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On Call: Memory Troubles

Q. My son often can't remember things that happened throughout the day. Is this normal?

It could be, depending on when you ask him to recall them. So many times I've come home from work, asked my kids what they did that day, and been told "I don't know." When I pick them up from school and grill them then, I get more info, but if they're distracted (by their friends, or a puppy), they can certainly act like they have memory issues.

Try asking specific questions to jog your son's memory ("What did you do at recess?"). But don't be surprised if puppies and pals win out.

That said, there can be more serious causes, such as learning disabilities, attention problems, or depression. Talk to your son's teacher. Is she concerned about his behavior, performance, language skills, or mood?

If the answer to any of these questions is yes, or if you see a pattern of memory trouble, consult his doctor. Chances are your son is just fine, but the earlier you find out, the better.