Constantly bailing-out a forgetful 13 year old: DO or DON'T??

Angela - posted on 04/19/2010 ( 54 moms have responded )

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I have an amazing 13 year old girl who is a gifted child, great in school, very social & quite a personality to live with. BUT, we are constantly having to drive homework, gym clothes, LUNCH box, into school. She is constantly forgetful when having to organize herself for things that are routine and also for sleep overs, trips, etc. It makes us CRAZAY!
SO, my question is: Should we always bail her out, or, let her learn her lesson the hard way?
We feel awful by simply NOT catering to her when she needs items that she has absentmindly left behind again & again, but maybe that's why the cycle doesn't break? She knows we will "fix" the problem? Help!

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Stephanie - posted on 04/19/2010

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on a similar note, help make it easier to remember... stuff you probably already do, like pack your bag the night before and set it by the door.

Esther - posted on 04/20/2010

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As hard as it may be, you must stop bailing her out! It took my son a whole week of forgetting homework, lunch, and other things before he finally asked me, mom how come you didn't bring it to me at school? I said because its not my responsability! I also stopped looking at progress reports and report cards. When we get them in the mail, I leave it for them to open. Again, it is not my responsability! Grades have improved! It's their report, it's their progress, it's their lunch, it's their homework! They will step up to the plate if you believe in them that they can do it! It took me counceling to realize this in a house full of men! Don't give in! Step back and let them fall on their face! It's better now with homework and lunch than later on in life with car payments and mortgages!! Be the parent and let them learn!

Angie - posted on 04/19/2010

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I give each of my children (ages 9, 12, 17) ONE "get out of jail free" card per school year. If they forget something they have to think about how much they need it before they call me to bring it to them. Once I've brought something to them, they know not to call and ask me again because the answer is NO. Stop bailing her out, let her learn to organize herself while she's still at home. She will quickly learn to be more responsible..

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Rica - posted on 05/12/2010

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So far my oldest is just 7. So I feel a little out of place commenting here. But It worked for us. We have a check list that we run through each and every day.
1. are you dressed?
2. did you eat breakfast?
3. do you have socks on?
4. Do you have shoes on?
5. did you brush your teeth?
6. did you put your deodorant on?
7. did you pack your bookbag?
8. did you have your book bag?
9. Do you have/need your jacket?
10. IS there Anything You need before we leave?

She is to the point where is don't want to be treated like a baby so now she is already through the check list and ready ahead of time. If your 13 year old wants to continue to leave her things start rattling off this list and she will hate it so next time she will have all things in hand. Or you can just put post-its everywhere.

Amy - posted on 05/03/2010

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I tried the check list and my son, who is 13 with ADD, does not remember to look at that...so it was just another reminder. I am struffling with this now and am trying to work two jobs. My husband is not quite as enabling as I am, so I am hoping that our son will take more responsibility.

Marcelle - posted on 05/02/2010

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Hiya,

I agree with most, you need to start the training to get her out of this. My 14yo daughter sounds similar, but we got her out of this starting from about 10yo. Once having to get a fail on school work will probably cure her of that problem, occasionally missing lunch will stop that. Developing routines to preparing for things like how to bag your sleepover bag will decrease the number of other things forgotten. Daughter packs her school bag each night now, and double checks in the morning before leaving, including the pat on her pocket to check she has her bus pass. She's also learnt how to get herself ready to leave on time, after the second time she had to get a late note from me after not getting to school on time.

They do learn, and become more independent and confident people. It can be hard to let go so much, but it is necessary.

Good luck.

Ferneis - posted on 05/02/2010

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As a mom we always want to bail our children out of situations, thats our "Mercy Hat", however, as a mom we must also instill in our children things that will help them along the way, that's our "Teacher Hat". As a teacher, we must give the lesson, and our children must make the grade. Use the mercy hat, to discuss this problem with your daughter making sure that she understands the cause & effect. Use the teacher hat to make sure that she gets the passing grade. But to be truthful, My 13 year old daughter was just like yours, but "I forgot" was just the excuse for everything. Until I told her that "I forgot" just was not an excuse anymore. She has got so much better!!!

