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AIBU to make him pay?
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cmac76 · 27/11/2021 08:45

I just want to gauge if I am being too mean or not. DS (10) has form for losing things….items of clothing mainly. It was really bad when he was younger. He would regularly come home from school without jumpers, socks, coat, water bottle…whole uniform once and shoes another time (after school clubs). We sometimes found items, sometimes not. I resorted to writing in a sharpie pen inside his bag all the things he needed to come home with. But he would forget to check that 🙄

He’s better now but can still lose things from time to time. I won’t let him wear his ‘nice’ things out when I’m not with him though as a result.

So now he’s lost his warm hat and gloves (plays a lot of football etc) and I’m so fed up.
Do I make him pay to replace a set or just half? He does get very upset about losing stuff (I do get cross) so I feel mean but it’s so annoying! He needs to look after his things!!
He is NT by the way, no issues that we are aware of.

Would you make your child pay at this age?

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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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Elsalvador · 27/11/2021 12:30

My DS drove me nuts losing stuff. Lost nothing until Y3 then suddenly started to lose stuff every week. I would get so cross with him. I did threaten not to replace items but he wasn't bothered about that even if it meant not having the right uniform or being cold. We had a very easy system to follow where he wouldn't lose stuff but I soon realised that DS lost stuff because he was so confident that I'd get it back or replace. I found it really stressful because of the time and energy spent searching for stuff then replacing it if it never came back.

Touch wood. We've had a three week streak of not losing stuff. Consequences don't bother DS. Not having a replacement or being made to pay for one doesn't bother him. So we switched to rewards. A packet of haribos at the end of the week if he makes it to Friday without losing anything. So far, it's working. We will gradually phase it out but I am hoping to use the sweets as an incentive until looking after his stuff becomes a good habit rather than something he needs to think about.

Never had this issue with DD. DH, on the other hand, is pretty terrible and loses things fairly regularly.

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Wasabiprawns · 27/11/2021 12:17

My first thoughts were inattentive ADHD. Very typical symptom,

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unlikelytobe · 27/11/2021 12:13

My DH is like this!Grin

I think it's definitely an aspect of a bigger issue quite often so don't punish too much, help him get better organised, systems for remembering things, advise teachers etc

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ShinyHappyPoster · 27/11/2021 12:10

The other issue that other DCs lift stuff that isn't their's so some of the losses might not be his responsibility. My DC doesn't have a tendency to lose stuff but when it comes to sports, pe, games, stuff just disappears. And from speaking to other parents, it happens a lot when it comes to sports.

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dabbydeedoo · 27/11/2021 12:08

@twoshedsjackson

I agree about consequences; I was always amazed at the quantity of good quality clothing in Lost Property. Often, it was clearly named, but the mass session of laying it all out on tables and dragging your form down to look at it only happened twice a term; at other times, the boys had to bestir themselves to go down to Lost Property. But that cut into breaktime, and Somebody Else could take the mental load.
I was always baffled as to how anybody could go home minus underwear without noticing.......
I know this is an extreme example, but looking a long way ahead; I watched a TV programme about young men in training for the navy. One lad left his wallet lying about, and was torn of a real strip for it; he was reminded that he was aiming for a job where he could have left confidential material open to compromise. In another example, security breaches caused by a laptop being "left on the train" is not "endearingly scatty", it's a serious matter.
Ridiculous in terms of a 10-year old, I know, but now is the time to help him develop better habits. It sounds as if this is beginning to dawn on him, and a few mild consequences, like a dull shopping trip, now, will be good training for secondary school and beyond.

100% this.

It's so irritating to see even young boys already feeling entitled to let other people (usually women) take on the mental load. They get used to leaving all the boring organisational stuff up to women so they can focus on the fun stuff they enjoy. Why bother your brain remembering to pick up your hat and gloves after football when you know Mum will just get you new ones? Where's the incentive?

Girls aren't wired to be better organised, they are just held responsible for the consequences of their own actions at a far younger age. Yes, some people, male or female, have genuine impairments, but most do not. As evidenced by how rarely kids who have to pay for their own stuff, or go without, tend to lose things.
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Duvetflower · 27/11/2021 12:08

The first time he loses something maybe replace with the cheapest most basic version and if he wants to upgrade he uses his own money? So gloves and hat from the pound shop, lost coat is replaced with whatever fits from the charity shop etc.
It might make him more appreciative of his nice things, or maybe he won't care and you can keep buying cheap stuff.

