The worst part about spending money for school uniform and stationery is the thought of spending more money to replace lost items…
One sock, a pen, or the school hat, school kids are infamous for always losing one item or the other. There is always so much parents can control, but there are measures parents can put in place to avoid kids losing things.
Some kids may be naturally organised, but for the most part, it is up to us as parents to teach them how to keep track of their belongings and to realise the importance of responsibility. Young children are focused on so many things at once that it is common for them to lose their things.
The sure way of establishing this life lesson is through routine. Does your child unpack their own bags at the end of the day? Is there an allocated spot for lunch bags, cool drink bottles in your home? Do they pack and unpack their school bags each day? This is the start of teaching your child ownership and responsibility of their belongings.
Talking about the routine at home is a daily reminder that needs to take place until the routine is established and essentially until your child does remember to bring things home.
Leave no item unmarked. This means every piece of stationery, item of clothing and sports gear. Unmarked items end up in the lost and found and are the cause of 90% of items that are not returned to its owner. It’s like finding a needle in a haystack.
As frustrated as you are, so are the teachers that end up with a pile of unmarked clothing items who they have no idea who to return to. Investing in quality vinyl and iron labels will save you a fortune throughout the year. There are many local suppliers that do this. There are even ink stamps for clothing. Make sure it has your child’s name and surname as well as a cell phone number.
Create a checklist for your child
Put it in their school bags and depending on their age, ask the teacher to assist in checking that items that went to school are packed in at the end of the day. Be mindful that the end result is not the teacher making sure its done, but your little one who needs to do it. Keep it simple. Make it visual using images as reminders.
Praise them when they do bring things home
Positive reinforcement goes a long way when dealing with children. Children love to be praised and love to “overhear” mom and dad talking positively about them. Use this trick to mention in passing to your partner. Let your child overhear you. before long, they will be remembering their belongings on purpose, just to get the positive attention.
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