Elizabeth - posted on 05/02/2010

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At the beginning of the school year and also at the beginning of activites, I give each of my 4 children a "Forget 2" pass that I strictly enforce. They get one time to forget to take something to school and to an extra-curricular activity; and they get one time to forget to bring something home from school and their extra-curricular events. After they have used up those 4 times, I don't do anything else - EVER! It has worked wonders for them to learn to be responsible, and for my sanity. I also have a 10 year old daughter who is forgetful. She has 3 checklists, that we made up together. She checks the night before, in the morning and after school. When we have travel plans or sleep overs, she has another checklist that I just adjust the number of items needed. She is responsible for getting and confirming that those items are in her weekend bag/luggage - I do not take anything to her, or even buy anything at a store if we are on vacation (with the exception of toothbrush). With 4 children, a career and a chaotic life, I can't be everywhere for all 4 kids' forgetfulness. So far, our system works - on days #3 that lunches and homework have been forgotten, there have been no phonecalls home and the kids have learned VERY quickly that Mom and Dad won't bail them out everytime.



Also, and this is just my own experience, I have found that friends and relatives that I grew up with, are now adults who are in relationships were they can be bailed out and someone else covers for them. Their parents constantly ran around for the kid's forgetfulness and immaturity. My sister-in-law, who has been bailed out since a young child, is still looking to her parents for help (financially, life-wise), and she is 51.

Zatonda - posted on 05/02/2010

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if you understand the six senses, this post remind of me of my son, very gifted in class,he is so smart that he is slow to me.Things that he feel are of no real value, he show no interest in or no understanding of why he has to do it. he feels as though if he don't need it why bother with it. he has been like since first grade, he bores really easy and he is not organize to me, I had to learn to enter his world and although it is not organize as the human eye may see it, for some reason it very organize to him, this is major issue for me, I was told most gifted children have problems in that area or not really a problem if they understand it, but for a parent that is not gift it is very hard for me to understand how he manage,he forgets what I think is important. I would say make her less depend as possible I don't know the end results because I'm still dealing with it, but I do not have to remind him as much. I notice things like lunch money instead of telling me at the last minute he just wouldn't eat because I would fuss, so I laid off and had to learn he was having a hard time understanding me or normal people ways. They have their own language even though it sounds the same it is very different. Try getting a book about gifted children it may help you understand her more and how to handle certain situations that may seem big to you but not to her. I do understand ,because some things they just should not forget I don't care how gifted they are.

Rebecca - posted on 05/02/2010

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I would certainly think that a consequence of not getting organised and thinking through and double checking what she needs to take with her is that she has to do without.

HOWEVER before implementing that, I would sit down and tell her that she is old enough and smart enough to get organised and remember her things and that she needs to start taking responsibility. Show her a few skills for getting organised -- e.g. maybe she needs a wall chart she can check which reminds her what is happening on each day and what she needs for the day, as well as a list for what she always needs.

Then let her know that getting organised will now be her responsibility and if she doesn't use the tools provided, then you won't be rescuing her anymore.

Then stick to it the next time. It might be harsh the first time, but the harsher it is, the quicker she'll start taking responsibility.

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Alot of great tips here. My nearly 13 year old ADHD-Inattentive son has had the same issues and for a few years I bailed him out - much too often. Rhater than helping him it created a dependence. His behavior therapist and he came up with his checklist that we have modified as needed. For him, having it ready at the door wasn't working - he needed it a step further - out in the car (we are in a non bus area). He added a carabeener (one of those large clips) to he backpack for his lunchbox and another for his sports stuff and before bed would bring it to the car. Now that he's older, the only change is that he is able to grab it off of his desk as we walk out the door. Band days usually = run back into the house, but it is always before we pull away. The homework checklists are super important.
As a parent you want to guide your child, help them develop into responsible individuals. Mistakes are just one way that we learn and as uncomfortable as it is for us , it is imperative that the kids are allowed to make them. In the evening hours, during homework time and before bed, is one time that it is easy to help guide them, Go over the homework checklist WITH her as she's packing things up. Do it DAILY at first, then allow her to fo it on her own with you helping her a couple of times during the week and taper down. Go back to more involvement as needed, but allow her to grow. For me it is a nice way to see what is going on with school stuff and helps him to check in with me about everything. His report cards are no longer a surprise to me. I am no longer as worried about his success in the future.
She might trip up and make mistakes, but they will be hers. She will come to understand priorities, responsibility and the power of choice - if she CHOOSES to not take the time to be prepared, she is CHOOSING the negative consequence. Conversely, she will be able to CHOOSE success and will be earning it on her own.

