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Get organized! How “The Home Edit” can help you spring clean your parenting.

Dr. Meg Meeker

Dr. Meg Meeker

Organizers for stars like Reese Witherspoon and Chris Pratt, Clea and Joanna’s three-step organization system clearly works: 

1. Edit

2. Categorize

3. Contain

The edit is the clean-out. Getting rid of anything you don’t need anymore. Then you put everything in its own category. For example, for a pantry, your categories would be things like “pasta and grains,” “snacks,” and “cereal.” Lastly, contain. This is when you find a home for all of your stuff, whether that’s in a plastic bin, a drawer, or on a shelf.

We all know organizing our homes is necessary every once in a while, but have you ever thought about organizing your parenting? What strategies do you have that no longer work? What needs to be…edited?

Just like phase one of Clea and Joanna’s organization system, I find that many parents need to assess their parenting styles and strategies once a year and decide what can stay and what needs to go.

Parenting is hard, I know. Just getting through the day can feel like a challenge. The last thing you want to do after a tough day of parenting is to think about parenting. But being intentional about how you parent your child is critical.

One of the main pitfalls for parents—and an area that is probably in need of editing—is overparenting.

We all want what’s best for our children, but often in trying to do what’s best for our kids, we do too much for them. We involve them in too many activities. We worry too much about their grades. We obsess over small details, such as feeding our children only organic food or researching the best type of stroller, the best preschools, or the best colleges.

Though these details seem really important now, ensuring that your child is enrolled at the best schools and is participating in the best extracurricular activities does not ensure that you will raise a great kid. It will, however, ensure that you feel more stressed about parenting than you need to.

What I recommend all parents do, no matter what stage of parenting you are in, is simplify.

When it comes to what a child needs and wants, the answer is always the same. Son or daughter, teen or toddler, what your child really wants, is you.

Yes, it’s really that simple.

More than good grades, healthy food, and a college scholarship, what your child wants is to know you and for you to know her. She wants to know what you think of her, how you feel about her, and what your hopes are for her. All of this can only be achieved through spending time with your child. That is what is at the heart of successful parenting—spending time with your child and being accessible to her.

When thinking about editing your parenting, keep everything that focuses on building a relationship with your child, and get rid of anything that might be taking away from that relationship. This could mean getting rid of one extracurricular activity a week, or more. It could mean spending less time in front of a screen and more time around the dinner table as a family. It could mean less expensive outings to the mall and more walks around your block. You know your family and child best, so you know what will be best for building a relationship with him.

Parents, being intentional about your parenting takes effort, but trust me, that effort will pay off. Take the opportunity this spring to edit your parenting choices with intention. Though we all want the Instagram-worthy, picture-perfect closets The Home Edit creates, see what it feels like this year to clean out your parenting as you clean out your closet. If you do this, I promise you will find that successful parenting is much easier than you think it is.

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