Have you ever wondered how to help your child learn to become more organized? Ever wished your child could plan for their day and know what they needed to be prepared? Wondered if your child would ever come to see order in the chaos of life? Every parent wants to see their child become a successful young adult. As the author, Dr. Damon Korb states: “most organized children do not suddenly appear; they are raised.”
This book is not just for families of children with ADHD (attention deficit hyperactivity disorder) or other attention and learning difficulties. This book is written for any parent interested in learning practical tips on how to raise and teach a child essential life skills such as organization, advance planning, but also promote confidence and independence.
I had the opportunity to read an advance copy and provide some feedback. First of all, this book is written by a developmental-behavioral pediatrician who has years of experience putting into practice these 5 steps –not just with his own 5 children, but with the countless patients he has seen over the years and coaching youth team sports.
The book will become a roadmap for new parents who want to take a proactive approach and capitalize on “teachable moments” or for parents already wondering how to remedy identified organizational issues.
What I loved about the book was that it is chockfull of practical advice, organized (of course!) into distinct chapters by child age. He introduces the 5 steps early on and shows the reader how to apply these steps, based on the child’s age, consistently and practically.
The Five Steps are:
- Be consistent (when parents are consistent it supports positive child behavior, but also provides children the sameness and limits/boundaries they need to stay safe and thrive)
- Introduce order (help support children learn order through numbers, sequence and routines, as well as language to orally provide order and sequence to events and routines. Break tasks into small steps.)
- Give everything a place (helping children learn where things are when needed as a way to promote spatial awareness and chunking information for improved recall)
- Practice forward thinking: Planning, estimating and creativity (for example: parents can help children learn to plan ahead, forward thinking, by walking backwards from the end goal and helping model how to think through how to get from point A to B. This helps children learn how to plan ahead).
- Promote problem-solving (learning the importance of allowing for situations where children can learn from their mistakes or when they struggle to attempt new or complicated tasks)
The first chapter makes sure to provide readers important information that help set the stage with a review of child development and key terms used throughout the book. Dr. Korb uses the analogy of comparing your child’s brain to a busy city quite effectively. Just as a city is divided into districts with crisscrossing highways for traffic to traverse the area, the brain is similarly divided into regions of ‘neurodevelopmental function’ that are orchestrated to complete seemingly simple tasks, such as getting dressed for the day.
Dr. Korb does a nice job of explaining what “executive function” means. For those of you who have a child with ADHD, you likely have been told that ADHD is much more than a behavioral issue, it is a neurodevelopmental condition that affects executive functioning. He reviews terms such as sequential and spatial processing, simultaneous processing and working memory, and cognitive shifting. All of these tasks are essential for things like planning ahead, remembering where one’s possessions are, talking with others, transitioning from one task to another, and taking perspective. He also reviews the current science of how the environment can impact brain development and functioning.
This 236-page book has 8 chapters and 3 appendices of additional information: ‘misunderstood minds’ (such as ADHD, autism spectrum disorder), creating mini routines and mind maps as a tool for visual organization.
You won’t have to sit down and read the book cover to cover (obviously, you can!). Some parents may take the approach of reading the pertinent sections most relevant for you and your child and then read additional chapters over time.
The book has call out boxes filled with take home points to make sure big ideas and other high yield tips are remembered and easily referred back to.
One of my standout take-aways from Dr. Korb’s book is how he framed parents’ role during childrearing through the years. He helps parents understand the undeniably essential part parents play throughout childhood and into the teen years. However, how he represents it helps showcase that our role as parents evolve just as our children evolve and mature.
So your child is growing up, and as she gets more mature, your role as a parent changes from being a coach during the school-age period and a manager during middle school to now evolving into more of a consultant.”-Dr. Korb, developmental and behavioral pediatrician and author of, Raising An Organized Child”
I was so excited to read the advance copy and again after it came out in print. A copy of the book is in my clinic so parents can look at it before getting their own copy. I plan to showcase this book during my parent training groups for ADHD. The book is written in an easy to understand, conversational style that makes it a breeze to read. I was delighted to give a testimonial for this book, along with others in the field, including one of my mentors, Dr. Martin Stein. For me, that was awesome!
Purchase this informative book right here. I promise that you will be reaching for it time and again.
More with Dr. Damon Korb
Kids Should Make Their Own School Lunches by Third Grade, Explains One AAP Doctor (GoodHousekeeping.com)