First-grader Jill lost her Math notebook early this week. Later, it was her new crayons she misplaced. Her wallet was next, and so on. When her teacher would ask about them, she’d seem unaffected, and no amount of reminders could prompt her to organize and care for her belongings, so she still ends up misplacing her things.
While Jill’s situation is quite common, repeated instances may be rooted in the home. Here are 5 things parents can do to help their child take responsibility for their belongings:
1.Help your child remember.
Some kids can be quite forgetful, and you could help them in the thought process. Ask your child, “When was the last time you used it?” “What did you do or where did you go after using it?” This will usually help her remember, and teach her what to do the next time it happens.
If your child is the least affected about losing her things habitually, try to look within. Could it be because this is how the entire family regards material things? Often, this kind of behavior is imbibed from the parents’ attitude. If so, then it’s time for a change of mindset. You as the parent must show a good example!
As a school counselor, I noted that at the end of each schoolyear, a lot of the items in the lost-and-found section like jugs, lunchboxes, wallets, shirts, pencil cases, etc. would remain unclaimed, and I’m guessing that their parents simply replaced the lost items with new ones. This solution, however, elicits an undesirable behavior. Children should be taught about not just the monetary value but the importance of being responsible for their things.