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Thread: Why is my kid so disorganised?!

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    #1

    Why is my kid so disorganised?!

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    Child One is seven, eight in June. He loses everything.

    Weve tried labelling everything we can fit his name on. Weve tried having particular places where things live when hes not using them. Both his father and I are fairly organised, fairly neat people, so hes definitely having the behaviour modelled around him. He still loses everything.

    Hes using cheap plastic takeaway tubs for his lunch at the moment, because hes lost two lunch boxes and a drink bottle this year and Im not buying him a new one this close to the school holidays. His capacity to build up library fines is impressive. I am thisclose to stapling his school uniform on permanently, since it seems to be the only way he can keep hold of both his jumper/sweater AND his hat.

    What have you guys done with disorganised children? What can I try to help him get this habit down?
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    #2
    Quote Originally Posted by Matchbox View Post
    Child One is seven, eight in June. He loses everything.

    We’ve tried labelling everything we can fit his name on. We’ve tried having particular places where things live when he’s not using them. Both his father and I are fairly organised, fairly neat people, so he’s definitely having the behaviour modelled around him. He still loses everything.

    He’s using cheap plastic takeaway tubs for his lunch at the moment, because he’s lost two lunch boxes and a drink bottle this year and I’m not buying him a new one this close to the school holidays. His capacity to build up library fines is impressive. I am thisclose to stapling his school uniform on permanently, since it seems to be the only way he can keep hold of both his jumper/sweater AND his hat.

    What have you guys done with disorganised children? What can I try to help him get this habit down?
    Have you tried showing him the consequences of him losing things? Maybe if you show him how much it costs to replace the things he loses versus the budget and how that affects everything else he'd be less careless? He might be a little young for all that, but I distinctly remember being like 12 with braces, and I kept dislodging brackets on candy and stuff. It didn't occur to me that it costs actual money to have that fixed until my mom told me lol.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    Have you tried showing him the consequences of him losing things? Maybe if you show him how much it costs to replace the things he loses versus the budget and how that affects everything else he'd be less careless? He might be a little young for all that, but I distinctly remember being like 12 with braces, and I kept dislodging brackets on candy and stuff. It didn't occur to me that it costs actual money to have that fixed until my mom told me lol.
    ^^ I distinctly remember my grandmother allotting certain chores to be worth a certain amount, and you would have to work back whatever you lost. Sometimes the number amounts don't really click, but knowing if the lunchbox gets lost again you have to put dishes away (or whatever) 3 times (or whatever) clicks pretty quickly.

    My parents continued this - worked on myself and one other sister, didn't work very well for the middle child. Then again, not really anything works on her. *shrug*
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
    Have you tried showing him the consequences of him losing things? Maybe if you show him how much it costs to replace the things he loses versus the budget and how that affects everything else he'd be less careless? He might be a little young for all that, but I distinctly remember being like 12 with braces, and I kept dislodging brackets on candy and stuff. It didn't occur to me that it costs actual money to have that fixed until my mom told me lol.
    This might work. He's just at an age where he's starting to really value his pocket money and want to save for things, so it might. Making him pay his own library fines, at least - they look like they're mine, because he doesn't have his own card yet, but they're always his!

    Quote Originally Posted by sassyspoonicus View Post
    ^^ I distinctly remember my grandmother allotting certain chores to be worth a certain amount, and you would have to work back whatever you lost. Sometimes the number amounts don't really click, but knowing if the lunchbox gets lost again you have to put dishes away (or whatever) 3 times (or whatever) clicks pretty quickly.

    My parents continued this - worked on myself and one other sister, didn't work very well for the middle child. Then again, not really anything works on her. *shrug*
    He already has a pretty solid grasp on chores. We've been making him do small things around the house for years, because that's what living in a house with other people means. Everyone contributes something. Did your grandmother/parents have a way to distinguish between "chores you do just because you're part of this family" and "chores you do because you've done something you shouldn't"?
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    Quote Originally Posted by Matchbox View Post
    This might work. He's just at an age where he's starting to really value his pocket money and want to save for things, so it might. Making him pay his own library fines, at least - they look like they're mine, because he doesn't have his own card yet, but they're always his!



    He already has a pretty solid grasp on chores. We've been making him do small things around the house for years, because that's what living in a house with other people means. Everyone contributes something. Did your grandmother/parents have a way to distinguish between "chores you do just because you're part of this family" and "chores you do because you've done something you shouldn't"?
    Yup! There was a list of chores you just needed to do, and a list of chores you could choose from to work off something. Unload the dishwasher & keep your room clean (for example) because that's what you need to get done (and those were always consistent), versus clean the bathroom/weed the front flowerbeds/etc (that you could pick & choose, but not do like 10 times in the same day because you hate all the other chores) for $0.XX because you done goofed at something. I think it was set at once a week per each of those chores, if I remember correctly. It was also the same list to earn back something because it got taken away.
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    We just stopped replacing stuff, DD loses something that she needs/uses on the daily and we don't replace it she starts feeling the effects of it. We will eventually give her the ability to earn a replacement but if they have to live without something they "need" (because things kids think they need they don't always actually need) then they feel the affects of losing it in the first place.



