Let’s talk about how kids are so different. 

 

If you remember I said kids are like waffles and spaghetti. All kids are different, which I know you know. Isabella is the opposite of JJ. She is like a plate of spaghetti opposite of JJ being a waffle. He thrives on structure, but then needs time to decompress. Isabella does well with structure but in a different way. She needs time to be creative and imaginative, that is her way of decompressing. 

 

So how do we find that balance for kids?

She gets a lot of structure in school and when she is tracked out with camps and therapy. However when she is home after school or track out it is important to let her creativity flow. I know this will lead to great things. She can play so well by herself.  There are days when she is tracked out of school, that she will be in her room for hours just playing. I will go and check on her and ask what she is doing and she will go into all these details about her and her dolls. I mean I have been asked by so many people, how do I get Isabella to play by herself? Honestly this really has nothing to do with me, but all to do with her. The only thing I do is let her use her imagination.

 

There are times I go upstairs and just stand at the door and watch Isabella play. Her way of thinking and creativity is really inspiring. She’s such a positive person, even after all she has been through. She inspires me to be more creative and go after the dreams and plans God has placed in my heart. 

 

While her room and closet is big for a kids room, it doesn’t make it any easier to keep it free of clutter. In fact it is probably harder, because she likes stuff and a lot of stuff. We organized her room in a totally different way than JJ’s and Lele’s room. 

 

She had a lot more in her room about a year ago. Like JJ, her room was cluttered and clutter leads to cluttered minds. But I knew I had to take a different approach to her room for organization and not much clutter. She needed a room where she could use her imagination and be creative. The last thing I want to do is hold any of my kids, my hubby or myself back. 

Here is the approach we took with her room. When we started this process in her room, she had Barbies, American Girl Dolls, junk, LOL, books, coloring stuff, puzzles, games and I am not even sure what else. But I knew she had a lot of stuff and nothing was really organized. We tried different things and her room was constantly a mess. We did take a lot out of her room at one time, she went through a very tough stage. She still found ways to be creative with her stuffed animals, games and books. I was really proud of her, but I also knew this was hindering her. That’s why we went with a total approach with her. I am sure there are the experts and minimalists that would question why we put stuff back when she was fine with her stuffed animals, books and games. Because she is so creative and so good at playing by herself. We scaled back to Barbies, American Girl Doll, coloring, puzzles, books and little junk she liked. That didn’t work, it seemed too much for her. I started paying attention to what she was playing with. Most of what she was using was her American Girl Dolls, coloring, puzzles and books. Instead of having barbies, American girl dolls, dolls and other things we went to just American Girl Dolls (by this I mean the Target Brand). It keeps the mess a little more organized and allows her to be herself. We keep out all the big items, all the little items are organized in baskets/bins and medium size items are in her toy box. We keep her baskets and bins in her book shelf with her books. Her coloring stuff is in her desk. Any games are in the family game center. She recently got into Legos and if you have kids that love Legos, you know that is a topic for another day. 

 

 She will set her dolls up with a board game and play a game with them. She is so good about playing by herself and like a plate of spaghetti, the noodle leads to another noodle, which means one mess leads to another mess. There are some days she gets almost all her toys out and plays with them. Like I said, she is creative. We are in the process teaching her to clean up her toys before getting more toys out. Some days this works really well, other days not so much. Overall her room is organized and allows her to be creative. 

 

When you are going through your kids rooms, ask them what they want in there. JJ wanted a calming area more than he wanted a lot of toys. Toys meant clutter to JJ and made more clutter in head for him. For Isabella having very little toys meant holding back her creativity and allowing her to grow. So it is important to talk with your kids through this process. Ask the hard questions if needed. If you know there are things that need to be thrown away, have a conversation with them. Ask why they want it. Ask if the toy could help another kid better. When we got rid of all the Barbie stuff it went to a lady whose granddaughters were just getting into them and she would be watching them more often. So it made Isabella happy to know that some other little girls would be playing with them at their grandmother’s house. Broken items need to be thrown away though. Do this process with them, it is a good bonding time.

 

This is a process that can happen once a year or so. Each child grows differently. 

Love,

Billie-Jo