Working with Kids

Today I worked with a six year old girl. Her mom wanted me to help her daughter let go of clutter in her bedroom. The little girl didn't want to do it. She laid face down on her bed and wouldn't look up. I asked her how old she was. She said six. I told her that my girlfriend's son is nine and that I helped him clutter bust. I said that he liked giving stuff away that he didn't play with anymore because it went to other kids who didn't have toys and they would get to play with them.

She turned around and smiled. I said, "We're just gonna take a look at some of your things and see which ones you like playing with and which ones you don't." I kept it light. Sometimes when I work with kids, the parents try and push or threaten the kids to do the clutter busting. I step in and bring it back to niceness. I find the light touch works with adults as well as kids. Everyone wants to be treated kindly.

I went through her toy container. I picked one toy at a time. I asked, "Do you still like playing with this or can we give it to some other kids?" She said yes or no to each one. There was no hemming or hawing. She knew. "I like that one". "No, you can put that in the other (charity) pile." It went pretty fast. Her mother sat silently throughout. She sensed not to try and influence her daughter.

When we were done, the girl was happy. She didn't feel like she lost anything, or had something taken from her. She had the toys that she liked to play with.