Guest Blog by Reb Grainzevelles, The Parent Collaborative
For many parents, having systems in place – especially during the pandemic – was an essential part of life.
For many adults, feeling that things were “in their place”, provided reassurance during a time when so much was out of our control. It gave us choice when so much choice was being denied to us.
As a parent, deciding to be “sorted”, avoiding “mess stress” can instill a feeling of calm. This in turn, can then free up more time for us to be with our children, in a gentler less stressed way, doing things with them that we really want to do.
From the perspective of a child though – what do they get out of a tidy, ordered space?
All children go through sensitive periods – developmental stages when the brain is particularly receptive to learning a new skill. One of these sensitive periods is for “order”. This developmental period teaches children how to develop their reasoning skills, organise information, and understand their environment. Children need consistency, predictability, and an established routine in order to fully understand and master tasks. By putting in structure and order, we help children to allow external order to establish internal order. In other words, children start to make sense of the world around them.
In addition, young children are driven by a hugely powerful force to be independent. “A place for everything and everything in its place” plays a big part in promoting independence as children not only know where to find things but also where to put things back. It encourages children to be responsible for themselves and their belongings as well as understanding HOW to tidy up. “Go tidy your room” is something that feels an impossible task for a child unless there is an established structure and order. Ground rules are in place without an adult having to constantly monitor the situation. Boundaries are likewise in place – something that children embrace as it helps to make them feel secure.
One final point – order, structure and routine allow a child to feel in control. When children feel in control – it can often prevent overwhelm!
So – if you were looking for good reasons for putting a system in place – it’s a pretty good feeling knowing that you may be helping your child as much as you are helping yourself! Who knew that being “Serenely Sorted” could have so many positive benefits!
Reb Grainzevelles enjoyed a twenty year teaching career, setting up her own nursery as well as implementing Montessori and being Head of Early Years Nursery within a Prep School. She jointly set up The Parent Collaborative a number of years ago in order to support parents to support their children. You can find out more about how Reb and The Parent Collaborative support families as they navigate the sometimes choppy waters of parenthood at https://www.theparentcollaborative.co.uk/