Wednesday, April 02, 2008

My Epiphany

Yesterday, I had an epiphany.

Einey is a smart, wonderful child. However, like all kids, she has some quirks. She is highly forgetful. I cannot tell you how many times we've started to leave the school, only to notice she's forgotten her hat and mittens (which the teacher gave her the next day - complete set, and still she managed to lose one of the mittens), lunch box, sweater, folder and yes, even her coat once (and of course, it was right before a snowstorm - I blame Husband* partly for that one, he failed to notice and grab it, making me go over later in the day). For the minor stuff, I just leave it there and send in a note the next day. No biggie.

Usually I check her backpack before we leave the school, so if her homework is forgotten, we're able to grab it before we leave. And in such, I've realized, I have been enabling her. Yesterday, she went to a friends house after school. When I picked her up at dinner time, I mentioned how she left her homework folder in her class (again - second day in a row). It was when she looked at me and said "so, we can just stop and get it" that I realized, things need to change.

No longer an I going to grab her forgotten item. She is going to learn to be a little more aware of her responsibilities. Next year, the teacher isn't going to just say "it's okay, she can just do it tomorrow", so she needs to take a little bit of responsibility for her own actions. Once, when she forgot, she had three pages of homework from one night and one from the other night to do. She whined and complained how it wasn't fair and how her friends didn't have as much homework to do that night (duh! They all remembered to bring their homework home the night before and only had one nights work to do). She was not happy. You'd think she'd learn!

So now, I think I have come up with a plan. On nights she forgets her homework, she's going to have to write a note to her teacher explaining why she doesn't have her homework. In addition, I will print a page of something (or pull one from a workbook) that relates to their work for the week. She'll have to do that page and turn it in. In addition, she'll still have to make up the homework she missed the next day. I'm even considering making her write "I will not forget my folder" 10x each. And adding five each time she forgets. I don't want to torture her, but I do want her to realize that there are consequences to her actions. Does anyone else have any suggestions?

* Actually I blame Husband for the quirk as well. The man would forget his head if it wasn't screwed on. I cannot tell you how many times I have to find stuff for him as well. Maybe the smarter you are, the more you forget? After all, there's only so much room in the brain, something has to give!


Anonymous said...

I can't wait to see how it works!

Velma said...

I laid down the law this morning, too, about not eating breakfast. Mine refused to eat it, then 2 minutes before it was time to brush teeth and hair and head to the bus stop, decided she was hungry after all. I told her there was no way I was driving her to school if she missed the bus, and she could eat one of her snacks at the bus stop if she was that hungry. MEAN MOMMY!

Ladybug's Picnic said...

Honestly, I think you are on to something. I firmly believe the smarter one is, the more they forget. My husband is the smartest person I've ever met but forgets EVERYTHING. Life long problem, too - his mom shared old letters from his grade school teachers to her about that very topic. He's never changed so I wish you the best of luck!

Karen said...

you are a super smart mama for doing this now - I just posted all about my hiccups getting LP to be independent, but forgot to confess how long it took me to lay down the law with Thinker, who is 5 years older.

Fairly Odd Mother said...

I like your plan. Hope it works well!

Anonymous said...

we do the verbal list before we walk out the, coat- check, backpack- check, folder- check, lunch- check, sister-check!!

There is always the "everything laid out the night before" method. Me, I prefer charts and lists. Positive reinforcement actually works sometimes- who knew!
Good luck!