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Preteens

My dd is a scatterbrain!

4 replies

Monkeytree · 25/09/2017 11:34

DD (age 11) is bright and is now attending a great grammar school. The school want to encourage the girls to start taking responsibility for things (positive thing) homework, p.e kit and so on. Anyhow, during Y6, I would get many phonecalls from the school secretary about the things that dd had forgotten - primarily swim kit but now in Y7 this has taken on a more serious level where detentions etc. are involved. We are only a couple of weeks into the first term and DD appears to have lost 2 bus passes (definitely one), the second only yesterday (and we asked her to pay to replace the first one so there were consequences), lost one of her locker keys, has forgotten her homework, leaves her raincoat in her school locker and last week mislaid both of her school jumpers which she then found stuffed in her p.e bag and on top of this is constantly forgetting her pass - doors are key fob operated.
I know it is only just the beginning of secondary school but can anyone tell me, does it get better? This has been a real uphill struggle with dd but I have not nagged her too much because I wanted her to focus on her school work/having fun. She is coming home tired from a new routine too which isn't helping matters. I do believe it is really important to take responsibility for things and therefore have been asked not to prompt/check bags etc. but it is really hard not to fall into this role - she was in tears last week for forgetting her homework.

Reading some of the threads, it is largely mothers of boys who seem to be complaining of this but I can definitely vouch for it not being solely a boy trait. Did things improve for your dc? At the moment it seems to be a steep learning curve for dd and is really hard to watch.

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Gladiolies · 25/09/2017 11:42

Tricky one. My eldest can be like this too. Does she have a phone where she can set herself reminders?

Also, does she have a notice board in her room where she could put up an itinerary of her week...and then she can stick one in her diary etc etc

The losing of things is a difficult one- lanyards might help but I'm afraid I know fully-functioning and professional adults who are complete scatterbrained. One has lost her bank cards that many times that they had to start at number 1 again. It's just not in some people's nature to be organised. Sorry that's not much help!!

Maybe speak to the school and see what they suggest you do, given her nature?

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Monkeytree · 25/09/2017 11:58

Hi Gladiolies,

Thanks for your response. Yes, a noticeboard in her room is definitely next on the agenda. I have encouraged her to keep everything in her blazer pocket - phone, dinner money etc. then it is ready, pack her bag the night before etc. But pinning stuff on a noticeboard is probably going to help too. I have bought her a large art file to keep all of her homework bits in so that they don't float all around the house like they have done this past week. In other words, I'm working on all the things that could enable her - but it is down to her at the end of the day. The worse thing is she is really diligent about doing her homework etc and does it but forgets to take it and she hates getting detentions (she's escaped so far).
Yes, I think even as adults we can be scatter brained at times - purse, phone, work passes etc, I know I have but with dd it seems to be a particular trait of hers and it is hard to stay detached when I can see her floundering.

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Apple23 · 25/09/2017 12:23

All her removable belongings need a 'home' that she puts them in when she takes them off, i.e. a specific pocket in her bag. Get her to check (and, initially, show you) that she has them on arriving and before leaving the house.

Train her to count how many items she should be carrying (e.g. if she gets on the bus with two bags and a coat, then she should have 3 items when she gets off), and to look back at her chair and nearby surfaces when she gets up to make sure she hasn't left anything behind.

If she loses something, the replacement needs to inconvenience her time-wise, so e.g. she needs to go and ask at the school office for a new fob, complete the form for a replacement bus pass, go with you and speak to the person behind the counter at the lost-property office, write a letter to your manager apologising if you have to take time off work to deal with these things. More effective for this age-group than a financial loss unless she worked to earn the money.

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TeenTimesTwo · 25/09/2017 14:51

I don't believe in all this let them sink stuff when they have just started secondary.
She is tired, travelling, getting used to a new routine.
Scaffold her until she is ready to go completely solo.
e.g.
homework - give her a system, either folders with the day of the week to put things into, or just it always goes straight into her rucksack, or help her transfer hand-in dates into the right place on the planner and the evening before ensure she has checked it.

ditto other stuff. help her define where things should be.

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