I attended a meeting today of the local military MOPS (Mothers Of Preschoolers). It was about organization. I had to smile as I listened to the comments and presentations that were made about being organized. One idea especially struck me.
The woman sharing this insight said that organization is more than having a plan, it is including others in the plan so that you can be successful. She pointed out that you have to tell your kids where their shoes go, you can't just expect them to know because you know where you want them. I laughed to myself, thinking of the important combination of organizing and communicating.
Other comments reminded me that you have to choose your battles. I didn't really know what that meant when I first started having children. Now I have a pretty good idea. It means decide what things MUST be done and let the other things go. So if you don't like having food all over your house then make a LAW that food stays in the kitchen and enforce it like the Gestapo!
Well, maybe not that strict but you get the picture. As the law maker you can change them if you need to and make exceptions from time to time. I advise against that. Your kids will think they can bend you all the time. It takes some time and self-discipline but it really works. In the long run you have kids who always know where their stuff is or only eat in the kitchen.
My kids have it in their heads that they can't eat on the carpet so they will stand on the edge between the kitchen and the living room trying to eat and watch TV. I am having to start over with my little ones, telling them to take their cookie back to the table. They are getting it a lot faster than the older kids for 2 reasons. 1. I am more insistent, 2. They have more role models telling them what to do (and not do).
I am still a long way from where I want to be but I can see the progress and the fruits of my efforts. That makes me feel good. Everything in life is a process. We learn line upon line, precept upon precept. What matters is that we are moving forward.