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"I Forgot It"

"I forgot it"If your child's constantly leaving his sweatshirt at friends' houses or forgetting his glasses on the bus, he's not alone. But around grade-school age, he should be responsible enough to keep track of his own stuff. Ways to help him:

Before he loses something
Get organized. Make a list of everything he needs during the day and check it with him before he leaves the house; give him a copy to put in his backpack. And don't carry his gear for him  -- he'll be more aware of it if he's holding it himself.

Make him care. "When kids lose something, they'll often say, 'I didn't like it anyway,'" says Shari Young Kuchenbecker, Ph.D., a Los Angeles parent educator. So involve him when you buy clothing or supplies for him.

If it's already lost
Don't blow up or you'll never hear what's missing.

Send him hunting. Show him how to look  -- by retracing his steps and checking the lost and found  -- but don't do it for him. No luck? Have him post a sign.

Try tough love. If he misplaced his new swim trunks, he'll just have to wear the old ones a while longer (if they fit). "It's all about natural consequences," says Kuchenbecker.

-Amy Roberts

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