Every mom out there is familiar with occasional chaos. It is inevitable in life, and you can’t just stop life from happening. You can, however, make small but life-altering changes that will have a positive impact on you and your children.
The Virtue of Order
Order is a virtue that we can practice and help our kids practice now, both for the benefit of our homes and for their benefit as adults.
"When you keep your life in order, your time will multiply, and therefore you will be able to give greater glory to God, working more eagerly in his service.” -Saint Josemaria EscrivaOrdering our external environments aids in ordering the internal environment of our souls and minds. An underlying virtue in the exercise of order is discipline. Establishing order is one thing, but maintaining order requires self-discipline so that order remains once the motivation wanes. If you have a prayer life, then you understand well the importance of discipline!
How to Help Children Cultivate the Virtue of Order
- Establish a routine and stick to it (morning routines, school routines, bedtime routines, etc). Having a routine mapped out for the week makes everything run smoother, from naps to snacks to school. Having a structured life will aid your child in basically everything. Weekends can be a bit looser, of course, but children thrive on dependable structure.
- Provide a designated area for clothes, toys, etc. This can be encouraged from a young age. Make sure to always have these areas tidy and clean and once your child is old enough, make sure they keep it clean as well.
- Use visual aids such as charts and planners. Most children are visual learners; this is an easy and fun way to inspire cleanliness and organization in your child. These are habits they will need forever!
- Encourage the child to clean up and put away items after use. This lifelong skill can be taught from a young age. When they are little, help them clean and make a game out of it. They can even learn the “clean up song”, which is a fun and easy reminder to clean up after yourself.
- Model good organizational habits yourself. The best way to encourage good habits in your children is to practice those same habits yourself. Practicing all of the cleanliness habits you want your child to have is a great way to encourage them, they will see you do it and naturally, they will follow suit.
Order is something that we all wish to achieve, but we can view it as more of a dream than a reality. By practicing simple cleanliness as a family, you are nurturing a lifelong habit they they will continue to utilize in adulthood and in the workplace, as well as their personal life.
Just as you take your child to Mass for a well-ordered soul, they must learn to keep their space clean for a well-ordered existence.