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TractorAndHeadphones · 27/11/2021 12:05

YANBU to want him to pay but put in place strategies first.
I wouldn't be so quick to jump to developmental issues. Every ND trait can also be present in an NT and a couple of traits alone aren't enough for a diagnosis.
I have ADHD and always lose things so I minimise the amount I have, GPS tags, make sure they're all in one bag

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Nanny0gg · 27/11/2021 12:04

@cmac76

This is what I worry about, punishing him for something that I think he struggles with. I know he’s upset at losing things and that it is tied up with knowing I’m cross with him. He can get quite distressed/down about it. In the past he has been a bit flippant…oh we can just replace it! So that made me feel really annoyed.
I’ve said SO many times…when you want to take something off, put it in your bag (at school). I’ve seen him take a jumper off and just dump it where he’s sitting and then of course he’s run off and left it. I’m in two minds…that shows his carelessness. All he had to do was walk over to me and ask me to hold it/tie it round his waist??
Argh!

If he has to pay (and when it's not deliberate carelessness I wouldn't make him) just cheap replacements.
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Blackberrybunnet · 27/11/2021 12:03

Why would you even think of making a 10-year old pay? Just buy the cheapest of cheap, or even get hats and gloves from charity shops. He's just a child.

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dottiedodah · 27/11/2021 11:58

I think if he is already upset at losing things ,then it would be unfair for you to make him pay as well .Just buy things that are cheap .A water bottle or hat are easily replaced ,a whole uniform not so much!

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Gliderx · 27/11/2021 11:42

I would stop telling him off for it, though. Either let him have the natural consequence of not having the thing he's lost or if it's something he really needs, he then has to pay for it or 'earn' it through chores. But take the emotion out of it by not being annoyed with him.

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Haveyoubrushedyourteethtoday · 27/11/2021 11:38

No I wouldn’t. My son is the same. At 14 he is better. If I had my time again I’d be less harsh. But no one was harder on him than he was iyswim. He secretly hated himself I think. Maybe still does a little. I was the same at that age.

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Gliderx · 27/11/2021 11:33

I'd put the onus on him. I'd let him go a week or so without them (he won't die of the cold) under the guise of him having a chance to look for the ones that he's lost. Then I'd ask him if he'd like to spend his pocket money replacing them or do extra chores to earn more money to do this.

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twoshedsjackson · 27/11/2021 11:33

I agree about consequences; I was always amazed at the quantity of good quality clothing in Lost Property. Often, it was clearly named, but the mass session of laying it all out on tables and dragging your form down to look at it only happened twice a term; at other times, the boys had to bestir themselves to go down to Lost Property. But that cut into breaktime, and Somebody Else could take the mental load.
I was always baffled as to how anybody could go home minus underwear without noticing.......
I know this is an extreme example, but looking a long way ahead; I watched a TV programme about young men in training for the navy. One lad left his wallet lying about, and was torn of a real strip for it; he was reminded that he was aiming for a job where he could have left confidential material open to compromise. In another example, security breaches caused by a laptop being "left on the train" is not "endearingly scatty", it's a serious matter.
Ridiculous in terms of a 10-year old, I know, but now is the time to help him develop better habits. It sounds as if this is beginning to dawn on him, and a few mild consequences, like a dull shopping trip, now, will be good training for secondary school and beyond.

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WeAllHaveWings · 27/11/2021 11:31

I remember a couple years of this with ds when he was 9/10 and conversations around how did you lose it, what do you think you could have done to make sure it wasn't lost/forgotten? a few, next thing you lose you are paying for it (don't think it ever got that far), and buying replacements that were not as nice.

I think it is completely normal at that age, their heads are just elsewhere.
It did sink in eventually and he has been pretty good since being at secondary.

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ThirdElephant · 27/11/2021 11:27

I had this issue for years, before I implemented my system.

Count the number of items before leaving the house. So it might be PE kit, coat, hat, gloves, umbrella, bag- 6 items. So I'd tell myself it's a 6 bag system that day. I got into a routine of looking back at where I'd been sitting every time I got up to check for left items and would count the items I had before moving off. He could try that?

