How do you get them to stop losing stuff all the time?

(27 Posts)

In the 6 months since he has started High school (not all items lost at school), my son has managed to lose:

6 water/juice bottles
1 pair of trainers
2 pairs of shorts
1 t-shirt
2 towels
4 bottles of shower gel
5 pairs of goggles
1 pair of swim shorts
1 pair of pyjamas
The laces from 2 pairs of shoes
3 gloves
1 hat
His lunch card (twice) but managed to get it back
his glasses
100 paint balls
his phone (twice) but managed to get it back
his ipod (twice) still currently missing but was in the house at Christmas and hasn't been seen since
4 video game disks
2 dvd disks
His calculator
His Maths set
numerous items of stationary

This is just the stuff I actually know about, there could be much more. With the exception of the disks, his glasses, the small bits of stationary and the paint balls, the rest had his name on them.

He says it isn't his fault - he is taking care of his stuff if only because he doesn't want shouted at any more.

Clearly shouting and being angry about and making him pay to replace it isn't working, is there a magic solution that I am missing?

He'll be 13 in the summer and is a bright lad and because of distance and lack of public transport, I drop him off and collect him from school and other activities.

Is he being bullied? Or is he naturally careless? Does he just not think? Seems a lot but I remember not putting much sway on stuff til I was much older than that mainly because I didn't notice. I think I thought it would get replaced and unless was something I really liked just didn't feel much for things.

Changed obvs when I found out £!

purplebaubles Mon 17-Mar-14 13:44:30

Well, so long as you can rule out bullying/stealing, I would simply just not replace things that he loses. He'll learn quickly enough!

(after the age of 8, I never lost anything. Not one sweater, not one coat, not even one pencil. I knew by then that my parents would be unimpressed, and would not replace said lost item)

sittingatmydesk Mon 17-Mar-14 13:45:07

Was he like this at primary? My ds1 (year 5) already loses everything, and I was hoping he'd grow out of it.

I can drop him off at a club with a fleece and water bottle, and pick him up minus fleece and water bottle an hour later. I don't know how ge does it.hmm

I'm pretty sure he isn't being bullied and he does feel the loss of the items, but I can't not replace most of them as they are things that he needs. He chose to use his brothers old trainers rather than pay for new ones so that is fair enough. He now just has an empty water bottle that he reuses rather than proper ones and he seems to be managing better on that score, but it just drives me demented.

I know being angry doesn't help and I am trying.

He is using school calculator and maths equipment and now has cheap plain shorts and not the nice adidas/nike ones that he had to have to start with.

sittingatmydesk he has always been a bit like it but when he was younger it was more easily contained as he was in one classroom and when he was at clubs I met him at the door and sent him back for anything that he came out without.

He did once lose a gym bag with both his and his brothers jackets that they took to the park. Eldest took the bag there and he was to bring it back. He left it at a bus-stop when he stopped scottering to tie his lace and forgot to pick it up. When he arrived back without I had to drive out to try and find it but it was already gone. So, he has previous!!

He lost his ipod the previous Christmas too - we found it in August. he used it until Christmas, I got him a new cover for it which he put on it on Christmas day and we haven't seen it since -I'm beginning to think it has gone in the bucket with the packaging.

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Mon 17-Mar-14 14:12:07

I've got one of these (def no bullying). A clever friend once explained about some frontal cortex thingy in brain.

I'm no help. If you find the answer, let me know grin

Oh no natural how old is yours? does it really get no better?

mumeeee Mon 17-Mar-14 15:17:10

Sorry it doesn't really. DD3 is 22 and she still loses things. She, is Dyspraxic and very disorganised particularly if she is stressed. She's now at uni so sorts things out herself.

NaturalBlondeYeahRight Mon 17-Mar-14 15:17:20

She's 14, always been this way inclined but definitely worse since puberty. What can you do? Some most of the stuff has turned up eventually and she is pretty responsible, I just think she's not one of life's jugglers (only one thing going in brain at one time)
I hope she grows out of it, lots of friends are having similar issues so we are not alone!

I think some children are naturally more prone to losing things.
DS1 leaves something behind whenever he attends a church youth group. He goes to three a week, so this is quite frustrating.

DD manages to misplace things at home, several times a day. It really tries my patience!!

They both have dyspraxic traits, so I could relate it to that, but DS2 is also dyspraxic and rarely loses anything. DS3 is the only one with no dyspraxic traits and he never loses anything.

specialsubject Mon 17-Mar-14 15:26:19

forget the ipod. If he really needs a phone, get a £10 supermarket PAYG cheapie.

and continue to implement the consequences already in place. Don't buy expensive stuff!

madeofkent Mon 17-Mar-14 18:38:06

It was because of my son's scattiness that the school became suspicious and made us have him assessed. We discovered that he had no short-term memory, so hadn't a clue about either the passing of time, or where he had left things. If your son is the sort of person who you cannot tell more than one thing at a time, or goes upstairs to fetch something and never brings it down with him, he may have the same problem. Mine has to make notes in his phone all the time now.

