Organising with Children.
The very first thing to remember when working with children is that they often have very different priorities from ourselves. We may love certain toys, such as the beautiful wooden rainbows, whilst they hang on like grim death to the tiny plastic toy that arrived stuck on the front of a magazine. What I always say to people if I am working with their children is to focus on the end result. What do we want? Children who grow into adults able to make decisions about what they want to keep and what sort of lives they want to lead. To that end, we really must allow children as much autonomy as possible in this area. If they feel confident that they are not being pushed to discard, then often they will discard far more. I am frequently amazed by the ability of children to make these decisions.
As always, let’s not start by trying to tackle the difficult decisions, let’s start with clothes. What
fits? What makes them feel good? What do they like to wear? Again, I try to give my children as much autonomy as I can over how they dress and they really are so very different.
Obviously, there will be clothes that they are not fond of that they have to keep, like School Uniforms and perhaps one or two outfits that will do if they need to be smartly turned out. Even here though, I do try to get them to choose what their favourite smarter clothes are and work with those.
Once you have sorted their clothes with them, take some time to teach them how to fold their clothes properly. Remember that this is an art that takes time to learn, but it is worthwhile teaching it to them. My children have been folding their own laundry for years; when it comes off the line, or out of the dryer, I sort it into baskets and then part of their daily routine is that they fold it. They may well not do it as well as you would, but try to ignore that – if you do it for them, all that they will learn is that you are better at doing it than they are.