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    #7
    Some people are that way and just not able to think it through. I wish I was an organized person; but, I just can't understand and do it. I've struggled for years on it. My oldest isn't a very organized person; but, my youngest is. Some is just who they are.

    Don't replace it or when you pick them up, make sure they have it. Some is just an age too.
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    I have no short term memory. I am easily distracted. I have extreme ADD. (I was diagnosed prior to the H being added.
    I am also a major slob and completely disorganized.

    My guess is, based on my own experience of losing my wallet and car keys more times than I could remember, even if I had a memory, that you should have a neurological exam done, and tested for a a adhd. Before you medicate though, once you find if that is the problem, there are lots of classes and books on different methods to cope.
    Checklists are amazing, if he remembers to check them.
    Breaking tasks into short portions. One problem I have is because I don't stay organized, when I do go to clean, I am over whelmed. A specific trick for that is to use an alarm. Clean in 10 minute increments. Break for short distraction. Even a few minutes. Then back to working. Each time, cleaning a little longer.
    And break the task up into specific tasks. Clothes first. Then toys. Etc etc.

    Good luck with him, he will exasperated you.
    Oh, and teach him to bake. It takes discipline and following directions in detail. And the reward is.... warm fresh bread.


    Oh! And don't do it for him....if he runs out of clothes, he knows where the laundry machine is.
    He will be miserable later in life if he doesn't learn and get into good habits NOW
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    I have one like that! He just turned 10, it doesn't matter what the consequence is, it doesn't matter if he loses money, if he misses fun activities, it doesn't matter he just cannot remember things or keep his things with him. He is ADHD (diagnosed and medicated) and while I have seen a great improvement with the medication we still lose sweaters like crazy (luckily in TX it's not sweater weather for very long lol) I have pretty much given up on the punishment route as it really didn't work and resulted in him getting really down on himself and feeling like a failure. It really was NOT intentional, he really tried, he just got SO EASILY distracted. I do everything I can to remind him and make check lists now that he can read. I am pretty sure he will struggle with this for his entire life.

    DB is the opposite he is OCD organized. I am closer to the disorganized side myself, I have trouble with staying organized. I have to really actively force it and force myself to stay organized. I love planners. I write everything down. I don't mean buzz in your phone, I mean physically writing it down in a planner, it just has always worked better for me. I also need to have a place for everything or I get super cluttered and messy. I honestly prefer structure and organization it just doesn't come naturally to me.
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    Quote Originally Posted by April Lynne View Post
    We just stopped replacing stuff, DD loses something that she needs/uses on the daily and we don't replace it she starts feeling the effects of it. We will eventually give her the ability to earn a replacement but if they have to live without something they "need" (because things kids think they need they don't always actually need) then they feel the affects of losing it in the first place.
    School has a “no hat, no play” policy. If you haven’t got a hat, you’re not allowed out from under the shaded part of the playground, which is nowhere near any of the fun stuff. He loses his hat, it turns up in lost property because we labelled literally everything, he gets it back for a while (the record is three weeks) and then he loses it again. It’s frustrating for him.

    Quote Originally Posted by Guynavywife View Post
    I have no short term memory. I am easily distracted. I have extreme ADD. (I was diagnosed prior to the H being added.
    I am also a major slob and completely disorganized.

    My guess is, based on my own experience of losing my wallet and car keys more times than I could remember, even if I had a memory, that you should have a neurological exam done, and tested for a a adhd. Before you medicate though, once you find if that is the problem, there are lots of classes and books on different methods to cope.
    Checklists are amazing, if he remembers to check them.
    Breaking tasks into short portions. One problem I have is because I don't stay organized, when I do go to clean, I am over whelmed. A specific trick for that is to use an alarm. Clean in 10 minute increments. Break for short distraction. Even a few minutes. Then back to working. Each time, cleaning a little longer.
    And break the task up into specific tasks. Clothes first. Then toys. Etc etc.

    Good luck with him, he will exasperated you.
    Oh, and teach him to bake. It takes discipline and following directions in detail. And the reward is.... warm fresh bread.


    Oh! And don't do it for him....if he runs out of clothes, he knows where the laundry machine is.
    He will be miserable later in life if he doesn't learn and get into good habits NOW
    I love my son. He’s a good kid, and a very smart kid. All I want is to help him figure out something he can use to get his shit together.

    Were you a fidgety child? He’s always been a restless, fidgety kid, but I just thought it was one of the ways he was like me - I can’t help but do that either. If it’s related to something else...

    He does love time in the kitchen with me. He’s been ducking in and out since he was a baby on my hip, helping since he was old enough to control a spoon. He likes the noise and being allowed to make a mess bigger than he is, and much like me he likes (needs) to use his hands. Honestly, for his age his technique is good. More of that, then?
    If I cannot move heaven, I will raise hell
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