A String on the Finger
One of the things that never fails to set parents off is when kids are chronically forgetful. And it can be a long haul to get kids to accept the responsibility of remembering their own tasks and items. One of the worst things parents can do in these situations is to rescue their kids. If we are chronically running behind our kids, picking up their laundry, bringing their forgotten lunch to school, or dropping off last minute permission forms, there’s very little incentive for kids to step up their game. Give kids an opportunity to experience the consequences by not swooping in to save them. Trust me, going without lunch or mittens one day is a much more effective reminder than the lecture you give them when you drop the forgotten items off at school.
This won’t turn around overnight. Notice and encourage progress, not perfection, and be patient with the learning curve. Ultimately, this is your child’s lesson to learn, so don’t take on too much responsibility for helping them succeed. You could offer suggestions or offer to brainstorm solutions together and help your child determine which strategy he’d like to try first, and then step back and give him the opportunity to try it. Share some of the strategies you use to keep on top of your own responsibilities, such as making lists and checking them regularly, planning ahead, and creating routines. Some of us have better memories than others — that’s ok. By helping our kids learn how to play to their strengths and create strategies for overcoming their own personal hurdles, we’re teaching them how to succeed whether their memories are like steel traps or Swiss cheese.