To find it so hard to keep track of my kids stuff?(26 Posts)
I’m constantly stressed to the eyeballs looking for school uniform, forgetting to buy new gym shoes, remembering to fill out reading books, trying to find socks that match/are clean, remembering to remind them to clean their teeth etc. I’m rubbish at it and the school is always having to remind me to do things and I hate that.
My children are both dyspraxic, and I think they definately get it from me, I so struggle with organisation.
Does everyone to a certain extent?
I try really hard to have systems. For instance I have hooks for their school bags and coats and I try to empty them straight away. But these systems invariably break down if i’n Not always concentrating on them and no one picks up the slack when I forget.
Spent 20 mins this morning finding enough clean uniform, and burst into tears when 10 mins later daughter split a whole smoothie down herself ( we usually do have breakfast before uniforms, but like I said, systems invariably break down.
Get stuff sorted out the night before?
Have as much as you can ready at the door
Give your kids some responsibility - let them face the consequences of their disorganisation ....
Have more uniform so you’re not waiting for it to be washed and dry.
Lay everything out the night before.
Can your partner help?
Have a washing system so that there's always enough in their wardrobes. We make sure everything is clean, dry and ironed by Sunday evening and both kids have 3 jumpers, 6 polos and 3 shorts/trousers so that there's always a bit of slack.
Have a calendar with a column for each person and write everything on there - what day PE is, when gym kit, instruments etc are needed, school trips, Cubs, rugby ......everything!
Preparation the night before is key.
uniform gets washed and ironed over the weekend and hung on hangers for each day. dd then has to only get one hanger from her wardrobe and all the uniform she needs for that day is there (except underware).
p.e/gardening bags are also packed on Sunday.
agree with pp about making dc responsible for some things. not only does it teach them life skills but makes your life easier too.
OP you have my full sympathy. I’m very similar myself. We have hooks etc too. New rule no going downstairs (where tv, tablets, felt tips etc all distract everyone!) until uniform is on. Homework done as soon as it’s given out. Reading done every day but if we forget then it’s done at bedtime or next morning while I make breakfast. We have LOTS of shortcuts (eg prewrapped brioche to eat on the way!) and I keep my standards low eg if no clean pe kit I just fold up the old kit and put back in the bag until I can find clean components!
Visual reminders - use them as a back-up to your pegs etc. Have a magnetic whiteboard on your fridge and write reminders on that because you'll keep seeing them.
Do the same for your kids so they have reminders to clean their teeth etc. Maybe with a check system so they can tick them off when they're done & all you have to do is check the lists.
Also I have bought LOTS of cheap uniform so there’s plenty! And yy to getting them to take responsibility themselves as soon as they can (although I try to be very understanding when they forget stuff... pot, kettle and all that!)
Your kids need to be taking responsibility for their own stuff. You’ll be picking up after them forever otherwise.
Take the time and often painful effort to teach them their responsibilities.
Agree with Nikephorus that a checklist will help enormously.
I am the same - so can I give you fair warning - IT GETS WORSE, it gets much worse.
we got into our system by about Y2 - in from school, school shoes under coat peg, coat and bag on peg. Open bag check for letters, remove anything that should not be in bag, put reading record on coffee table to be done. Uniform off, uniform checked over, replace any dirty with clean, put on a hanger, with clean undies/socks/tights - and put on peg.
Later whilst/after kids are getting ready for bed, they read, put reading record in bag, put any kit required for the next day on peg
I currently have one about to do GCSEs - we have had to juggle 6th form open nights and applications alongside all the stuff of life - whilst the other is in the middle of 6th form - doing university open days, looking up finance stuff, checking out work experience opportunities alongside all the stuff of life too - trying to make sure no-one drops any of the balls is quite stressful.
Lists have become very important.
I do! I have a planner desk calendar and I write down what I have to do the next day. Every day. A rolling to-do list. It really helps.
Buy more uniform
Designate one drawer or shelf to only uniform
When it's washed & dried put it straight away (not left in laundry basket)
Get up 10 minutes earlier
Before you go to bed:
Lay children's clothes out the night before (lay yours out too)
Put school shoes at front door
Fill water bottles and put them in the fridge
Pe kits ready if needed
Do this all earlier in the evening when you still have energy not when you are completely knackered and want to go to bed.
