"I forgot" 6 y.o.son constantly "forgetting" what I just asked him /told him to do, or maybe not caring??? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 3 Old 08-23-2011, 12:00 AM - Thread Starter
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In short (im tired, should go to bed) ds often "forgets" what I've asked him to do, or told him to not do. Example, the other day I was on the phone for 5-10 minutes talking to my aunt, and ds comes with one of our cats wrapped in a blanket pretending that there is a delivery for me. I can hear the poor cat meowing inside. I politely asked my aunt to excuse me for a moment. I told him to let the cat out, that she was obviously not enjoying being stuffed in a blanket, and to please not do that again. Two minutes later, he does the same thing. I ask him why he didn't listen to me and did it again. His answer is "I forgot". I then tell him that he is to leave the cats alone for the rest of the evening. An hour later, before bed, as I'm finishing on an email (I'm a single mom and he an only child btw), I see him playing with the cats again (nicely this time though). When I ask him why he's playing with the cats when I told him that he was "grounded from the cats" for the evening, he replies "I forgot".

This is typical at my house. I ask him to do something, he gets distracted and forgets. I tell him to go put his shoes on to get ready for school,  two minutes later I see him playing outside because "he forgot he was supposed to put his shoes on". I ask him to get his lunchbox in the car, he forgets. I tell him to stop doing something, he stops for 2 minutes then starts again. I mean, he doesn't forget every single thing, but enough to make me wonder if he really forgets or just doesn't care. I'm about to start making him copy lines saying things like "I will put my shoes on when asked" or "I will leave the cats alone when told so". I don't think it's the best thing to do, but I am at my wit's end here. Sometime, I talk to him, and he gets distracted and doesn't respond, or simply walks away. For a while, I would look at him the the eyes and make him repeat what I just said, but it didn't give enough results. Any ideas of what I can do?

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#2 of 3 Old 08-23-2011, 07:21 AM
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very, very age appropriate behaviour. totally normal. my almost 9 year old does it too. 


i am a single mom of an only so i feel ur pain. 


lower ur expectation. 


with ur cats i understand where he is coming from. those are his playmates, his 'siblings'. as an only child he is looking for a playmate - you. when he is doing that its time to not ground him, coz essentially you are taking his friends away from him. i would actually stop what i am doing and get on the floor and play with him. just for 15 mins. you'd be surprised even at 7 what a huge difference that makes. 


it is definitely not a case of doesnt care.


its a case of distraction or so excited to do something that they forget they are not allowed to do it. 


but no i would not make him write lines. that would be awful. 


i'd repeat, repeat, repeat. actually i still do with mine. 


i notice all the incidents you are talking about are 'unlikeable' ones. he forgets his chores. just like dd. has he forgotten his hw. many, many kids do that.


i think like his lunch box. just make sure it becomes a habit. that means u have to sit and watch him take it out of the car after you asked him and take it in. 


make him a chore list. wonder if he needs a little structure in his life. i notice if i have a set time or a routine dd does much better. like a few minutes after we come home she has to empty the dish rack. it helps that that is what she is supposed to do. 

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#3 of 3 Old 08-23-2011, 06:02 PM
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My son is like that too. He's 8 now. I no longer think that he's disrespecting me, or deliberately not doing what I ask. He has limited attention....wait....I should clarify. He has limited attention for things he doesn't care the slightest bit about. Boring stuff. But when he's building a Lego Hero Factory character, he's focused like a laser beam. He memorizes all the parts, knows where they go on each character, what color they are, the subtle distinctions between the shapes, he spends an hour in his room working on it....you get my drift. It's because he is interested in the subject; there's nothing wrong with his focus per se.


We are unschoolers here; I don't try to cram information into him if he is not interested. When he's interested in a subject, he soaks it up like a sponge and studies it willingly for hours and hours. And I've noticed that I'm the same way where focus & interest are concerned. When we are sitting at the breakfast table and he wants to tell me for the hundredth time about Lego Hero Factory villains and their weapons and on and on and on....my mind wanders, I find myself fidgeting and thinking of all the other things I have to do. Because I do. not. care. It's exactly what he goes through! So that little bit of empathy helps me when I see him struggling to remember some dull thing I'm asking him to remember or to do.



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