Jeanne - posted on 05/01/2010

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Make *her* own the solutions. Ask her, "What can you do to make sure you remember that next time?" and *don't* provide your own answer. If the answer is something like, "I'll make a list" then ask her "What if you forget to make the list?" Keep driving like that until she sits down and makes the list and posts it right then and there.

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You have to stop bailing her out eventually because if you keep bailing her out then she will expect it, even when she's out of the house! My youngest son and oldest daughter are constantly forgetful as well. I found out they both have ADHD. My solution to their forgetfulness was to buy them dry erase boards. They can write down what they need to do or take to school and erase things as they are done. Also, calendars are a great asset because they make sure to write down dates homework is due.

Crystal - posted on 04/27/2010

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my 13 y/old son is the exact same!!! and I too bail him out a lot....I think we should probably take these moms advice as harsh as it may seem. You always wanna be there for them and it is hard....I couldn't let him go hungry though...I'd feel horrible!!!!

Anupama - posted on 04/26/2010

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Obviously as parents we must be there to fix our kids problems but not this much that they make it a habit and it gets into their life system. Have to make them realise while we are extending full support. Have to talk about doing things oneself boosts ones ego etc......

Karen - posted on 04/25/2010

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She isn't absent minded or forgetful, she just has you WELL TRAINED, she doesn't need to remember cause she knows you will do it for her. You already know what you need to do, get tough and stop treating her like a baby.

Kathy - posted on 04/24/2010

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My son was bad about this when he was in public school. I posted a note (in eye sight) on the door he used to go out to get to school every morning...it helped alot!

Di - posted on 04/24/2010

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Easy, STOP! You answered it yourself- she knows you will bail her out. Obviously if it is something of extreme importance (like a dancing costume for the concert) then be nice but otherwise, let her learn from her mistakes. My kids have to remember their things for school as I have to go straight to work after dropping them off. They have left behind notes, hats, sports uniforms, homework etc. They eventually get the idea! Good luck!

Joanne - posted on 04/24/2010

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I definitely agree with the others that said to stop bailing her out. My daughter is 14, and was just the same. I sat her down and told her that she was getting older and that I'm not always there at her beck and call! I will be going to work, and I won't always be there for every little thing.
Since this point, she has got a lot more organised! She still forgets the odd thing, but it's nowhere near as bad as it was.
At this age, we're teaching them to survive out there in the big, bad world on their own. We've done most of the nurturing bit, now it's letting them grow up and be adults. They can't do that if we don't let them.
I don't agree with the people mentioning ADHD though. I think, from what you wrote, she sounds like every other 13 year old. I wish people wouldn't start giving these kids labels and medication so easily. They just need to learn to grow up a bit, that's all. xx

Jessica - posted on 04/24/2010

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I totally agree with you Lydia. My sons' father still has not learned how to feed himself in a healthy way. No regular meals that I can see.

Kathey - posted on 04/24/2010

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Mom, you described a typical extrovert. She can remember every name of every kid in all her classes but would possibly forget her shoes on the way out the door. She remembers what is important to her - her friends and relationships. If you did not bail her out just a few times (you already know this) she will realize how important you and Dad are to her as well and how precious your time is. Her personality may always bring forgetfulness but she will learn how to improvise and get out of the pickle or take the consequenses when you stop bailing her out. And let me speak from personal experience, with a personality where people are more important than things, then this a skill she needs to learn and master early. Good luck, stay strong, and understand that she will remember what she thinks is important. And Mom what is important to you may not be what is important to her. A little behavior therapy (that is what you are doing teaching her to deal with her forgetfulness on her own) will go a long way, even if she just learns to deal instead of remembering.

