Q: My nine-year-old daughter tends to forget where she places her belongings such as shoes and gets into a tizzy finding them when she is rushing to school. How can I help her?
A: Some children are naturally organised, while others may need their parents' explicit directions and repeated practice. Try to do the following to help your child:
- Use a bulletin board or calendar to jot down all the things she has to do and when.
- Share with her how you yourself stay on top of things, for instance, that you keep the house and car keys in the same place, so you can quickly find them.
- Spend some time to review assignments with your child. Ask her to connect each task with the necessary materials such as books, worksheets, pencils and so on. Set her a time to complete this work each day.
- Have your child pack everything that is necessary for the next day in school when homework is completed. Do this the night before to avoid mishaps in the morning.
It is worth the time and effort to develop organisational skills in your child from young. This will let her develop a sense of independence and an "I can do it" attitude.
Ms Jacqueline McNalty, who answered this question, is head of early years and primary years programme coordinator at the international school, Gems World Academy Singapore.
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