The Challenge of Organizing Children in a Blended Family
Since the inception of this Whole House Organization Challenge I’ve been able to feature helpful tips from parents on organization tips for small children . I also had the pleasure of hosting a parent who outlined the organizational strategies she uses with her growing boy. And despite not having any children of my own, I delved into the importance of organization as an important life skill for teens.
But what if you are given the privilege of nurturing and bringing order to a child’s life with whom you’ve had only a short history? After a short break during week 8, and some master bedroom organization tips in week 9, we’re back and ready to discuss the challenges of bedroom organization for blended families. Welcome to Week 10 of the Whole House Organization Challenge.
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Organization Tips for Children in Blended Families
I’m going to be perfectly honest with you. I always get nervous when I have to write an article about organization tips for children since The Husband and I don’t have any. Naturally, dishing out advice on tips for helping children of blended families get organized catapults me even further outside my comfort zone.
So what does one do when they see they’ve reached their limit on a subject? They get help. I’ve done just that, by inviting my blogging buddy Arie Williams of Delightfully Styled to share her expertise on this subject.
Arie is a teacher, wife and a mom of 4 boys, 2 of which are biologically hers. The other 2 sons are her husband’s, who is also a teacher. Of her family Arie says, “We bridge this thing together called “blended families”… reading every book on how to make this kind of family exist. Those books are very helpful but having an open heart works even better!”
Complete an Organization Challenge Together
Although Arie and her hubby have been married for a few years now, they still actively look for ways to bring their blended bunch closer together. One recent project they completed as a family was a room makeover for two of the sons who are now- as a result of the marriage- brothers.
The boys, ages 8 and 11 were getting older and needed their shared bedroom space to reflect that. The family discussed what could be done, and shortly after everyone chipped in to create the new space. Taking on this challenge as a family had far-reaching benefits. It actually encouraged a cooperative home environment for everyone.
Help New Siblings Build on Common Ground
As teachers, Arie and her husband have hands on experience with what it takes to bring out the best qualities in children. One way they do this is by practicing the art of establishing a common ground with them. In this case however, to promote orderliness, the parents helped the children to identify and build on their common grounds with each other.
Both boys love Legos and they share the commonality of being born in the same state. So the tiny building blocks were incorporated into the room and a cool Texas license plate was proudly mounted to the wall. Little things like these promote order and unity over differences.
Set Children Up for Success
Children today are under more pressure than ever. And sadly, too many of them face such pressures without having a place to detox. Order helps them to thrive.
The additional closet shown at the outset was previously filled with board games. But the family decided that it would be better used as a place to display affirmations for the children. The built in lighting also makes it a great space to write a letter or finish homework. A large armoire provides storage for other essentials like socks and underwear.
All of these simple touches help these growing boys to see that they are indeed capable of being organized. And just imagine what that does for their confidence!
Give Each Child “a Place” in Their Blended Family
Blended families are certainly not without their own challenges. Spaces that were originally occupied by one child, may now have to be shared. Some items may need to be purged or boxed away to make room. New memories will now be created.
Designating a bed or corner of the room as belonging to a certain child may be enough to show that each one indeed has an important place in the blended family arrangement. Additionally, assigning each child the task of regularly cleaning and organizing his designated space further reinforces their important role in making things work peacefully.
Yes, a spirit of genuine camaraderie, thoughtfulness and consistency can go a long way in establishing order in a blended family. Speaking of her makeover project, Arie says: “This has been the best experience for my family, and these memories will last forever in our hearts. These boys are my world…my shining stars.”