I am at a loss. Please, I need advice.....

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  1. first, let me preface this by saying, i apologize for the long upcoming post, but i need to explain things in detail in order for it to be clear.

    my 10 year old daughter has a problem—she loses everything and anything and it's driving me nuts! at this point, i can't even write it off as one of those "oh, she's just a kid. kids lose things" anymore because this has been an ongoing problem for years.

    just to name a few (not all) of the items she has lost over the years:

    • her gameboy
    • a north face ski jacket, a regular winter coat from the gap
    • 3 sweatshirts, a few t-shirts
    • numerous gloves making the pairs useless
    • numerous winter hats and scarves (we live in colorado, so these items are necessary)
    • a game to her nintendo DS
    • headbands
    • a pair of earrings (thankfullly not expensive)
    • two blankets from a trip to the mountains—one of those blankets my husband won in a golf tournament recently.
    • soccer ball
    • a tennis skirt (thankfully not her racquet)
    • a necklace that she left at her friend's house, but luckily they called and we got it back.

    and the list goes on, but these are the "major" ones.

    well, yesterday was the last straw for me. every year in our city, the 5th grade students head up to the mountains for 3 days in what they call ECO week to learn about nature and the environment. they've been doing this since my husband was in school, so it's that much of a tradition.

    when i picked her up from school yesterday after her trip, i knew her duffel bag felt much lighter than it did when she left. i had to go out and buy her hiking boots (which cost $45) and a new parka in case it rained (another $35), and a few other items necessary for her trip.

    one thing that she packed with her was her brand new soccer warmup uniform. it was very expensive but we went ahead and bought it (even though it wasn't required like her regular game uniform) because with the colder months here, we knew it would really come in handy. when i saw that she packed it, i was so apprehensive to let her take it with her but she promised me and assured me that she would take care of it and not to worry.

    so i let her take it.

    first mistake.

    needless to say, she misplaced or lost the warmup jacket. not only was this a special item because it had her soccer number embroidered on the jacket, but it was ordered in bulk along with her teammates with the pants, as well. but it doesn't end there, not only did she lose this warmup jacket, she lost two blankets (the two mentioned above) as well. apparently she "forgot" to pack them.

    at this point, i am so upset and livid i can't even think straight. i know this may seem so trite compared to ordinary, daily problems, but i feel like she is taking advantage of our generosity and takes these items for granted.

    i ask, what would you do in this case? our arms are literally up in the air about what to do at this point.

    any advice would be appreciated. thanks!
  2. It seems like you're describing my son in your post (same age too)! I think he would lose his head if it weren't attached. He's lost similar items to those you've listed. One thing we've done is not replace it immediately. So when he lost his PSP he had to wait a few years and prove to us that he is responsible enough to have another one. Same with everything else...It helped show him that there is a reason we buy him things and gives him a chance to value it when he does get it again. He still misplaces things from time to time but its gotten significantly better.
  3. Hard one to pinpoint....could be something as simple as having other things on her mind....I know sometimes I don't even realize that I have gotten from point A to point B driving in my car because I am so into my thoughts....
    However, being as that may, she's young...and believe me, I know what it's like but how is she doing in school?
    What are her grades like?
    Does she have trouble focusing in class?
    I would speak to her teachers and find out where she is with that.
    Often signs of the inability to concentrate could be ADD....and believe me, I am NOT a believer in labeling every child that comes along -- which nowadays -- seems to be the 'norm.'
    That would be my suggestion. Find out about school. If the problem is spilling over into other areas of her life, you could always have an evaluation set up by the school.
    What makes you crazy might not be in her control and I highly doubt it's to make you crazy. Just take step one, step two....then hopefully something will come to light from it.
    And be patient.
  4. I used to think my son was the king of losing things...

    What helped me was a checklist that I gave him to carry in his backpack each time he went camping/on an outing, so he would know what to pack when returning and not 'forget'.

    The other thing - when he lost something I didn't replace it immediately unless it was required for his health or safety and let him feel its loss for a while. Or I made him do chores (at a somewhat inflated pay rate) to earn the money back to replace the item. He's a Boy Scout now, and actually has learned to pack meticulously and bring back every single thing he takes with him, much to my surprise.

    I'm not very strict about gloves and hats, though. I just buy several cheap pairs and hand them out when necessary over the winter.

    And like jchiara said, be patient.
  5. I'm thinking of how my parents would handle it at that point.

    First would probably be: They wouldn't buy me things (and wouldn't replace things) and let me know WHY. And would remind me everytime something was wanted with "No, you'll lose it. Not until you understand how to take care of your things."

    Secondly, they'd likely take away everything of value and only give me access under supervised guidelines. No taking anything to school, over to a friends, ect.

    I'd learn to have less until I could learn to take care and keep track of my possessions. And be expected to earn and save up on my own to replace something I've lost if I want it replaced.

    (This is speculating based on my knowledge of my parent's tactics. I didn't lose things like that as a kid. At 14, with the exception of Christmas or birthday gifts and a few back to school outfits. I was expected to save up and earn my own things. So I made sure not to lose anything because I knew my parents would not replace it and knew the time and saving required to get it.)
  6. I understand your frustration. My SO "loses" a lot of his items, most I believe I are taken by his younger brother who is still in college and never return or return damaged and he won't say or do anything about it! A lot of the items weren't cheap either.