Have more uniform so you’re not waiting for it to be washed and dry.
No, have less. I brought in a new system this year: the DC have 1 set of uniform each. ONE. Every evening when they get home from school they take it off and get into the bath/shower. I wash DS's uniform and sports kits first, then DD's dress, school socks and DS's school socks next. I wash them on a 15 minute quick cycle. If there are any stains, I spray a bit of Vanish. Then half an hour later I hang the clean uniform on chairs under the heater to dry. It is all dry by the morning and then I iron the bits that need ironing.
This has worked so much better for us. No matter how much uniform my DC had, there were always days when nothing was clean. And we always had piles of uniform waiting to be ironed. Well, no more.
I am telling you, having one set of uniform is the way to go.
Yes preparation is also key.
My children have to get their own uniform ready the night before. Saves all that shirt hunting first thing in the morning. I’m not a morning person.
Trouble is my kids are dyspraxic and can’t do most of it their selves.
I have problems remembering and keeping track of my own life admin, I am amazed that I now have two more humans to do this for. If it had been a job I applied and interviewed for I wouldn’t have got it.
I do have lists and check lists and systems. But they all invariably break down as I am the weak link and I can’t consistently keep to a system. Spent hours on Monday sorting out their bedroom, putting their uniforms in piles and there is plenty of it. But give it a week and it will have gone mental again.
I just struggle so much with organisational skills. I’ve always found it challenging, but have learnt ways to cope and forgive myself when dealing with my own stuff. I find it very hard when the school is pulling me up on it.
For instance my daughter’s dyspraxia means she’s incontinent still at 6. So she needs 3 changes of clothing, pads, wipes, etc in a bag to go with her each day. I struggle with this. I try so hard, but at least once a week I miss something. Her support assistant is forever pulling me up on it. Can understand her frustration. It’s so embarrassing
With letters, invites etc - deal with it straight away
So out of school bag, check calendar to see if date is OK, fill in reply slip, write on calendar along with any instructions - eg pack lunch needed, be at school 15 minutes early.
Routine is really important - have check lists up on the fridge etc.
Can you use your phone to set reminders etc?
Our uniforms are washed over the weekend so everything is clean and ironed by Sunday evening.
Write everything on a calendar - in this house if it's not on the calendar it doesn't happen. And everyone knows to check the calendar before agreeing to anything.
For your DDs bag - laminate a checklist with everything that should be in the bag (including quantities). Attach it to the inside of the bag by way of a string.
You can then ask the assistant to mark off things that have been used, using a dry marker and then you will know what needs replacing each night. Check contents against the list, wipe clean and it's ready for the next day.
You could try similar for school bags, lunch boxes, PE kit etc. Would the DCs be able to use a checklist (perhaps a visual one might be easier?)
am telling you, having one set of uniform is the way to go
We've been doing this this year and I agree.
The dc come home, hang up anything savable (usually this time of year it's their jumper that is still clean as it's been on their peg most of the day). Then their trousers, polo and PE kit if used get washed on a fast cycle and hung up. Iron in the morning. Same items every day.
I have spare trousers with the tags on, ready for when they inevitably come home with a hole in the knee and I'd say they have a new polo every couple of months (again from the spares upstairs).
So much easier than having 4 polos and 2 trousers and jumpers all floating round in different states of clean/dirty/wet etc.
Can you get some see-through plastic boxes for each day of the week. At the weekend, fill up as much as you can. Then you can see that e.g. you need more uniform for Thursday so you put on a wash.
I'm the same, the weak link in the house! I have days now where I say no matter what else doesn't get done, DH's work trousers need to be washed today.
I set an alarm for 15 minutes before they have to leave. When it goes off, I send them to the toilet and to brush their teeth. Then to check their bags, put jumper on and then they either play for 5 minutes or get ready to go immediately.
Mine get dressed before breakfast, but have to wear aprons.
I am (highly) organised but have a dyspraxic 18yo.
First - ignore people saying that your 6yo need to do it all themselves. You and I know they can't (yet).
Second - I think you are trying the right things, just you are overloaded. Some little things I can suggest:
- Use reminders on your phone to bleep you to check things. DD finds this works well for her. but you have to get up and do the thing straight away otherwise in 10mins you may have forgotten about it.
