Mister Forgetful


Kids can be forgetful. I get it. There’s a lot going on around them all the time. They’re trying to soak it all in while their little brains are overflowing with all the things they’re learning each day. Sometimes, things get a little lost in the mix.

I also think there’s a bit of selective memory going on. Take my eldest mister for example. He can recall the drink he had on a particular day while on a family holiday three and half years ago. He can recall dinosaur names, song titles and things I have apparently promised weeks ago. But do you think he can remember the little everyday things?


Each day after school, we have the same arguments. Where is your water bottle? I forgot it. Where is your hat? I forgot it. Where is your jumper? I forgot that too.


It’s not just that it’s slightly frustrating. He’s starting to get into trouble at school when he forgets his hat or his homework folder.

On the occasional miraculous day he remembers to bring one or more of these items home, I praise him and ask what made him remember. The usual answer is “I don’t know, I just did”.

Is it a major thing? No it isn’t, but it’s also about teaching him to be responsible for his belongings. I can remind him a bajillion times but he also has to learn for himself.

I’ve tried many things. There’s the usual asking him to pleeeaaassseeee remember to bring the things home. We also have a little whiteboard above where his school bag is stored and on it is each day of the week with a reminder of what is needed to be taken each day. He is getting into the habit of checking the board when he gets he’s getting his bag out for the day but this only helps him remember to take the things, not bring them back.

I thought of making little tags to hang from his bag with pictures of water bottles to see if that worked but I thought it may embarrass him in front of his friends. So other than nagging, yelling, politely reminding, rewards, bribery, consequences, supergluing the items to his body, sneaking an alarm into his bag with my recorded voice screeching “remember your bloody water bottle/hat/jumper” or writing reminders on his face with permanent marker – how else can I remind him about these simple everyday things?

What are your magical memory tips?

K xx


5 thoughts on “Mister Forgetful

  1. Maddi has a bad habit of leaving her diary at school. We started saying no dessert if she forgot it. So it started coming home. Then she started leaving it behind again so new rule, no dessert and no TV if she forgets it! So far has worked wonders! 😊

  2. Hi. It’s not a huge thing but it sure is frustrating and I totally agree that we need to help our kids be responsible. I have an 11 year old who is selectively responsible. He remembers the passing request to bring headphones for iPad time but notes, jumpers and homework are not on his important for school radar. I don’t have the magical answer but it does get easier especially as they get older and the ‘no hat no play’ rule is applied. He wanted to play on the oval and soon learnt that Mum won’t bring back a hat when he realises at the gate its at home. Some other things I’ve done include making my younger one earn money to buy a new hat (6 year old and his friends last term) as other one ruined when he decided to rub hat on the rough concrete one lunch time to put holes in it!!He had to rake leaves and other age appropriate tasks at home before I’d buy another.
    My issue at the moment is glasses!! Both now have glasses. Mr 11 is not thrilled and will leave them behind so as to not have to wear them. That one get Mum returning back to school with them and since the threat of coming home and changing to pj’s before returning to his classroom has been made I haven’t had to make a return trip (sometimes peer pressure can be good).
    Something else I tried was a cubeo. Depends if your forgetful one would remember to look at it, mine didn’t but others I know found them to be great. http://www.lmnop.com.au/2011/08/well-schooled/
    Good luck!

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