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Do they grow up and start being more responsible and organised in the first months of secondary school?

(24 Posts)
CroissantNeuf Tue 06-Sep-11 10:29:32

DD starts secondary school tomorrow.

My main worries are that shes so slapdash when it comes to being organised and looking after her belongings that I have visions of constant problems like :

forgetting to take books/PE kit, losing her locker key, losing uniform, forgetting/losing bus fare, missing the bus, not taking her phone or not charging it which means she can't phone to tell me shes missed the bus etc

Please tell me that they grow up quickly and suddenly develop a more organised side.

If not, what's the best way of dealing with it and instilling a sense of taking responsibility for herself ...lord knows I've tried over the years.

GypsyMoth Tue 06-Sep-11 10:35:18

We don't have secondary schools here. Is that age 11?

Ds is badly organised. All you can do is drill it into them and praise them when they manage to get through the week with all their belongings intact!

CroissantNeuf Tue 06-Sep-11 10:40:03

Yes, age 11.

After 7 years I'm sick of the sound of my own voice reminding her and telling her things.Maybe I need to do more praising.

I know some people will say to just leave her to suffer the consequences if she messes up but I want her to have a positive start at secondary school and that won't be the case if shes getting told off at school for forgetting things or walking miles home in the rain etc

mummytime Tue 06-Sep-11 11:00:13

Let her take the consequences. Then when it falls apart and she moans to you, ask her if she wants some help in getting organised.
She can have a fine start to secondary school despite being scatty. In fact it is much much better if she makes all those mistakes now when the staff will be more tolerant, than later in the year/years.
BTW I still get occasional phone calls for forgotten PE kit. I would also recommend nagging on Food Tech ingredients, as you do not want her to suddenly present the list the night before, and you not to have half the stuff.
But making mistakes is how they learn. (You can give her hints such as to ask the heads of year if a crisis happens, ours can be very helpful.)

GypsyMoth Tue 06-Sep-11 11:09:23

It's a big leap from primary to secondary

We have 3 tier system here , so lower, middle and then in year 9, it's upper school

Middle school is like a cross between primary and secondary school

Very gentle initiation into the world if timetables/ school bus/ independence. It worked so well for my dc, but even so, ds is 13 and started upper school today. I am still worried

Kez100 Tue 06-Sep-11 11:13:37

Lanyard with no back clasp and strong front key clasp for the locker and house key. Named uniform. Otherwise, I have left them both to their own devices and they are really pretty organised.

Fennel Tue 06-Sep-11 11:22:59

I'm hoping so, my 11yo loses and forgets things all over the place. Unfortunately her father does too and he's 43 so they don't all grow out of it.

Luckily she's not a stressor so if she loses or forgets something she doesn't freak out. I try and help her develop coping strategies, in primary she had a special notebook given by the teacher to remember things, and a special arrangement with the admin staff - she was the worst child in the school about remembering lunch tickets, sigh. I'm hoping her secondary form tutor and student reception desk get to know her and realise she isn't one of life's organsed types, and probably never will be.

noblegiraffe Tue 06-Sep-11 14:25:50

She should be given a planner to organise her homework - get her used to checking it every night. Bag should be packed according to her timetable the night before - so many disorganised kids try to sort their bag in the morning. Bag and appropriate kit should be left by the front door so that she just needs to pick it up.

Charge her phone every night, not just as and when, so she gets used to picking it up every morning.

Making things routine is key.

wigglybeezer Tue 06-Sep-11 14:28:02

She will but it will take at least six months and two PE kits IME.

Erebus Tue 06-Sep-11 14:39:34

I am regularly lecturing DS2, newly in Y6 about how 'forgotten' this/that and the other won't be chased up by teachers next year. Once it's carelessly left around (in a 1450 pupil school), consider it gone, sunshine!

TBF I am trying, instead of listing what he must do or must take, asking him to stop and think about it himself, along the lines of 'OK DS2' (catchy, huh?!), 'what day is it today? What does that mean? Okay, yes, you will need that object. Are you sure that's all?' (even if it is!). Or I will say 'OK, you're leaving the house in 10 minutes. Do the things you must do before you walk out. You know what they are'.

I have found that this focuses the mind.

DH and I had got into a slightly daft habit, born of being ignored til the third repetition, where we'd say, literally 'Put your shoes on put your shoes on put your shoes on', and they'd say 'OKAY!' but as I pointed out to DH, it wasn't making them think about What Must Be Done Next. It's hard sometimes because though you will get the 'Make them suffer the consequences' argument, sometimes those can be draconian, or in the case of an under-dressed DC on a day out, miserable for all as once the Lesson about getting ready properly has been delivered, you still have several hours of having to gauge the falling temperature, a deeply unhappy DC and possible health consequences!

FWIW an erstwhile militarily organised friend of mine suddenly left the camping holiday clothes packing for her 2 DSs, 11 and 13, to them. The week was punctuated with her endlessly trooping into the nearest town to buy shorts (only brought ONE pair of fleece tracksuit trousers between them ), PJs (none at all) and a sun-hat; but this was after an unpleasant walk with one DS getting sun-burnt and the other nearly expiring in the heat. One was also in her T shirts by the end of the week! OK, a lesson may have been learned but boy, we all suffered!

scaryteacher Tue 06-Sep-11 15:17:00

Ds started year 11 yesterday and I am still waiting with bated breath for his responsible gene and his organisational skills to emerge. Perhaps when he turns 16 next month, something will click!