Lydia - posted on 04/24/2010

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Please stop bailing her out. You won't be there in college or later.One missed lunch or even three won't hurt her, supper will arrive soon enough. If she doesn't learn now when it is a missed homework or meal, then later it will cost a job or relationship.What price do you want her to pay?

Estelle - posted on 04/24/2010

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Let her learn from her mistakes initially. Then, do as I do with my fourteen year old....on her own initiative she calls me up to her room to go through the checklist...I name she checks, when it comes to sleep overs.
In respect of school, she packs her bag the night before, checking items against her timetable.
I make her lunch up the night before, then put it out when we have breakfast. If she forgets anything she knows there are consequences as in the first instant she had to learn that I wasnt there to run after her by making deliveries to school.
Its tough to step back but as there are priveleges there needs to be consequences. Its the only way she'll learn. All the best.

Jessica - posted on 04/23/2010

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My sons' father is that way. He is only 33 years old, but he can be very forgetful with things like his cell phone, his wallet, paper work I guess, mail, etc. That type of thing. A coat perhaps. It is funny like, odd because he is so organized in other areas of his life. I wish that I could "get through" to him about it too, but I do not know how.

Shelly - posted on 04/23/2010

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Yea my daugher is turning 14 and going into HS next yr. I do NOT bail her out of situations where it was a case of her being forgetful. As a result my daughter PRIDES herself on how organized she is, in fact, the other kids at school want my daughter to organizer their lockers and binders the way her's is because she is so on top of things! I love that about her! I still do help her with planning sleep overs and such, but thats because its fun stuff, but she knows if she doesn't hand out the invitations or make the calls then no one will get invited and she'll be sleepin over alone...



Hold their hands, it's okay sometimes, but NOT ALL THE TIME!



That's the problem with todays kids. Everything is handed to them and they learn to appreciate nothing! It wasn't like that when I was young!



BTW what if you just COULDN'T bail her out of a situation? You had to work or just were available... ya think she'd live? She would! She may be upset with you for a little while, but we are parents not friends and in the end she will get over it and move on.



Why do you feel bad? Didn't you have to learn things on your own? Are you doing it for her gratification or for your own? Would you just not feel like a good parent if you didn't always think for your daughter? Or should you feel like a good parent because you make your daughter think for herself?

Elizabeth - posted on 04/23/2010

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She sounds like my son! He's great at school, has lots of friends, and compassionate. The problem arose about 2 years ago....he forgets everything. I always helped him out by "fixing" it but my husband wanted to let him fail. OMG, how do you LET your child fail?! But we did things my husbands way and he's learned his lesson.
He now has an agenda for homework (I do check this everyday), the night before school we set everything out in his bag, and his gym stuff (2 pairs of shorts on trade off laundry) 1 stays in the school bag and 1 is in the laundry. I'll tell you after 6 months of constant nagging he had himself trained to do them. As adults we make lists but we were trained to make them. I think it's the same for them (kids). Everyone needs to be trained. We potty train, we get them to brush their teeth and so on. People just don't explain how we do these things. I hope this helps.

Vicky - posted on 04/23/2010

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There is a book called "Smart But Scattered." I think it may be helpful for you. It has tips and suggestions for dealing with this sort of thing. My 11 year-old is one of those scattered brained kids also. The book will also help you to understand how they may be seeing the world. As it turns out the part of the brain that deals with organizational skills and the like doesn't mature fully until somewhere in the early twenties.

Tracy - posted on 04/22/2010

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My 11 year old son was the same way and I use to bail him out all the time. I finally got tired and aggravated and told him that I was NOT going to do it anymore. So at night I ask him if he has everything that he needs for school and if not to get it together and in his backpack. Now when he calls me pleading for me to bring him something that he forgot I tell him no. He has learned that he had to be responsible and that Im not going to be his "crutch" anymore.

