It is Monday morning and you’re all battling to get out of the door by 8:00am. Just as you arrive at the school gate your 10-year-old son tells you that he has forgotten his homework again! There’s no time to go back home. You contemplate the email you are likely to receive from the teacher to remind you that this is the 5th time this term! Your child pleads with you to go home and get the homework. As you refuse, he walks away from the car flashing you a look of betrayal and contempt.
Forgotten homework, uniforms, lunches, and other school necessities can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety for everyone concerned. Unless your child is super organised, most will fall victim to forgetting what they need for school, but there are some simple preventative measures that can reduce this problem.
Firstly, it is important that parents stay up to date with emails from the school that show what is coming up. Often there are several reminders, so finding the time to place important dates in your phone or on a calendar that is in clear view for the whole family to see, means you won’t miss a date. Remember, while you want to assist your child with their organisation, you don’t want to take over. Teaching them to be organised will serve as a lifelong skill and will ultimately mean that they become self-sufficient.
Applying these simple tips to their weekly routine will teach your child to become more organised.
- Create a daily/weekly checklist that they can tick off
- Make sure they put their homework or other things they need for school in their bag from the night before.
- Create a visual diary that helps your young child to remember what they need to do each day. E.g., brush your teeth, change into your uniform, pack your lunch. You could even take photos of your child doing each of these tasks for their visual diary.
- If your child does forget homework, sit down with them, and go over the factors that led to them forgetting to take it to school. Reflecting on behavioural patterns is an excellent way to make positive change.
Lastly, it is important that you don’t dive in and ‘save’ your child from feeling any discomfort if they have forgotten something. Rushing home to grab the homework or the swim bag may fill your child with relief, but it will also teach them that you will rescue them every time. Feeling a little discomfort, will remind your child that they too are responsible for their belongings and their own organisation.