To have taken ds' money..(66 Posts)
DS (10) has approximately £200 saved up from various things. Tomorrow he has an important match for his sport and I have come to get everything ready for the morning and I can't find his tracksuit top. The tracksuit is 5 weeks old and cost £40. He is likely to have worn it somewhere and just left it. This is by no means the first time this has happened. Since September he has forgotten his lunch on a day when they were on a school trip so the teacher had to give him hers, has lost his trainers, left his sports bag in his friends car so his mum had to drop it off, left his PE kit at home on a match day so I had to take it into school, forgotten homework, forest school kit. The list goes on and on.
We have reward chart at home for all the dc if they do good things. We also have a chart on the wall which lists everything they need for school on each day but even today he left his PE shorts at home.
So tonight out of sheer frustration I asked him to give me £40 from his savings, not to replace the tracksuit just to cover the initial cost which is now just wasted money. I didn't shout or even get angry but I feel like there are no consequences for him. I could have said he can't play in the match but felt that meant punishing his team not just him. He is always upset after he has lost things but it doesn't seem to change his behaviour and I feel that unless there is a real consequence, that he actually cares about, he will never learn the basic skill of taking responsibility for himself or his things.
DH thinks I have been unreasonable and I do feel guilty but I also feel immensely frustrated and really sad that he is now going to be the only boy without a team track suit.
I can see how frustrating it is for you.
I also think it is quite normal for a 10 year old.
But he is going to have to do it next year at secondary (if you are uk)
The things I would suggest you are already doing eg chart of what he needs each day etc.
He needs to have lots of support to help him learn, but he does need to have consequences. Maybe he does need to miss a match if he doesn't have his kit?
I would never take forgotten stuff up to school eg homework. They had to deal with it. (unless there was a reason it was forgotten)
Don't be in a hurry to replace, no trainers? well, sorry, wear your old ones/ school shoes /whatever for a week or two.
Whatever strategies you've taught him to remember things clearly aren't working, sli need to do a bit more work on that as well as just taking £40 off him.
That's quite a list of lost, forgotten or mislaid things. It sounds like nothing you've tried is working, so I'd say YANBU.
YANBU. I've had to do this with my careless, absent-minded DS a few times over the years.
I lose things a lot and feel frustrated and upset about it but struggle to stop doing it and it's linked to my special needs (AS and Dyspraxia) which affect organisation. I get SO angry at myself but stress just makes it worse. It's worth considering if there is an underlying issue here. Even if he doesn't have any special needs, organisation might not be one of his strengths and might be something he really struggles with, in which case punishing him won't really help, support and strategies to work through it will. I know it's frustrating but he won't have wanted to upset you or let his team down.
I feel your pain. My DD3 was very much like your DS. Chaotic, always losing things, would have forgotten her own head if she could have.
My approach was not to take money from her. She had none to take anyway, and it wouldn't have felt right. I just told her that I would not be replacing items she had lost and she would have to explain herself at school etc.
PE kit was always kept at school until it came home for washing some weekends or in the holidays. That helped there.
No YANBU, I'd do the same. I'd feel bad but they need to learn.
I lose stuff. Lots. It's horrific. The anxiety I feel when it happens - literally sleepless nights looking for someone to blame and knowing I'm the idiot- another £30-£40-£50 quid down the drain. Soul destroying. I'm learning strategies. At 28 I've not lost a card, phone or bag for 16 months. A record for me.
I wish my parents had implemented consequence so that I could learn earlier. Had they taught me I could control and was responsible for stuff maybe id have learned faster. Take the £40 and try to teach him.
YANBU. i'd have swiped that cash out of his hand and he would never, ever see it again.
he needs to learn.
looking far into the future - he will probably have relationships, go on to marry someone and maybe reproduce. therefore, its better if you begin to address and stop this rot now before he does other people's heads in.
think of it as an investment in not turning him into a future man-child.
