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How can I help my child who is a slacker get organized?

Michele Borba
Psychology
Slacker kids (kids who dawdle, put things off until the last minute, are unorganized, have poor time management skills, and cut corners) are often disorganized, so they take up more time trying to locate everything that could be used studying. Homework assignments are commonly misplaced or not turned in. Solutions:
  • Use concrete organizers to remedy! Put a hook or box by the front door with two heavy-duty folders on the wall. Label one "To do" and the other "Done." Teach the child to open the backpack the second she comes home, take out her homework assignments and put into "To do" folder, then hang backpack on the hook or in box.
When homework is done it goes into the backpack "Done" folder. The child then grabs "done work" and puts it into his backpack.

The practice must become a routine (practice, practice, practice) until you no longer need to be your child's reminder.

Poor organizational skills are common with procrastinators who haven't formed a habit of writing things down. So they take extra time to find out what they were supposed to do, forget sports gear, or rely on others to remind them. Solutions:
  • Hang a white board with days of week in a central location. Teach your child to write or draw reoccurring assignments on appropriate day (Mon: soccer; Tues: spelling test; adding new tasks (field trip on Thurs) as needed. Refer child to organizer daily "What do you need to do?" until your child gets in the habit.
  • Use a date book or organizer. Older kids can transfer tasks into small date book with a page for each school day and store in the backpack and use alarm feature on cell phone or computer as chime reminder.

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Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.