How To Help Your Child Who Is Forgetful

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One of my children is very forgetful.  I believe this is probably due to her Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD), but it doesn’t make it any easier to handle.  The other day as I was dropping her off to school, I realized that she hadn’t brushed her teeth or her hair.  She’d also forgotten to put her glasses in her backpack!  I know this sounds silly, but since she’s almost a teen, I honestly don’t check regularly to make sure she’s done things like brushing her teeth or hair. I didn’t check her backpack either for her glasses.  I just assumed that she was old enough to remember on her own.  I made the wrong assumption.

Of course, with four other children to tend to, I can’t be constantly hovering over her.  At her age, I doubt she’d appreciate the hover anyway.  Yet, I needed to make sure she did what she needed to do.  I came up with a plan, which has so far worked reasonably well.

Create A Routine

Every day, it seems that I do the same things over and over.  I have a routine which allows me to accomplish the housework, write (which helps pay the bills!), cook, and tend to the family.  It occurred to me that I should help my child create a routine in the morning so she could accomplish all she needed to do. 

The routine actually starts the night before when she would lay out her uniform for school.  When she gets up, she gets dressed and makes her way to the bathroom where she waits her turn.  Then, she should brush her teeth, wash her face, and brush her hair.  After this, she could come down for breakfast.  I made a point to check before feeding her breakfast to see that she has done what she needs to do.

Make It A Habit

I have heard that it takes about 21 days to create a habit.  I’m not sure if that’s really true or not, but let’s go with it for the sake of argument.  My goal is to get my child for 21 days to go through her routine.  After this, I hope that it will become “second nature” to her.  We are a few weeks into this formal routine, and it seems to be working. 

Create a Chart

But only if you think it would work for your particular child.  Some kids LOVE charts.  Other children are chart resistant.  If you believe that charting your child’s progress would encourage him or her, by all means chart away!

Encourage Your Child

Of course, verbal encouragement works more than any chart or other tip I can pass along.  It’s so important to “catch” your child being good and doing the right things! 

Hopefully, these tips should help you to help your child!  Here’s to responsibility!


Mary says:

All very good tips. I have two forgetful children, both in rather different ways. It’s not unusual for one or both of them to walk out of the house without their book bags! Starting a routine has helped at our house, but it’s always something we struggle with. Good luck to you!

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