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Elementary Aged Kids Your little ones have grown up right before your eyes! They are no longer those little babies they once were, and soon they are moving to adolescence.

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Old 04-25-2006, 09:58 AM
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Kids Who Lose Stuff

My 10-year-old daughter is very disorganized, and she loses a lot of things. The latest is her glasses! How can I help my daughter organize her things better and keep from losing stuff?
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Old 04-25-2006, 10:24 AM
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Barb, I totally understand! My DS is notoriously scatter-brained! My DD somewhat scatter-brained, but only since adulthood and I am naturally scatter-brianed. But, people think that I am so organized!

Some tricks that has worked for me as a typically disorganized has been:

Give her a corner or table to throw her stuff on. This won't seem organized to you, but it will appeal to her personality. She can throw her glasses, keys, books, and whatever else she cannot afford to lose. This way, in a pinch, she will know her things will be on her table or in her corner. Even her bookback will go there or papers for school. I know, that when I am in a hurry, all my stuff in in my "corner" as my DH calls it. But, nobody better touch my corner or table or I'd be lost and lose things.

Another thing that works for me for school is to color code my classes. For example, English is orange, math is purple, and so on. I can just throw stuff for that class in that folder just by looking at the color. I use the plastic folders becasue they don't get torn up be semesters end like the paper type. She can either use a Sharpie marker or masking tape to lable the folders. I use masking tape to write the name of my classes because I can reuse the folder the next semester.

Other thing that I do is use either drawers or shelves to put stuff in. For example, I have a shelve for each class or area in my life. In Carlsbad, I have those cheap drawers that can be purchased at Walmart or even those dollar type stores. She can also use masking tape to write the title of what she is trying to organize. She could put personal stuff in one like her glasses, hair stuff and so on. In another, she could put school stuff and in another, put her things or lists of things to do.

I use a date book, but I don't know if your DD is old enough to be able to keep up with one without losing it. If not, give her a really cool large calendar! (If it is something that she is in to, she might be more apt to use it.) Then, put a pen with a string taped onto it and thumbtacked onto the wall next to the calendar. (This way, she doesn't lost the pen.) This way, you can leave her reminders of responsibiliteis that she has coming up on the dates that are due. She can also write down the things that are scheduled on those dates.

If you can find the book, "Raising Self-Reliant Children in a Self-Indulgent World" get it or check it out. I learned also to quit helping my kids out when they were forgetful. I refused to bring them lunch money or coats to school. Their brains learned to do more thinking for themselves, but it is very difficult to do!

Good luck!
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Old 04-25-2006, 12:03 PM
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DeBora, I put that book on hold at the library so I should have it soon!

I like your idea of a "corner" or special place. We have to do that for DH actually! We have a basket by the front door. He keeps his keys & wallet in there when he's home. Otherwise they are lost.

New glasses have been ordered and she IS going to have to do some extra chores, ones we might have given her pocket money for doing--but now for free, for a week or 2, to "help pay off" the glasses she lost. And I only let her buy from the cheap section.

I don't "rescue" my kids with forgotten schoolbooks, etc. I figure that the more I do that, the less responsible they'll be.
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Old 04-25-2006, 12:21 PM
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My dd (8y.o.) has ADHD, so her organizational skills are seriously lacking. I bought her a magnetic dry-erase board that I put on her the back of her bedroom door. I buy her to-do lists that have a magnet on the back so she can hang them on her board & they don't get lost. She also has her own calendar in her room to keep track of important dates.
For school stuff, I try to find her different color notebooks for each subject. I also got her a small notebook for her assignments. She writes down her weekly assignments in it & crosses them off as she finishes them. She has binders for some of her school subjects & each of those is a different color, so all she needs to do is grab the color she needs.
If your dd has magazines you could get her a magazine box (or make one out of a large cereal box). That way she'll always know where her magazines are. I also got a 3 shelf, 9 bin toy organizer for my kids' room. We labeled the bins by name & what's in them. Now they can find anything pretty quickly.
We have a nail by the front door for dd's sunglasses (she's gone through at least 10 pairs). You may want to have a small basket by the door or in her room for her glasses, keys, etc.
hope some of this helps.
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Old 04-25-2006, 12:55 PM
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I will have to warn you. If you are like me, you may feel terribly guilty after reading that book. I read many parenting books when my kids were growing up. They all motivated me and made me feel encouraged. However, this book made me feel life a terrible, rescuing parent that didn't allow my kids to think. But, it really motivated me to make some positive changes.