Regina - posted on 04/22/2010

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I have a 13 year old son & he's the same way. I quit bailing him out because then as time went on the list got bigger & bigger. I felt that he needed to learn how to be somewhat independent & I can't keep doing everything for him. He came up with the idea of a checklist to make sure he doesn't forget anything.

Mary - posted on 04/22/2010

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My advice to you is let her get into trouble a time or two for not having her homework and feel embarrased for forgetting her gym clothes and other items like at a sleep over and go hungry for a day because she forgot her lunch. She'll soon change her ways. If you keep bailing her out she'll never learn her lesson like you already said. I know it's easy to feel badly for our kids and think we don't want them to suffer or go without or get into trouble for not having their homework but if we keep bailing them out of every bad situation they will never learn to stand on their own two feet. What if, God forbid, something bad were to happen to you or your husband some day? Who would be there to bail her out of bad situations then? What about when she grows up and gets a job? Whose going to take care of her then or if she gets an apartment and forgets to pay the rent? Are you going to have her move in with you because she gets evicted? To me, it's kind like if your child is on drugs which I know yours isn't or if they are an alcoholic. We develop this thing called co-dependency where they know we will bail them out every time they get arrested and put into jail etc. Hence the cycle continues and they never hit rock bottom and are made to face their problems head on and wake up and realize how they are only hurting themselves. Hope that helps you out a little bit. If she forgets her lunch after a few days of your not bringing her anything and her getting hungry enough she'll soon change and remember her lunch from then on. Same as with her gym clothes. If she feels embarrased enough times she'll soon change or if she misses her homework enough times and gets bad grades she'll soon either change or fail the class. The choice is really in her hands now.

Karen - posted on 04/22/2010

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I'm not quite there yet (my kids are 4 and 6), but I know that my mom stopped bailing me out at 11. If I left my work on the table in the morning, it stayed there until I got home from school, with a green slip for missed homework. Not sure that tactic helped me become less forgetful, but it let me know that she expected me to be more responsible and that if I forgot something it was my own fault and no one else's. In the long run, that's definitely the better way to go--communicate that she will not always be bailed out by you now with homework and she may not misbehave later, expecting to be bailed out by you again. Does that make sense? It sounded better in my head.

Sylvia - posted on 04/22/2010

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Yes, you have to stop bailing her out. Help her get organized, remind her (once) in the evening to make sure she has her stuff ready for school the next morning, and then let her cope with whatever happens.

Kids can be very forgetful -- that's normal -- but just like anything else, if there are no consequences, there's no motivation. When I was a kid I used to hate that I had no mom at home to bring me my forgotten lunch/project/PE clothes/clarinet/whatever (my mom worked from the time my parents split up when I was 10), but I think it helped me learn (a) to be more organized and take responsibility for remembering my stuff and (b) to own my own screw-ups when they happened, which they inevitably did. Those are both important life skills.

Denise - posted on 04/22/2010

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I would say stop bailing her out. If the only reason she is forgetful is due to the fact that she is unorganized then either teach her how to be organized or take a class with her on organization. What one person considers organized and how they organize to be right another doesn't.

When you stop 'bailing' her out you are making her responsible. If you refuse to bring something to her she is going to have to find some other way to do it. If she doesn't complete her assignment on time it becomes her issue when she gets a failing grade. I believe in learning through consequence when appropriate and this is appropriate. She will never learn to not depend on others if you don't take this one step back. This may feel like tough love to you but it really is only a step in teaching your daughter independence.

Teshana - posted on 04/22/2010

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Children must learn responsibility. Its ok if she forgets sometimes but if this a recurring problem you are going to have to let her learn the hard way. We must remember that we are responsible for molding our children. When she gets a job she will be held accountable for meeting deadlines not you. Let her learn now so that she will be prepared for the real world. I have a 13 daughter as well and I had to do the same thing when she was about 10. Its down to a minimum now and she is pretty good about remembering now. I hardly ever have to take anything up to the school now, or remind her of her school duties.

Vanessa - posted on 04/22/2010

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There is a great book called Parenting with Love and Logic. Can't remember the author. It has MARVELOUS ideas on how to teach your children to become responsible. I got some really creative ideas out of it. (I have 4 kids.)