Thanks for the responses. I do feel for him. He is the eldest of four and our house is generally chaotic. However I want him to start to "care" about things. Hopefully going forward I can take a consistent approach.
Seriously?!!! You took £40 from your child's savings cause he lost a tracksuit top? He's 10. Would you not just buy a cheap replacement? He won't have the same as everyone else that is a consequence you know.
I think you are def BU.
I'm not sure IYABU but DP lost her shoes at the bloody cinema, your list reminded me of her.
Can I suggest buying a plastic storage tower, and one of the jobs of an evening is they have to put everything they need for the next day in it....
Less fuss in a morning and a strategy for at least not forgetting to take things into school?
I'm always losing and misplacing things.
I don't know. I'm not entirely sure that they can help it at that age.
DC4 also aged 10, is very similar. I just automatically remind him of stuff he needs to take with him and check he has everything when I get him from school. If he goes to a friends I automatically check he has brought his hoodie or whatever back. Everything he has is labelled.
To be honest, if he went to school without his lunch I would see it as my fault as much as his.
My DS is gradually getting better. I think he tries his best, but it's not a thing I want him to stress about. I was a dreamy, distractable, forgetful child and my, otherwise lovely, Mum often made me feel quite shit about myself over it. I suspect it is one reason why I have grown up more than a tad anxious and controlling.
bags packed the night before and put in hall with shoes/coat
when you collect him from school have a simple question list - Do you have your.....x...y....z?
Take basic minimal with you, and be consistent, so ds takes to football, his jacket and water bottle, so he always has those 2 things and always comes home with those 2 things
Reading your OP again. He is 10. I do think it is your responsibility to ensure he is properly equipped for school and activities. If your house is chaotic, maybe you need to be setting a better example. I know it's hard when you have four but your 10 year old is very young to be sorting his own stuff out.
For those of you saying he is too young, unless he is a sept/oct birthday, then he is year 6 and so in less than a year he is hitting secondary school and will have to be much more organised.
he needs to be learning some of those steps now
I think it's fairer to take the £40 to replace the top than just a fine for loosing it.
There is only a benefit to taking the money if he is capable of organising himself better but choosing not to.
If he isn't capable of upping his game, your sanction could be counter-productive.
Do you have any more strategies you could offer him to help him be better organised?
Like Damson said, could it be AS? I am on the autistic spectrum and have lost and mislaid things a lot - am always losing my glasses even now.
When I was small (maybe 7) I accidentally left my full lunchbox in the lunch box hole. It was discovered months later and all the food was rotten. It was shown at assembly and was horrible (for me) even though they didn't publicly name the child it belonged to.
Maybe don't take the whole £40. For a child saving up that is a lot and it might make him think he shouldn't save because the money will just be taken away from him. Instead could you take him to a charity shop and allow him to select a tracksuit top to buy for himself with his own money?
The physical act of choosing/buying might be good and show him a bit more about value, etc than taking £40, but I know it's frustrating.
I once had to replace my own passport to be able to go on a family holiday, but by then I was almost twenty (unemployed and a student but still adult enough to replace my passport after probably leaving it at a bar) tracksuits with a ten year old are different though
BeeRayKay that is a fantastic suggestion thank you and one that could really work for us.
Tinkly I did feel like you but there is only so much I can take. I have done exactly the same as you but recently even if i ask "have you got so and so" and he says yes, it doesn't actually mean anything. The lunch thing for instance I must have said 3 times. He had picked it up and not put it in his bag but forgotten he had not done that and assumed it was in there not on the floor in the hallway. At ten I do think he needs to take some basic responsibility and I don't want to physically have to do everything for him. He does plenty of activities that are independent of me, where I am not the responsible adult ,and if he is old enough to do that then he needs to be able to take care of his things.
I don't want him to get a complex but I also don't want him to go through life wasting money and thinking that it is okay to just leave stuff.
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