    I don't have much advice, but like Merika mentioned. I would explain to her that these things cost you your hard-earned money and therefore she must work or do chores to "re-pay" you the money for the items that she lost. This way she will learn the work involved for these items and may become more responsible when it comes to keeping track of her stuff.
  7. we've done this as well. when she lost her first gameboy, we didn't replace it until 6 months or so later, at which point, she kept tabs on it religiously (as well as myself).

    i also forgot to add to her list of misplaced items: her iPod. for the life of her, she couldn't remember where she put it so we just chalked it up to another item—albeit a pricey one—being lost.

    until a few weeks later, when i was doing the laundry, it was in her pocket of her jeans and had already been washed and through the dryer. thankfully that suggestion of soaking it in white rice did the trick and has worked ever since.

    thankfully, that is not an issue with her (right now). she's an excellent student and right now has straight A's. her teachers have always given her a glowing report and one teacher a few years ago said "if i could clone her, i would."

    so right now, that's not an issue.

    i actually just recommended this to her this morning. but mainly when she goes over to someone's house for a sleepover and/or playdate. but even with school, i think she should do this, at least until she gets acclimated to remembering these items.

    we sat her down last night and told her exactly this. explained to her that money doesn't come by so easily these days so when we spend money on her—regardless of how much—it's something that should be treasured and appreciated.

    unfortunately, we have been explaining this to her since kindergarten and clearly it hasn't helped after 5+ years. she will turn 11 years old in november, and even though she's a great kid and an excellent student, great athlete, etc. she clearly is taking these things for granted.
  8. I think all kids lose things, at least I did and so do my kids.

    I do exactly what Merika does. I don't replace fun things; like electronics, etc. They have spend their own money to replace anything like that.

    Coats and jackets, with 3 boys they seem to come and go and there is always something around to be used. Hat and mittens I buy at the dollar store and I always buy just black, that way when 1 mitten gets lost eventually it will be a mate for another lost.

    I, too, find checklists or post its help.

    Hang in there :smile:
  9. I would never buy my DS10 an ipod...frankly, I am quite aware he is not ready for that kind of responsibility.

    I check each and every pocket before pants, shorts, jackets get washed. I can't even count how many times phones, cameras, games, etc have gotten 'saved'...plus, making some money ;)
  10. great idea. i'm gonna have to adhere to this as well—especially with what happened with her iPod.

    we bought it for her for her 8th birthday and this happened over a year ago, so hopefully she won't misplace or lose it again, but if she does, i assure you, we won't buy her another one. same thing if she loses her nintendo DS. these are things that i just won't tolerate anymore.

    you're right. and i love the idea of buying mittens, hats, scarves, etc. at a thrift shop or wherever that's cheap. i'm sick and tired of her coming home without these items and it'll be 20º outside. ugh!
  11. It may have happened and I just don't remember it... but I don't remember losing anything valuable as a kid. I always knew where everything was, and most things had an exact spot that they were kept in... maybe that's because I'm a materialistic Taurus though. So that might not be normal. :biggrin:

    My parents were very much the same way as what twinkle tink stated above though, either we took care of the things we were given or we were not given nice things in the future. I plan to do the same thing with my children.

    For your particular situation, I would replace on the things that you HAVE to (clothing she needs for the winter, etc.) and forgo replacing the others. I think at the age of 10 she is old enough to know exactly what she brought with her on a trip and what needs to go back into her bag. Especially something specific like a soccer team warm-up jacket that not every kid that is on the trip is going to have with them. Things like that I would not replace, she either keeps track of the first one or doesn't have one any more. I think after a while of not having everything new or the latest & greatest... she'll probably start having a "better memory" of what she needs to keep track of. ;)
  12. DS does have an iPod but he's not allowed to take it anywhere. He has a place to keep it, and he's supposed to return it to that place once he's done with it. Like Twinkle.Tink when I buy multiple pairs of gloves and hats I get them in one color black, brown or grey.

    And now, for whatever reason DS doesn't lose things, but he's growing and clumsy and he drops things all over the house. He dropped his nintendo DS so many times he broke it. Sorry, no more nintendo for a while. He dropped his Wii remote so many times when he was playing that DH decided to penalize him 5 minutes of game time each time, lol.
  13. For awhile when I was a kid (must've been until 10 or so), I'd forget my textbooks, homework, etc. Even though I always did it and was a great student.

    Then there's my younger sister, who seriously left/forgot her purse (yes, she carried a purse from a verrry young age!) everywhere! Church, the store... everywhere.

    I think it's partially a phase, partially carelessness, and I think you shouldn't be replacing these items immediately. Maybe put them in the "Christmas List" category to be replaced as a gift later.

    Good luck!

    And YES, check those pockets!!!
  14. I'm confused. The story of your 10 year-old doesn't sound out-of-the-ordinary at all. My kids are only 5 and 6 and we've lost coats, mittens, hats, scarves, toys, shoes, barrettes/hair bows, etc. It's completely normal, especially in this day and age when families are always on the go. I can understand feeling frustrated, but it's part of life with kids. All you can do is teach her to respect your/her property and even then, things will still get lost from time to time.
  15. Here are my suggestions:

    She shouldn't have very expensive items unless she is being supervised with this item... not left on her own with it.

    Also, if she loses the item, do not replace it (unless like someone mentioned it is for health or safety). If it must be replaced, she should pay for it herself. She should earn that money through chores around the house.

    When she goes away, she should take a packing list of all the things she has brought with her, and check off when it is time to leave that she has packed everything to go home.

    It's possible she doesn't comprehend the value of these items. Ten is a bit young to understand that a North Face jacket is an expensive brand, and she may not quite get the value of money. By making her do chores and working hard and earning money, she may start to get the idea. I wonder if she is losing all these items because it hasn't quite sunken in yet what their value is.