ExitPursuedByATroll Tue 06-Sep-11 15:23:31

6 months. <faints> 2 PE Kits <faints again>

DD started last week. So far she has forgotten to bring home the Geography book that needed backing <groan>, the English letter that needed to be signed, and wrote down the Phsyics homework <scream> incorrectly as she claims the teacher is foreign and she couldn't tell what she was saying. Despite being told to ask if she didn't understand or couldn't follow something. So that is after 4 days.

However, the curling of the hair and the turning over of the skirt to make it shorter are going very well thank you.

She is very disorganised. But so am I. She will be punished for it won't she?

GrungeBlobPrimpants Tue 06-Sep-11 15:29:03

Well ds (now entering Y8) is brilliant at organising himself to get to school in morning, and in checking and packing his bag at night

However, homework = nag nag nag nag nag
And he has lost equivalent of 1 PE kit plus mobile phone

Dd (Y11) is brilliantly organised at packing stuff, not losing stuff, and doing homework

However, everything else is totally haywire and she frequently oversleeps

So don't get you hopes up grin

CroissantNeuf Tue 06-Sep-11 15:46:44

Oh dear.

I was hoping for lots of "Don't worry -she'll be a reformed character by week 2" posts.

Better get her to start saving now for replacement PE kit and uniform .......

cat64 Tue 06-Sep-11 19:43:48

Message withdrawn

mumslife Tue 06-Sep-11 19:50:28

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cricketballs Tue 06-Sep-11 23:03:24

I am a secondary school teacher and the advise I would give is to leave her to deal with the consequences if she does forget something. For the first few weeks staff are more sympathetic and fully understand that there is a big difference between primary and secondary expectations on students.

she will soon start to learn the routine and you can help by asking her the night before what she has tomorrow (if you have a conversation about it rather than a direct question then it will become less of a battle!) and if she has to take anything it should (hopefully!) prompt her.

If in a few weeks, she receives a punishment for not taking in something, then support the school as she will never learn to take responsibility if she thinks you will 'get her out of trouble'

mumeeee Wed 07-Sep-11 00:39:04

Sorry OP they don't. In fact they often get worse as there's more stuff to organise. Well that's been my experience.

Fennel Wed 07-Sep-11 10:28:23

My scatty 11yo remembered her PE kit yesterday but "it only had one trainer in". They let her off as it was the first ever PE lesson, but 3 more of similar forgettings and she'll have a detention. I foresee a lot of detentions for my very keen but vague child.

woahthere Wed 07-Sep-11 10:41:25

I made the mistake of believing my son would become automatically more responsible simply for the fact that he seemed more capable and independant ie catching the bus on his own, walking a mile to school etc. At first he was, but after about 3months it was like he reversed and he really seemed to be struggling and incapable of doing simple things (and hes really clever!) the combination of crazy hormones and responsibility had almost become too much for him, and we had to sort of take a back step and help him a lot more. We had to physically take everything out of his bag every day and go through what he needed for the next day and constantly keep reminding him of things. I felt quite guilty in the end because I think I put too much on him, and I honestly believe hormones make you go a bit doolally for a while, so just take care with expecting too much, we wnat them to be all grown up, but 11 is still very young, and even if they dont ask for it, they still need help...and lots of hugs (even if they object!)

ExitPursuedByATroll Wed 07-Sep-11 14:12:45

Fennel According to my DD they chuck out detentions for all sorts of things at her school, especially not having the right thing in the right place at the right time - so like you I foresee many of them.

haggisaggis Wed 07-Sep-11 14:22:54

ds started high school 3 weeks ago and although he was really disorganised in primary he is getting better!
I remind him to check his timetable and homework planner at night to make sure he has the right stuff (we've stuck his timetable on the inside of the cupboard he keeps his books in). He has so far remembered phone / lunch money / door key - I think he is actually enjoying the responsibility. He did leave his trainers at school one day but got them back the next.

Fennel Wed 07-Sep-11 15:06:16

I am writing out a checklist for items to take daily and weekly, for dd1 to tick off in the morning. And trying to start a habit of going through her contact book every evening. it sounds a bit protective, and I wouldn't normally expect to do this for a secondary aged child, I don't imagine needing to for dd2 or dd3 at this stage, they have good memories and organisational skills.

But dd1 really is poor at this stuff, though she's fine at other things - she is perfectly happy cycling off to a new school and dealing with that, and she is capable of looking after herself, cooking herself meals etc.

I do feel sorry for her at the thought of the probable multiple detentions for forgetting things.

CroissantNeuf Wed 07-Sep-11 16:27:23

Well Day 1 is over and she remembered everything, didn't lose anything....but her water bottle had leaked in her bag on the way home (this is the bottle she was adamant was leak-proof but I'd said keep it upright anyway-it was lying down, lid undone and had leaked on her phone but luckily no books)

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