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Bananadobana · 27/11/2021 11:24

Could be dyspraxic.. you say is NT but sounds like organization is a massive issue you are already compensating with lists for him to remember etc
Whatever the reason either you tell him to get his act together, give him consequences or see if techniques that helps dyspraxia might be useful

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Pawprintpaper · 27/11/2021 11:22

@Gladioli23

I still remember the sick feeling in my stomach when I lost a watch at primary school. I can almost feel the bile just thinking about it. The same for an MP3 player that I actually think probably got nicked.

I'm still not great at not losing things (lost a pair of gloves, a pair of headphones, a water bottle I think in the last couple of years). The difference is that now I can decide to put the guilt aside as just use my own money to buy new ones without getting told off or blamed.

It's crap, I wish I wasn't like this. I've got better at it as I get older, but mainly by introducing mechanisms. Having gloves for each coat for example, sets of headphones for every place I wear them. Then I'm much more likely to put the thing back where I got it from which in turn cuts the likelihood of losing things.

I don't know what all the mechanism are or I'm fairly certain I'd be better at not losing things than I am. But I do know I really wasn't intentionally losing things as a child, so if you can come up with mechanisms to help him I'd recommend it.

I’m like this.

I felt terrible guilt about lost things without having to pay for everything as well.

I finally got the hang of the “have I got everything I came with” moment before leaving anywhere, looking around, under the seat, on surfaces I might have left anything etc. But it took a long time. I think having my own kids made a big difference. No one wants to lose the baby wipes.
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hidinginmyscarf · 27/11/2021 11:17

Been there with my DS. I have a rule now and it works - I set them up for the term with everything they need - anything lost they replace with their own money.

It's amazing how much more responsible they became after that.

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category12 · 27/11/2021 11:13

He's 10, fgs. Just keep reminding him.

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WellLarDeDar · 27/11/2021 11:05

As it's not a one off, or a second time or a third time, sounds like it's a common occurrence, then I think you should introduce consequences. He needs to learn to be responsible for his things. Sucks because you feel like the bad guy but what else can you do? You can't keep forking out to replace things and I think 10 is old enough to be responsible.

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BoredZelda · 27/11/2021 11:03

I made my daughter pay when she lost a 3rd school badged cardigan in 3 months when she was a similar age. She hasn’t lost anything since.

It’s all very well talking about “building scaffolding” and small that nonsense, but any parent knows it doesn’t matter go many times you repeat the same thing, until they see a consequence, it isn’t important enough to them to do something about it.

She would never, ever, ever lose her favourite soft toy when she was that age so she clearly was capable of not leaving something at the arse of her if it was important to her. It isn’t about capability it is about what they prioritise.

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dabbydeedoo · 27/11/2021 11:02

@Ponoka7

He's genuinely struggling with this, so I'd wait until high school before I put in punishments. There won't be any point in his saving, which is a good habit to get into.

*@dabbydeedoo*, you can manage that, not all people who have ADHD can. My DD still has trouble with organisation and not losing things, at 36, even with our help. She's a SC manager, so very capable in other ways.

Well, here's a way to find out.

If he continues to lose things despite having to pay for replacements, then it's likely he does have a real issue. If he mysteriously starts being more careful, then there's the answer.
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Slobberstops · 27/11/2021 11:01

I was like your boy. I still am. I can lose anything. It’s largely irrelevant how important it is to me. People around me tend to give me back things, to remind me of where things are, they make jokes about it in a friendly way and I give back to them in other ways. I am a baker, a listener and a chutney maker (erm people ask foe these honest).

Appreciate him for who he is - the irritating parts as well. But him cheap ones, make him do the leg work to lost property but this isn’t disrespect or anything h that needs anyone feeling cross or upset. The space in between NT and additional needs is full of all sorts of different ways of seeing the world and managing our lives. Work on his strategies but as someone who can be holding the thing I need as I need it and still misplace it I between I maybe wouldn’t expect miracles.

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cmac76 · 27/11/2021 10:58

Thanks for all your considered replies, it has helped me gain more perspective. I agree there needs to be some sort of consequence for continued losses but he has also been much better of late so I did tell him I can tell he’s trying and we’ve talked again about strategies to use to help. He’s going to look around lost property on Monday and I will replace this time if not found. After that he will be coming to the shops with me to buy!!

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