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Friday, August 21, 2015

Tips On How To Make Sure Your Child Becomes Independent In Packing Their Own School Bags

I have two types of bag packers at home. Not backpacks but children and how they pack their bags. One is Little Miss Diligent and the other one is Little Mr Couldn't Be Bothered.

Little Miss Diligent or Little Miss Perfect wanted me to sit with her from Day One. She was the happiest when I sat down and sorted her books together with her and packed them together with her. I think she would have been happier still if I had packed them FOR her. Little Miss Diligent took hours to pack her bag, literally. Seriously, she takes about an hour, going through each and every book and checking each one in detail to make sure that she had not forgotten any homework. The amount of time she takes drives me nuts.

Little Mr Couldn't Be Bothered or Mr Couldn't Care Less as his name suggests just could not be bothered by it all. From day one he was an independent bag packer, shrugging off any attempts to help with a "I can do it, mom." His "I can do it, mom" meant not packing at all sometimes. He just took everything home from school and took everything back to school again the next day. He was swift in his packing because sometimes he didn't really pack at all! To give him credit, sometimes he did pack according to his timetable but usually he just shoves all his books into the bag in no particular order even though I had taught him how to put the early morning session books in the back part of the bag, the late morning books (after recess) in the front part and the exercise books in another bag.

I am not sure what type of bag packer you will have when your child starts schooling but here are a few tips to make sure you get off on a right start from the very beginning.

Tips On How To Make Sure Your Child Becomes Independent In Packing Their Own School Bags

  1. Make a timetable and make sure your child knows how to refer to the timetable each time when they pack. Better still, teach them to make their own timetable. Have fun. Turn the timetable into a piece of art or craft so they can identify with it and start using it. If you don't have the time to make one, just print out our Free Printable Blank Timetable For Boys And Girls.
  2. Teach them how to pack but do not do it for them. Show them the way, then leave them alone to do it. Do not, I repeat DO NOT pack it for them or you will end up doing a lot of packing and even scolding later on when they don't do the packing. (when you are actually partly to blame for having done the packing yourself). Your time for packing and going to school is over. So, let your child pack.
  3. Do not hover over them and tell them what to do at every stage or you will have a Little Miss Diligent to deal with later on. In other words, close one eye. The packing does not have to be perfect. It certainly may not be as how you would like it done but as long as it gets done, they're ok.
  4. Do spot checks! This is very important if you have a Little Mr Couldn't Be Bothered. While you want to give them the space and encourage independence, you must do spot checks to make sure Little Mr Couldn't Care Less does not get away with his tricks of not packing at all. You will also discover many strange things during the spot checks. Springs, broken pieces of pen or ruler parts. Sometimes these are tied together to form toys. 
  5. Remember that every child is different so they will each have their own style so be mindful of that.
Looking for a school bag? Check out our old post on  Where To Buy School Bags In Malaysia.


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