1.   Explain to your student what being neat means (as apposed to sloppy or messy).

    2.   Everyone should try to be neat in three basic areas:

      1) personal appearance (i.e. clothes, hair, etc.)
      2) their living space (where they eat, sleep and work)
      3) items produced (i.e. homework, papers, etc.)

    3.   Neatness comes from living order well. When things are neat and orderly they are easier to find and too keep. Because neatness requires just a little extra effort it demonstrates that a person is not lazy. Finally, neatness is a sign of respect because we take care of the things we value (beginning with ourselves).
    4.   Ask your student why it is important to be neat. Emphasize that external neatness is a reflection of one’s internal character. People will generally form a lasting impression of you based on your appearance. Explain the importance of making a good first impression, especially when applying for a job or to a university.

    5.   Encourage your student to think of ways to be neat. Some examples are:

      a)   Personal appearance: take a bath daily, brush teeth, wash and comb hair, clip and clean fingernails, tuck in shirt and tie shoes.

      b)   Living Space: Help to keep their home clean, make their bed, put away their cloths, keep their family car clean, clean up when they finish eating.

      c)   Items produced: Write neatly and check for mistakes. Good penmanship comes with practice but this simple practice will improve your grades. Do not hand in folded or crumpled papers. Use staples whenever necessary. Keep their school notes and homework in folders.


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