My Dear Aunt Sally. Do you remember it? Remember having to learn the ORDER for those long math problems? Or how about good ‘ole Robert? As in Robert’s Rules of Order? Or how about my favorite? Anyone else love watching Mr. Rogers methodically hang up his sweater and neatly hang it in his closet?
How about our children….what are we doing to teach them order? You see, understanding order and organization can be learned. First, however, we must be willing (and then take the time) to teach it.
Last week we had a rather full weekend filled with trips to Home Depot, the grocery store, and (groan) furniture shopping. Our 6-year-old boys were not thrilled. After all, it was the weekend. They wanted to play. They wanted to go to the park with their new remote control cars. They wanted to ride their bikes. That is when it dawned on us that we needed to teach them the importance of scheduling our days (even the weekends) and creating an order that allows for productivity, peace, and park time instead of confusion, incompletion, and chaos.
So we got out our sticky notes, sharpies, and the lesson began.
We talked about priorities.
We talked about the needs of ALL family members.
We talked about timing.
We talked about planning for FUN.
Suddenly their little minds got to work. They began to create the “perfect day” where everything fit.
They were proud.
They didn’t complain.
They saw the world outside of themselves.
They helped to create order.
This day suddenly became different. They no longer complained about doing homework, but instead asked, “what did we plan after homework”? They no longer were frustrated that we "had to" be home to let their baby brother nap, but instead remarked “Look! We planned it perfectly. He is tired and it is naptime!”.
We hope that this 15 minute-impromptu lesson will teach many skills to span a lifetime: establishing boundaries (what do we have time for and what don’t we), prioritizing, scheduling and having fun, thinking of others, task completion, and an increased sense of self-esteem. Afterall, outer order contributes to an inner calm....even in Home Depot.