Onna - posted on 04/22/2010

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i had the same issue with my son at that age. He knew I woud bail him out and didn't make much of an effort. Once I stopped, and yes it was tough on both of us, he began to do for himself. He became self reliant and new the limits. It's important that you explain to your child what's going to happen and expected from them. What ever happens happens and she knows she is responsible. It will take time and won't happen over night, but it's worth it to have a mature responsible adult later

Melyssa - posted on 04/21/2010

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At that age, its easy to forget-but, if she is forgetting important things daily, she may either not be prioritizing things OR is under alot of stress and that is not helping her memory. I would sit down with her (if you haven't already) and ask her if there is anything going on that she wants to talk about with you. At 13, theres ALOT of stuff going on in a girl's head! I remember that age clearly, and that was when I was starting to really be concerned with what my peers thought of me, boys, friends, etc..,peer pressure kicked in on different topics. Tough age. Another option is to make her learn to make those things a priority, if she forgets her gym clothes, she will have to wear her regular clothes to gym (thats embarassing), or forgetting lunch,or homework- if she sees you won't be bailing her out every time, it will force her to make those things a priority and to not forget them in the morning before she leaves for school. I have learned that, if you continue to "fix everything" for them, they will never learn to become responsible for their own actions because "mom or dad will fix it so why bother...?" Good luck! ;)

Elizabeth - posted on 04/21/2010

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Yes I totally agree you should stop catering to her. Let her learn the lesson of doing without because she forgot, not you. If you continue on catering to her, it will never end. She will grow up thinking you will always bail her out, and then when you don't she will rebel. Also, try this: tell her to put up a wall chart in her bedroom with the days of the week on it. Tell her to title it as so, Things to remeber. maybe she just gets so caught up in being a teenager she gets forgetful. If she writes things down on her chart, then she could glance at it to remind her of the things she needs for such things as trips, school... Having her prepare things the day or night before will help. Goodluck!

Dawn - posted on 04/20/2010

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Quit bailing her out. If you are always there to bail her out then she won't learn how to be responsible for her things. We are having this problem with our 7 year old except she is not bringing her books and homework home. We let her take the consequences. She is the one that will get the bad grade, not us. If she doesn't have her homework or gym clothes and gets a bad grade for that day then maybe she will learn from that and remember her stuff the next time. And as far as a lunch, I don't think the school with let her starve. Here if the kids don't have a lunch or they don't have lunch money, they give them a peanut butter sandwich and milk. I'm not sure how old she is, but I am thinking it could be quite embarrassing and she will probably remember her lunch the next time. You have to remember that it is her responsibility and not yours to follow her around and make sure she has everything she needs. I took a class called love and logic and this is what they told us. Too many times, we try to make our child's problems our own and I am guilty of it too. I have taken my oldest daughter her books or homework, but luckily she has only forgot them a couple of times so it has not become a habit. Good luck and I hope you can break the cycle. Be strong!!!



Oh and another thing. My boss has been bailing her two daughters out everytime they have a problem and now the girls are in their 20s and can't do anything on their own. Something to think about.

Crystal - posted on 04/20/2010

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Definitely stop bailing her out. She will never learn to take responsibility for herself nor develop that part of independence she needs to be a successful adult. I really suggest sitting down with her and having a conversation with her and tell her about this problem, and ask her what she thinks of the problem and how she thinks she (NOT YOU)can solve it. Offer her solutions if she cannot think of one and solve it together as a whole family. She would get a greater sense of being mature and independent which is what they all want at that age, no?
I also agree that if necessary, see a physician about the possibility of ADHD/ADD.

Noreen - posted on 04/20/2010

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If I was at your place, I would have made sure that the night before she goes to bed she organises everything for the next morning... I have a five year old daughter and from now on I keep reminding her that once she finishes playing she is the one who needs to put everything back on its place... and make sure that she dose that...