Good luck on the organization. As a disorganized person myself, I have had to learn to be organized. I know how challenging it can be!
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Old 04-28-2006, 10:18 AM
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I'm not sure that there is really any help for an unorganized 10yr old. I've always been unorganized-after leaving home, guess my mom had me organized as a kid. I know where my stuff is unless my dd comes along and cleans up behind me. I do try to keep things neat -but it'll all be unorganized to the average person.
My dgd is 10 and she's a mess. If she knew where her stuff was it wouldn't be a problem but she's lost her gameboy, once again, and hasn't been able to find it in about three weeks-although I still think she left it at a friends house... She won't be bailed out though-she has to find what she's missing or she does without.
My two oldest dd's grew up being neat and tidy, one more than the other-but they both like to clean. My youngest is lazy like me, but she'll get into the mood and clean from top to bottom and keep everything organized.
We donít know who we are until we see what we can doÖ Martha Grimes
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Old 04-28-2006, 11:23 AM
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there are quite a few good tips here to use!>. I think I just may get baskets for us to use!! lol. We hang our keys uo so we rarley lose them.

We try to have things organized around here but when IM the only one doing it its impossible!!

My kids have cases that thier gameboys and games go in but they never have them in there and lose them..GRRRR

And glasses are ALWAYS lost here..Im fed up!!
My kids call home too with forgotten things!! it drives me up the wall
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Old 04-28-2006, 02:35 PM
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DS2 looses his glasses occassionally as he needs them all the time except close up work, so when he reads he just puts them down and forgets. Luckily we've always been able to eventually find them.
For those we now tell him when he takes them off put them in a prominent place to see easily next time he needs them, table, his desk, wall unit.
Everything has a place and everthing in it's place, ds1 is the messiest of the lot and no matter how we try we can't tame him LOL. He's old enough he has to take responsibility for it if it's lost, school work, sports stuff, he's better but still messy.

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Old 04-29-2006, 08:14 AM
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Your daughter sounds like my son. lol He's 9.

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Old 04-29-2006, 11:44 AM
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I have always said that Julia can't get from point A to point B without getting distracted by point C!

I have heard that the pre-teen years are just like that.. But I don't know...

Julia is never "in the moment" there is so much going on in her head, that she isn't aware of the mundane things she is doing .. ( like where she put her glasses or her shoes or if she ate breakfast or brought the dog back inside) She even came home on the school bus in sleeveless shirt this winter because she forgot her jacket at school, and souldn't get back into the classromm after dismissal.. ( How the teacher, principal, bus driver, and monitor all allowed her to just walk past them and out the door into the snow without saying anything to her is a whole 'nother story)

I have tried different organizational systems for her. But the only ones that work are the ones she plans with me. She knows besty what works for her and what doesn't. I even bought a set of those remote key finders .. (depending on the brand, you clap or whistle, and they beep.) One is on her glass case, one on her asthma inhaler, one on the TV remote and one on my cell phone (OY!)

We also do the color-coding thing for school, and her 504 plan specifies organization skills training, so all the teachers are on the same page with her "system".. so far, so good, very little lost homework in the past few months. We also have a set of textbooks for home, so ther is less chance of anything being misplaced.

She was recently diagnosed as ADD.. not particularly hyperactive, but severely distractable and disorganized.There is no medication to help that.. and some people are just the absent-minded professor types.

But hey..if it wasn't for us scatter-brains, no one would have jobs as administrative assistants, executive secretaries, housekeepers, personal organizers, or life-coaches!

Good luck with building a system that works for both of you.. and if you have any suggestions, let me knoW! LOLOL
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