Are boys more organized than girls?

Filed under: Teens, Siblings

There is always some sort of boy versus girl issue brewing. But the above question is one I often mull over as I am parenting my older two children. My oldest child, Loren, is a classic teen age boy; at 14 he eats huge amounts of food, preferably junk food, he avoids studying for his classes, he loves hanging out with his friends, he prefers playing outdoors rather than sitting inside and he is a slob. A slob to the extent that I often have to take away his privileges just to get him to pick up his dirty clothing or clean out his school backpack. On the other hand, my daughter, Cassidy, is 10 and ready to take the world by storm. Her room is usually clean, her book bag is always devoid of unnecessary papers, she lays out her clothes the night before she is going to wear them and she is nearly always ahead of her class in her school work. Where I want to throw up my arms in frustration with Loren, I can often relax and take solace in the fact that Cassidy has a steady fire burning under her rear and has no problem with being a self starter.

I am not the only mother who suffers this situation. Many parents across the nation experience similar predicaments with their children, particularly their teen age sons. Parents are currently turning to tutors or organizational gurus to help their children get a grip on organizing everything from their backpacks to their schedules. Ana Hamayoun, a San Fransisco based tutor, makes a profitable business by doing just this. Although she helps her students improve their academic endeavors, she often begins by simply asking her clientele, mostly teen boys, to open up their backpacks and fins something. More often than not the boys are unable perform this simple task because of the abundance of random papers, discarded soda cans and other teen boy riff raff. She believes that by helping boys to get organized they will better able to focus and multi-task.

I couldn't agree more with Ms. Hamayoun. I often find that if I give Loren a task consisting of more than seven words, he will return minutes later without a clue what it was I sent him to do. However, if I help him clean up his room, empty his backpack and de-clutter his surroundings, he is better able to perform and seems to think more clearly. This isn't to say that I intend to clean his surroundings until he graduates from high school, but perhaps we can reach some sort of middle ground where he can focus enough to keep his immediate belongings organized and his brain able to handle more than one task at a time.

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AdviceMama Says:
Start by teaching him that it is safe to do so.