Wednesday, 16 January 2019

Loser - Making Kids Accountable For Their Own Stuff!

As people we get pigeonholed as to who we are.  This starts from when we're kids.  Since kindergarten Molly has lost all of her stuff: water bottles, lunch boxes, Tupperware, spoons, mittens, gloves, boots, shoes, you name it.  For a while there wasn't a week that went by that we weren't visiting every single lost and found within a 10KM radius from our home because Molly had misplaced things.

After replacing her metal spoons and forks with plastic ones (that we reused, but I'm a little less furious about losing) and instances where allowance has gone to buying a new water bottle, library books, pair of mittens or hats - she's gotten a lot better.

via Crowdfind

Since he was really little Jack has been really good at keeping track of his stuff.  His clothes don't usually get lost, they get worn out - except for that pair of snow pants he hated and hid.  That is until this year.  It seems since Jack turned seven his ability to keep track of just about anything has gone away.  We have bought 10, no I'm not exaggerating, 10 pairs of gloves and mittens for the boy this year, he got two hats for Christmas (one is currently missing).  While I have threatened to reinstate mitt clips to his gloves (which he insists are for babies), I distinctly recall having this same argument with my own mom as a kid (only we used to call them idiot mittens in the 1980's).  When I looked in the lost and found at before and after care today I saw dozens of items, some were Jack's, so apparently it isn't just him.

I am at a loss for what to I did what any modern parent does.  Search the internet for ideas on getting your children to be accountable for their own stuff, cause clearly huffing and puffing and threatening to burn his house down is doing nothing.  Here's what I found:

- Create a daily checklist for them and attach it to their backpack/make a checking routine

- Go with them to lost and found to retrieve lost items

- Don't rush to buy new things (this one is harder when it's cold outside)

- Ask them what they think would help them avoid losing things and provide it 

- Explain how much things cost in terms they'll understand

- Make them replace lost items with their own money (perhaps this will hit home further if Molly is permitted to buy the toy she's saving up for at the same time?)

- Write their names on their belongings (admittedly I am the worst for doing this) 

- Have them pack and unpack their backpacks to help them learn where stuff is and goes (we're going to start doing this next week, they already unpack)

- Reward them and compliment them when they do remember if they're struggling

-Have a 'home for everything' we have a glove and hat bin by the front door, but most stuff doesn't get lost here

Here's hoping this is the last time (this winter anyway) that we're purchasing gloves...although it does help that he's lost so many, we are purchasing the same kind to pair up singles.....Silver Linings.

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