Andrea - posted on 04/20/2010

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I have two boys 9 and 12 and I think they still need some help remembering everything. So we have our check list every morning before they leave the house we go over everything.... back packs........check......... lunchbox......... check. Works well for us and I don't have to bail them out! After all when we have a busy day we need our check list too, right?

Jill - posted on 04/20/2010

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also.... please don't be put off by the possibility that ADHD = medicating her. While this works for many - my child included, there are other options

Jill - posted on 04/20/2010

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I am glad to see that at least one person did mention ADHD. That was my very first thought. Have you had her evaluated?? It is common in girls with her description to have ADHD- attentive type. In which case it is nuerological, and something she would need certain accomidations for.
I agree that you shouldn't always fix the problem, but if she does have ADHD she needs the right tools to help herself fix it. I speak from personal experiance. As someone who grew up with (untreated) ADHD and a mom of a child with ADHD.
It can't hurt to check it out. If it affecting her (and those around her - ie you) at home and at school, it is worth looking into.

Evelyn - posted on 04/20/2010

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I agree with all the suggestions. Yes one must stop bailing your child out. I too have had to learn to let my child face the consequences of forgetting things. My daughter that was forgetful did have ADHD. When she was on medication she was able to remember everything, and organize herself. She herself saw the benefits when she was on the medication, and how she was when she was not on medication. I would take a closer look at what the true cause of forgetfulness could be, And believe me, my daughter couldn't walk 10 feet to put something into the kitchen before she forgot what she was doing, and put the item down and went on to something else.

Elizabeth - posted on 04/20/2010

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A Q:to A: How are you organized? Myself I'm rushed most mornings and I hurry her out the door. We've had to run back for the back-pack. (all ready and packed by the front door).
I have learned to slow down and check before we the house leave in the mornings.

Angelic - posted on 04/20/2010

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I can absolutely relate Angela, my 13-year-old is the EXACT same way and he's a boy ;-) I was forever bailing him out also and I was constantly telling myself that he will not learn unless I stop. Well, lo and behold, it'he is learning his lesson!

Donna - posted on 04/20/2010

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Hi I understand how you feel, my son is 12 and i have to remind him to do simple things like brush is teeth and every day things, i did let him find out the hard way when it came to school thing it has helped but still is struggling with being organised. i have a check list on his bedroom door so noone else can see it which he uses to help himself .

JuLeah - posted on 04/19/2010

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Maybe maybe not .... what are her organizational skills like in other areas? Maybe she needs to gain some skill developing a routine .... setting out all her stuff for the next day by the front door, making a check list .... some kids really need help learning to get organized. One thing I did (that worked for this kid, no promise that it will work for another) was to explain that my time was important to me and if I sent my time driving lunches to school, then I had less time for what I needed to get done. So, if I cut into my day to drive a missing assignment or lunch to school, so she cut into her day helping me with things so I had time to do what I wanted. She did dishes, she cleaned the house, weeded the garden .... we also had a check list she looked over each night .... back pack packed and by the front door, check. Clothes for school set out in room, check. Lunch in fridge ready to grab, check .... you get the idea.

Alisa - posted on 04/19/2010

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My daughter, 11, sounds much like your daughter. When she was in third grade and we were having similar struggles, her teacher told me that she may have to take a hard fall to learn. She is in middle school this year, and even though my husband works at her school, she is having to take responsibility for things like her grades, her gym clothes and her lunch. There have been a couple of times that he has taken her up on the weekend to get something, but other than that, she has learned to pull through for herself. We are also making it her responsibility to talk to her teachers (most of the time) if she has forgotten something or feels that her grade was not accurate. She has really taken then reins and run with them.

So, my suggestion for you, is to let her sweat the small stuff. She forgets a (minor) homework assignment, she needs to face the consequences. She forgets her lunch, eat a school lunch. She may never forget her lunch again! Those falls are difficult for us, but they help our children grow their wings.

Kayla - posted on 04/19/2010

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I wouldn't bail her out. Maybe if she gets hungry because she doesn't have a lunch she would remember, same kind of issue with gym clothes and homework. She needs to realize that you can't cater to her every need. She needs to step up to the plate and remember. I also agree with DeAnn about the consequences for actions.

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