRabbit to be a “person of importance” who the crew would be not only responsible to, but also learn from.
TaskRabbit is the smart way to get things done. They connecting you with quality Taskers who can helpcheck more off your to-do list and make the most of your day. And just in time for spring cleaning season they’re launched a new on-demand services that make it easier than ever to get things done - quite literally , just a phone call away on your own timing. Amna rang our doorbell a few hours after the request for help. After a few moments of talking with her, she jumped right in finding her own approach to get the kids to respond to her. She explained what she was going to do and how, and the most important part - why. It was music to my ears to hear the responses the older kids were giving her , because it was clear the message we were trying to send to them about organization clearly was sinking in.
The power of the third person, you guys!
After making a huge pile of things on the floor, emptying every corner of every shelf and finding everything “lost in translation” ( and all the joys while at it! making mess is every child’s dream, I swear) , Amna and kids put everything back on the shelves that seemed to have doubled in size, even though hardly anything got thrown away.
I sifted through important things like drawings that I want to keep forever, but other then that , I left it to Amna to do her things the way she felt was best.
A week later the shelves are in perfect order. I know they will get messed up, for sure they will at one point, but because someone else came in to help the kids and it is that person who left the kids with the responsibility to keep the shelves clean, they seemed to have heard and feel the responsibility to oblige. In some ways, it works like that “Santa” thing, you know? “Don’t jump on the bed, because it is not good” - and nobody hears you. “Don’t jump on the bed, or you will get on Santa’s naughty list” - and the little hands are smoothing every wrinkle on the duvet cover.
Spring cleaning time is all about getting procrastinated chores done, reorganizing those junk drawers and purging excess clutter that has stockpiled since the beginning of the year. In our case, it was also a very effective teaching moment. Need some help too? For our readers, TaskRabbit offers $20 off same-day tasks with code URBANCRUSING - here is to some spring cleaning and happy parenting!