- Can you buy and give the school a job lot of pads, wipes, even pants to last 3 weeks or even half a term. Then ask the support assistant to let you know when down to e.g. 3 days supply? This would mean less load day to day.
- Assume you are under medical supervision re incontinence
- Don't leave it to the children to get their own uniform from piles. They will want the thing second from bottom and tip the whole pile over. (DD still can't hang things up neatly or put stuff into drawers carefully.) Get it all it the night before. (and don't get dressed before breakfast)
- A large chart with Velcro points for the children to put stars against when they have done morning or evening jobs might help them and you. They need loads of modelling, but you can't do it yourself.
- have a think why systems break down. Is it because you failed to remember something previously so things cascade, or because unexpected things interrupt? We found it is best to have systems around other fixed points. e.g. We always have an evening meal. So DD had to pack her bag for secondary school straight after meal before anything else. You could say to the children No TV after tea until X Y and Z are done.
- have you got a parent friend at the school who would be willing to send you reminders re things like dress up days and school trips?
- as soon as you read the school newsletter, put dates into your phone and onto a visible calendar. Think there and then whether any prep is required and if so put that in as well. This is good for life too. e.g. My calendar tells me my MOT due date, but I also have it marked 3 weeks before to say 'book MOT'
- only buy matching socks. e.g. go to ASDA and buy 20 pairs all the same for one child. If 2 children in different sizes, then buy 20 more pairs clearly different for other child. (DD1 always had white socks with straight tops, DD2 has them with fluted tops).
I find it hard enough as an organised person. It must be hell for you.
Yes it happens to everyone at some point. I have 3 school age & 1 who'll start nursery in September. For the most part everything runs smootly & I get organised the night before but I still have times where I forget etc. It's usually reading records in our house, 1 of my dc in particular either leaves it at school or only asks me to sign it as I'm locking the front door (despite me asking for it at regular intervals starting 3 days before it's due). His teacher has been good though, explaining to him that he does have to actually give it to me & not just expect me to remember & he has improved over this year. I've been lax with homework lately too, I had a close family bereavement at the end of Feb & I've been so caught up in that & all the associated paperwork, planning as well as trying to grieve & help the dc to too I've not been as hot on it as normal, all their teachers have been very understanding though & I'm grateful for that.
Some things that help me:
I have a whiteboard in the kitchen. It has a list of which homework goes back on which day, what day reading records need signing, what day for pe etc for each child. It's helped lots.
Mine wear 2 sets of uniform per week (unless dirty). So on a Tuesday when they get in the whole lot goes in the wash & is washed on Wednesday. Same again on Friday. They go in to school & wear pe kit all day 1 day per week.
I make stuff for lunch boxes the night before.
Water bottles get filled (& fruit put out for dc1) as soon as I get downstairs in the morning.
They have breakfast, brush teeth, hair & wash faces then get dressed, inc shoes for 8:10. They think we need to leave at 8:25 we don't actually have to be out the door until 8:35 this leaves plenty of time for last minute pratting about.
I really think routine is key & once you find one that works for you it becomes second nature.
Thank you everyone. Lots of food for thought. And especially thank you to teentimestwo for the understanding. Yes it is hell.
I keep thinking that i’m Failing my kids too because i’m Not modelling checklists with them. Not remembering to do reading. Etc etc
I just genuinely find it all so difficult.
I think systems break down in part because I rebel against them. Does that make sense? It’s almost impossible for me to force myself to behave consistently . It feels really uncomfortable, and eventually I slip and fall off the wagon. Then everything gets overwhelming again
I'm the same as you op. My youngest is ASD, spd and dyspraxic. I'm more than likely the same but have never done anything about it.
I have to make sure I empty his bag straight away and then take his timetable (the school have given me copies of it, they know we struggle) upstairs to get the next days stuff ready.
I have a simple morning routine because it takes me 45 minutes of nagging to get him up and dressed, of water bottle, bus fare, lunch money onto his account (he can't have a weeks worth because he spends it all in a day or two).
I'd advise you to speak to the school about it. We've had issues far beyond 5his now but in the past, speaking to teachers, tutors or head of year can really help.
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