Kids Growing Up? We Have a Command Center for That!
Do your kids forget to tell you about science projects that are (surprise) due tomorrow?
Put an end to those last-minute paper-mache volcanos by creating a one-of-a-kind command center that motivates and assists your child without parental supervision! That’s right, Mom and Dad, let’s give those kids some independence.
Helicopter parenting is all good for those afraid their child might make a mistake or scrape their knee. But many parents prefer to let their child spread their wings, take a chance on making a choice that might not work out, and learn from the consequences. These are the parents who are going to love this idea!
You can create a command center for your child at almost any age. We’ve broken it down to these five important reminders:
- Keep it within reach, and try our add-ons for an additional row
- Make it fun and let them be creative
- Involve them in choosing the right location in your home
- Mix work with play: chores and rewards!
- Let them go, knowing you set them up for success in all their endeavors
How old does your child need to be to use a 1THRIVE Center?
Just to state the obvious: they need to be able to walk and talk. According to the Child Development Institute, children as young as 2 years old are capable of doing simple chores and understanding a chart system. Those who are in the midst of the dreaded potty training can probably tell you about stickers and candy motivators.
Okay, so a toddler might not need a whole command center. But you can use one of our free downloads to create a sticker or stamp chart, something that’s fun and visual, and that encourages them to, you know, actually want to want to help you with the dishes.
Add pictures next to tasks that need to be completed daily. Children at this age may respond best with a picture of their reward that they can see, like a special dessert at the end of the week if they complete all their tasks.
Focus on chores that don’t take a lot of time or that they inherently enjoy. Most toddlers love “jobs.” Do you have pets? Feeding the cat or dog could be a great task for a toddler. However, cleaning up toys may require reminders about their sticker chart and what the reward is at the end.
When they can communicate in full sentences
By the time your child is in preschool and kindergarten, they’re probably ready for a little more responsibility. Don’t let those puppy dog eyes fool you; they are way more capable than they want us to know. If in doubt, just remember they’ve figured out how to use your cellphone better than you!
Their command center could now include a corkboard. We’re sure they will enjoy tacking on special pictures and notes, especially if they receive praise or recognition from their teacher or you, their parent. You want them to enjoy using their command center and personalize it, so look for those opportunities to include their creativity and interests.
Giving responsibility to your child makes them feel that they are part of a team. And as a team, the whole family works together to make the home better, which is also a correlation to being a good citizen. So basically, asking your child to put away his socks will provide him the steppingstones to a promising career one day! Or at least, a career that gets him out of your house before he turns 40.
Your child is officially tall enough for the big rides!
Around the ages of seven to nine, they may begin to feel a little like Cinderella because they can take on more responsibility. If they want to go to the party, then they have to sweep the floor! They’re definitely ready for an upgrade to their command center!
Command centers are flexible and can change and grow along with your child. Staying stagnant will quickly lose your child’s interest, and therefore, the effectiveness of his or her command center. So be sure to continue upgrading and adding both responsibilities and components.
For kiddos around this age, we’re feeling Casey could be a great BFF for them! The blackboard calendar is perfect for writing down sports practices, scout meetings, and playdates. Also, now that we can take choking hazards off the table, the blackboard and whiteboard are magnetic! Super useful for pinning invitations and other reminders!
Also, now that they can read and write, they have a fun-size to-do blackboard, which could be a parent-approved list. The added metal cups are great for them not to lose their liquid chalk markers! Or masks. Or sunglasses. Or any number of other things they’re always asking YOU for.
Through all these stages, one consistently important thing is that the kids can reach and engage with their command centers. Something out of reach that they are not allowed to touch, is going to lose its effectiveness very quickly. So, make sure you involve your kids and let them have control over this.
And now we’ve reached those years
We’re sorry for the things your child may say or do through these moments. We’re talking about ages ten to thirteen. All the temper tantrums you made it through a decade ago are looking a whole lot better compared to the tween they’ve become.
What they crave is more control. They want to have a say in what’s going on in their lives. A 1THRIVE Center gives you the perfect opportunity to teach them about organization and getting work done so they (and you!) can all be happier. When we say happier, we mean the reward. Everything goes much smoother with a silver lining, don’t you think?
At this time, let your child decide where they would like their command center located. You no longer need to supervise them while they’re using tacks and markers, and often kids at this age want privacy, so don’t be surprised if they decide it goes in their bedroom.
Everyone knows where to find the family command center, let’s be honest. It’s usually in the most popular room in the house: the kitchen! Allowing your pre-teen to rule over a personal command center gives them autonomy and teaches responsibility as well as those all-important organizational skills.
The last stage of any control
When your child reaches the ages of 15-18, you may feel that this. Is. The. End. After this, they’re going away to college, and you can miss them and be sad. But you’ll no longer be fighting over chores. (That’s what many parents hope at least.)
At this point, they’re miniature adults. Pretty much any chore you can do, they can do. (And they probably think they can do it better, too.) Mow the lawn, Swiffer the floors, groom the dog, whatever. Of course, the trick is getting them to do any of these things. The rewards are bigger now – going to a friend’s house or earning that new Xbox game.
As they get older, they can use their command center to:
- write down homework assignments and track project deadlines
- pin career ideas
- write in college application deadlines
- jot down important test deadlines like the SATs
- plan hanging out with friends
If your child does decide to go the college route, you’ve now given them the tools to stay organized and get their work done. As a parting gift, allow them to take their command center with them!
Our 1THRIVE Centers are perfect for a dorm room, with easy to install, no holes necessary with over the door brackets. Since the one thing every college dorm includes is a closet, make use of every available space and give your student one more tool to help them achieve that diploma!
Are you ready?
If all this sounds good to you, then you’re ready to shop! Check out 1THRIVE Centers, let your child look too so they can be excited about what’s coming their way. Shopping for parents and child (or children!)? Don’t miss out on the Family Packs, multiple centers for a deal!