Saturday, July 26, 2008

Organizing a 3 year old

I tell my clients all the time that I can organize children and adults of all ages. All you need is self discipline and the right tools. I have organized my children and it has been a test of strength but it is working. The key is making it as easy as possible and not allowing more toys and games than you have space for. That being said I have a three year old who could easily turn every hair on your head grey! She is God's way of showing me that everything doesn't have to be perfect to be organized. She has forced me to think out of the box! Her name is Ava and she is an amazingly free spirited, fun loving, care free child with all the personality of an upper east side ninety year old lady who has lived a life of priveledge and is use to being catered to. If I believed in reincarnation I would be looking up records of every old lady who died the day Ava was born! She is a challenge to organize. Currently we are going through a phase where she wants to change clothes every 5 minutes. If she sees a pair of pink pajamas on t.v., off she goes and quickly reappears in her own pink pajamas. I also have a niece that suffered from this, it must be common. Of course dress up clothes will not do for her, so I decided to give her a drawer with some dresses, dance clothes, etc. and told her that she was limited to what was in the drawers if she felt the need to change. I'm not about to cut off her fun or creativity but I need, for my peace of mind, to keep an orderly home. The drawers were a no go. Ava cannot stand boundaries. She is a major test of will. At this point most of my clients give up in this type of situation. Not me! I moved the clothes that she can change into and placed them in a closet right outside of her bedroom and then I have locked her door. Of course this made her very angry. I let her have that emotion. She is allowed to be angry with me. But I explained to her that we had to compromise. Just like the fact that if we don't eat a good dinner there is no dessert; if we can't follow the rules for our bedroom then we can't go in there. She has a playroom anyway, she doesn't have to be in her room. After a few days of seeing that the door remained locked unless it was bedtime, she said she wanted to go into her room and she wouldn't pull her clothes out of the closet. I too compromised. I realize she liked looking at the clothes hanging and choosing what to change into. I let her choose a few dresses that are not expensive but that she likes and hung them low so that she could get to them and I told her that she could have those dresses to play with as long as she hung one up before putting another on. Now things are better. You have to set an expectation with your kids regarding self discipline. It will bring them far in life in so many aspects. But you must have it too.

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