Thanks all, it's good (sort of) to know that I am not alone.

madeofkent that's something I will watch out for, I know he has a good long term memory as we used to call him the memory man as he can tell you things and facts that he has read in a book at some point. He also didn't need his timetable after about a week as he had memorised it. He is messy but not particularly scatty otherwise. He never forgets any facts and figures from his computer games.

My belief is that he is quite socially aware so likes to chat with friends and just forgets that he has stuff to pick up etc.

mamicar Mon 17-Mar-14 21:28:31

had to check username because I wrote a similar thread a few weeks ago. list is the same pretty much confused

ds does have dyslexia, dyspraxia and auditory processing disorder.

but it drives me crazy!

Dancingqueen17 Tue 18-Mar-14 11:28:29

You say they are named but how? Things with sewn on name tapes are much more likely to return, also sew round strap of goggle, onto towel, pencil case etc. Then decent printed name stickers on everything else. It won't stop him loosing stuff but will increase the odds on getting it back.

MrsDavidBowie Tue 18-Mar-14 11:33:54

Hopefully he pays himself to replace stuff? D's lost his oyster card twice but after paying £10 to get another one, he has never lost it again.

That does seem Like a ridiculous amount of stuff to lose and I would be furious about expensive gadgets.

dangingqueen - I write on them with permanant marker pen - replenished when necessary. He has a very unusual name.

It has cost him fairly dearly MrsDB, he insists that he is taking care of things and that it isn't his fault. He says he doesn't want to pay to replace things or be shouted at so he does his best to avoid those things.

Maybe there is actually some medical issue and he isn't just being careless and therefore I am being too harsh, but I am not sure.

He surprises me sometimes as he comes across very cocky etc but it seems that underneath he isn't as confident as he likes to make out. I think he is reluctant to go to the office etc. We went for a gym induction yesterday and it is for teenagers to go to, however the induction was booked for a time when the gym was very busy with adults. he started to get very stroppy etc but i think he was just a bit freaked out and self conscious. he did the induction though and is keen to go back when it is quieter.

I'll need to send him in with only the clothes on his body and a disposable bottle of water though or the list of lost items will be increasing!

wol1968 Thu 20-Mar-14 12:13:54

Think the solution to this problem might be to keep his 'stuff' to the absolute bare minimum, only giving him what he really cannot do without. If you have too many items that keep getting mislaid, it begs the question as to whether they are really needed. If he can only remember one or two things at once, then keep it to one or two things if at all possible.

That said, I eagerly await the time when tracking technology enables us to locate lost items via GPS... (serial key mislayer here blush)

wol, yes, I take the point.

Not sure that he can do without a lot of the items on the list though. Just cost �60 to replace the glasses that were lost in school, and that's if he gets the lenses free which isn't guaranteed. Why wouldn't someone hand those in? ......and why wouldn't someone claim the ones that are lying in the school office? I suspect that someone is wearing the wrong glasses and hasn't realised. hmm

Not sure whether to make him pay for those as it could partly not be his fault if someone has picked them up by mistake?

No help on the teenager aspect (mine are still primary age) but my DH is a 'leaver behinder'. He leaves stuff everywhere- train, bus, shop counters, bus stops, people's houses etc etc. it drives me mad but I'm at a loss how to change it. He now tries not to take anything of any value anywhere!

I'm a bit worried that my dd who is 5 has inherited the gene too after a string of lost cardigans, hair bands etc.

Ds and dd2 seemingly not affected.

I can't remember being like that when I was young <disclaimer: i lost a glove yesterday!> and no idea about my OH. I think though that we both came from poor backgrounds where we had very little anyway so a. what we had was very precious b. there wasn't much to lose and c. we didn't really go many places other than just "out" and going "out" generally meant you had the clothes on your back and if you were lucky, maybe a ball.

I pity my poor future dil if he ever gets married and passes those genes on! grin

OhSoVintage Thu 20-Mar-14 15:18:51

My dd is terrible for loosing things! She's very clumsy and things get dropped, forgotten etc.

Not saying your DS is but dd is Dyspraxic and so struggles with organisation as well. We have found that some of the stratergies we are using to help with her organisation is also helping with her habit of loosing things! So maybe similar strategies would help your ds.

We have lots of stratergys but to give you an idea here are some of the things that help her:

She now has a clear pencil case. In her pencil case she has a little laminated list so that she knows the exact items that are meant to be in her pencil case. She has a blank space on the back to write missing items. She has 3 of these exactly the same one for home, one for her locker and one for her bag so its a pretty fool proof system and if she knows items are tracked she's more likely to take responsibility over them.

DS games used to be a nightmare! She now has a tupperware pot with a list of all her games. She is only allowed 3 games in her ds case at one time and the rest have to stay in the ds pot that is central. Its kind of like a library system for her DS!

We have purchased those spiral wire key chain rings that you can buy. She has a few in different colours. Inside her bag things like her phone, money etc that she needs to easily find she clips onto the wires. They extend quite well so she doesn't even need to take it off the clip to use it! She also has one of these round her waist for her school key fob and locker key.

We have a gym kit list that she has on her locker and is asked to check every friday. If things are missing its easier to find if she can retrace your steps for that week rather than discovering its lost half way through the term.

We also make dd pay for something within reason if she looses it.

We are still in early stages of sorting dd out! but its encouraging. She's always going to loose things this is helping.

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