A few decades ago, the expression “helicopter parents” became part of our everyday language. When I was a primary school teacher, my colleagues and I used this expression to describe the parents who did everything (and I mean everything) for their children. These children did not learn how to be responsible because their parents were always hovering smoothing their way.
The helicopter parents made sure the children had their schoolwork, their lunch, and anything they needed to support after school activities. If by chance something was left at home, one or the other parent would rush back to school with the forgotten item. Consequently, children with helicopter parents did not exercise their memory. They did not learn how to be responsible for their belongings.
Some young adults who grew up with helicopter parents are now living on their own. They are learning how to be responsible for themselves.
If you are a young adult who grew up with overly helpful parents, you may be feeling overwhelmed. There are many ways in which you are learning how to be responsible. It can be a steep learning curve as you must now create new habits to live successfully on your own.
Things to learn are:
It is up to you to figure out how to organize your morning routine. You decide what time you need to get up in the morning, No one is reminding you of your schedule and hovering about prompting you to hurry up and get ready.
You are responsible for managing your available time so that you do your household chores, your work, arrive at appointments early or on time, and have time to relax and unwind.
You get to decide how you want your home to look and feel. Is it going to be clutter-free? Will you display artwork, your hobbies, or other collectibles? Where do you want to put your belongings so the organization in your home is easy to maintain and works for you?
Your home is just that, yours. Make sure it reflects you and that it is THE place you want to be.
Learning how to be responsible for managing money is another important skill. You start by creating a budget, factoring in your expenses, and recognizing the importance of saving for the future. Download this free sample budget worksheet from my website to help you create a user-friendly budget.
Learning how to be responsible with your money, your space and your time can reduce stress. It also puts you squarely in control.
Are You a Parent?
If you are now a parent yourself and want to teach your children how to be responsible for themselves and their belongings there is no time like the present.
Very young children can help pick up their toys and other belongings and put them away with guidance. Let them help with small chores around the house like emptying waste baskets. They can also help you sort the laundry and match up socks.
Start teaching children to help around the house at a young age so they learn how to be responsible for their living space. They also learn that when everyone living in the home helps maintain the home it is just part of life. Doing chores and helping around the house is not a punishment.
As the children get older and enter school give them an academic planner so they can learn how to be responsible for their course work and activities.
My colleague, Leslie Josel from Order Out of Chaos, has developed a fabulous award-winning academic planner. This planner is set up in such a way that allows the student to “see” their busy times and available times. This system teaches the student how to be responsible for planning the best use of their time to get their schoolwork done. It shows them when their other activities are scheduled and enables them to plan time with friends. Click this link to learn more about this fabulous tool for your students.
If your child receives the gift of money for birthdays and holidays teach them how to save by putting a portion into a savings account for them.
Teach them how to be responsible with money by saving up for the special something they want. Create a special savings jar. They put money in it they earn by doing extra jobs around the house for you. Resist buying it for them.
If you think you may be a helicopter parent, try relaxing your grip. Take yourself out of the role of helicopter parent. Teach your child how to be responsible with their belongings, their time, and their money. Let them make some mistakes while they are still in your care. This will result in a confident young adult with the skills to live successfully on their own.
For more great tips on how to teach your child to be responsible and how being organized can help you manage time, space, and money schedule time with me. We can meet virtually or in person.
Diane N. Quintana is a Certified Professional Organizer®, Certified Professional Organizer in Chronic Disorganization®, Master Trainer and owner of DNQ Solutions, LLC based in Atlanta, Georgia. Diane teaches busy people how to become organized and provides them with strategies and solutions for maintaining order in their lives. She specializes in residential and home-office organizing and in working with people affected by ADD, Hoarding, and chronic disorganization.