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Advice Needed: I am having trouble teaching my 9 year old to...

Posted by on Apr. 3, 2014 at 11:25 AM
  • 22 Replies

I am having trouble teaching my 9 year old to be responsible. I have heard many suggestions and still need more. He seems so forgetful and doesn't seem to care that he forgets things until its too late. How can I help him to stay on track without doing things for him or making my self crazy?

For example, he asked me to buy him goalie gloves for soccer.  Tuesday after school I gave them to him and explained that if he lost them, he would be in big trouble. (He has already lost two water bottles, two shirts, and a ball)  I said "When you are not wearing your gloves, they need to be placed in your bag, no matter what.  When you take them off you dont put them on the ground, you put them in your bag." I asked him to repeat this to me twice.  10 minutes before it was time to leave I asked him if he had everything.  he said yes.  When it was time to leave I asked him two more times if he had everything, he sgain said yes.  Once his ride left, I look over at the table only to find his brand new goalie gloves sitting there.
This kind of stuff happenes all the time and I dont know what to do.

by on Apr. 3, 2014 at 11:25 AM
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by Silver Member on Apr. 3, 2014 at 11:35 AM
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Well, I think first I would quit replacing lost items and make him responsible fore his things. No big deal to lose soemthing if it gets replaced everytime. If he has to have a new water bottle then he will hhave to work to earn the money to buy a new one.

If you are worried about him forgetting something have hime write a list of everything he needs to take and he can double check for himself. If he doesn't have his goalie gloves oh well, the world won't end. Forgets his lunch one day, he won't starve to death. Make it his responsibility. Let him know that these are the new rules and then bite your tongue and don't remind him.

I had step kids and when they were 10- 15 they were careless and lost gameboys and cd players or broke them regularly. Their mother continually replaced them. There was no incentive to take care of or keep track of them.

by Platinum Member on Apr. 3, 2014 at 11:44 AM

I started training my kids in toddlerhood.  They had a bag for each activity and we just reinforced that items related to each sport/activity were to always be in that bag unless they were on their body.  You might consider typing up a checklist for the bag/activity/school that he needs to go through each time and do this until there are no more mistakes.

by Member on Apr. 3, 2014 at 11:59 AM
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My 9-year old is a bit like and my 11-year old DD is even worse but we rarely lose anything anymore so I think things are finally sinking in.  For us, using natural consequences (things are not replaced until THEY can replace them) helped a lot but I also found having them keep everything together in a designated bag helped too.  I make them pack up the bag (or simply check the contents) in the morning on the day of the activity and remind them to fill the water bottle, double check everything is there and remind them again that everything needs to come home.

It leaves me with more "activity bags", water bottles and sunscreen tubes than I would care to have but it seems to work.  DS can now tell by lifting his baseball gear bag if something is missing.  Which is a good thing as last year he lost 3 cups and I can only imagine how he did that.

by on Apr. 3, 2014 at 12:05 PM

We do have "soccer bags".  Each child has their own bag and anything and everything related to soccer belongs in their bag.  I tell them every day..."Put all of your soccer stuff in your bag.  I dont care if it is dirty when you take it off, put it in your bag.  This way I know where it is when I need to wash them and you know where it is when you need it."  My 6 ear old is really pretty good about it but my 9 year old doesnt seem to care.  I have stopped reminding him and have made him wear dirty clothes to practice and games.  Even them he doesnt seem to care.  I dont know what to do.
He is this way with everything.  His toys, school work, sports, chores...everything,

by Silver Member on Apr. 3, 2014 at 12:06 PM

First, I would make sure an hour before he leaves for practice or a game he has all his stuff in the bag.  Make your son finds the stuff on his own every day there is succer.  Ask him if he has each part of the uniform.  Once you see him having his stuff every day he can remind himself to check on his own.  He can use a check list or just a reminder written on a note pad that he can see on his door.

by on Apr. 3, 2014 at 12:34 PM

our daughter is 9, we are working on this :)  If I say get ready for the day, she'll get dress but not brush her hair or teeth...we've figured out that she isn't ready for the general statement but still needs prompts like please go brush your hair, teeth and get dressed.   A check list is a great idea, one that we use for school...pack lunch in backpack, home work folder, water bottle.  She is responsible for checking of the list and if she forgets than she experiences the natural consequence for forgetting something ( I always leave a lunch credit on her account so she can eat)   We always have her pay for an item that is lost and needs to be replaced.

by on Apr. 3, 2014 at 12:41 PM

He won't remember things until he has to painfully endure the results of his inattention to detail.

by on Apr. 3, 2014 at 12:54 PM

Is he an aquarious?

I swear this is my oldest as well (a girl).

The main thing that gets her to care and to think is to hold her financially responsible for things she loses or destroys. Being in "big trouble" isn't a specific enough consequence for my kids. I have to say, "If you lose these gloves, you have to replace them from your piggy bank. And if you can't afford it, I will find jobs for you to make up the difference."

That has been our best solution.

Mine drew on her clothes at school two days in a row. I didn't notice it the first day but the second day there was a big triangle right on her shirt in pencil. I told her that she owed me $1 for each article of clothing she drew on (for my time to clean the stain) and that every time it happened again, my price would go up a dollar.

She hasn't done it since.

by on Apr. 3, 2014 at 1:02 PM

Natural consequences are the only way he's going to learn. My oldest DD forgot her homework once and was so ashamed that she's never done it again. And stop replacing things. He won't learn if you do.

by on Apr. 3, 2014 at 1:56 PM

I think that natural consequences are an excellent idea to teach your kids responsibility and independence.  I have a 9 year old girl and a 7 year old boy.  My Maggie is leaps and bounds more mature in these areas than my Robbie!!  They are both in soccer and they are responsible to remember their water bottles and shin guards.  I will give them one reminder about each, both when we leave the house and when we leave the field.  If they forget their shin guards they don't play, if they lose them they work to earn the money to purchase new ones.  If they lose their sports bottle they take a plain old water bottle. This Spring will be the start of their 3rd season.  They are dong really well at remembering what they need now.  We also go to the pool.  For this they each have a pool bag that they bring.  I take care of snacks and sunscreen, they are responsible for anything else they want to bring, toys, goggles, a book, floats, etc.  I typically buy them one pair of goggles at the beginning of the season, if they lose them, same thing, they go without or earn saved money to purchase them. 

I read some other peoples comments and they suggested the use of a checklist.  I had never thought of them using a checklist, but it isn't a bad idea.  It might even help my son to remember for new adventures in the future because he is definately the forgetful one of the two.

Good luck making those good habits stick, I know it can be so irritating!!!

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