With many of the families and classrooms that I work with, one of the biggest things that the adults want to find solutions to is the way children are interacting in the learning/play environment. Children are being aggressive with each other or with the toys and materials they have. Children seem generally unhappy or have unusually short attention spans. Children aren’t showing any real interests or don’t want to participate in the activities that parents/teachers are setting up for them.
And almost always this can be traced back to one thing – clutter in the environment.
You see, when a space has too much available or feels disorganized, it can cause children to feel overwhelmed, which leads to frustration, disconnect, acting out, or destructive behavior.
Here are a few signs that your child might be showing you that they’re suffering from an overwhelmed feeling in their environment:
✨ They act or tell you they’re bored.
“How can they be bored if they have a million things to choose from?” you might ask. It’s the same feeling as when you have 150 things on your to-do list and the thought of even starting with one thing is so overwhelming that you just Netflix and chill instead.
✨ There’s tons of sibling rivalry.
A little bit of spatting is totally normal, but if you feel like you’re living in a WWE reality show lately…. they’re probably feeling overwhelmed and overstimulated.
✨ There’s no joy or imagination in their play.
Maybe they’re playing the same thing over and over again, or perhaps “playing” just looks like a chaotic tossing of things around the room. Whatever the case, when children feel overwhelmed by options, they can actually lose the ability to play in a healthy, creative way.
✨ They’re not using their toys and materials in an appropriate way.
Dumping, destroying, throwing, or other seemingly destructive behaviors towards their possessions is also a clear sign that there is too much available!
✨ Everything is a disaster.
Obvious one, but if there are piles of clutter everywhere to the point where your child isn’t even able to put it all in its proper spot, some decluttering and organization is definitely in order!
Is any of this sounding familiar? You’re not alone… and there is a better way.
This week in the Nature Hack Challenge, we’re talking about decluttering our spaces and what happens when our children feel overwhelm from too many options, among other awesome space-transforming things!
Join the free challenge or dive into Grow Your Natural Learner to declutter and start your learning space transformation!