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Why is my daughter so scatterbrained?

My daughter is 16 and some days she is a complete airhead. When she has projects, she forgets what she had to do, sometimes she doesn't even remember that she has to be somewhere unless I remind her. I'm getting tired of her not taking responsibility for her own "stuff." I think it's about time I pulled back and let her screw up a few things and feel the consequences. What do you think?

Answer Question

Asked by ceallaigh at 5:28 PM on Sep. 12, 2010 in Teens (13-17)

Level 24 (19,921 Credits)
Answers (10)
  • Does she have a touch of add or is this new? With fluctuations in hormone levels, it's possible that this is just part of being a teen. Other things are distracting her from her responsibilities- like her social life- duh mom! (jk-) She should have a planner or agenda book to help keep her organized. I agree w/ you tho, as hard as it is to step back let the cards lay where they may- that's exactly what you may have to do. I've had to do that w/ my son who's 19 y/o- in fact I posted today about him! Good luck, these arent easy years!

    Answer by mrsmom110 at 5:34 PM on Sep. 12, 2010

  • She's been using a planner for school for years and now she's supposedly using her phone's calendar function. But she still seems so clueless sometimes.

    Comment by ceallaigh (original poster) at 5:36 PM on Sep. 12, 2010

  • I like the agenda book idea. I always have had to have one, and it helps tremendously!

    Answer by Kword at 5:37 PM on Sep. 12, 2010

  • Sorry, but don't let her use her cell phone for her planner when she is used to WRITING it down. Believe it or not the act of writing it down is probably what helped her remember it in the past. She's also in high school and they are texting, phoning, IMing, and creating social interactions between their own peer groups and out side that peer group in terms of dating etc.


    Answer by twinsplus2more at 8:55 PM on Sep. 12, 2010

  • My 22 yrs old still does the same thing, she may not be in school, but she does projects for her Church. Whe always waits till the last minute. If she can't find what she is looking for, she makes my 17 yr old son look for it because she is so impatient.

    Answer by amessageofhope at 1:13 AM on Sep. 13, 2010

  • Try and help her. Make a calendar and stick it on the fridge, Sit down and work on it with her, remind her. Reward her with shopping if she remembers!

    Answer by sstepph at 8:28 AM on Sep. 13, 2010

  • twinsplus2more is right, the act of writing has been shown in studies to help the brain remember things. Especially for certain types of people. In high school, just writing down what the teacher said in class in a notebook was enough to help me remember things for a test even if I didn't study. If she was doing well with an agenda book, then maybe she needs to go back. If she never has done well, then she needs a different method of remembering that she hasn't been taught yet. Maybe a whiteboard that is visible all the time would help?

    Answer by cleanaturalady at 8:41 AM on Sep. 13, 2010

  • I agree with a more visible calendar. We painted a whiteboard on my son's closet doors for this reason. It seemed to help!

    Answer by MomIWant at 9:33 AM on Sep. 13, 2010

  • i agree, pull back... but ensure that you give her the right tools to suceed... if she needs a calendar, or to set reminders on a computer or cell phone... talk to her about it and let her know that you are doing this because she needs to learn (so she won't feel abandoned)... and let her go! the first few weeks you may want to keep an eye and keep asking about things... but let her tell you.

    Answer by asil at 1:22 PM on Sep. 13, 2010

  • I think hormones can play a big part in memory and organization. There are so mayn things going on in a kids body and mind that it can be really hard to keep track of things. Maybe sit down and offer to help her. Say "what can I do to help you be more organized?" If you come at it from an approach of concern rather than making her feel badly, maybe she will genuinely try to get better about it.

    Answer by KTMOM at 3:07 PM on Sep. 13, 2010

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