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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Right now I'm having problems with my 7yo and discipline (and to a lesser extent, my 5yo, who is copying) Our typical day goes something like:
Alex does something undesirable, we explain to him why this isn't OK, he tells us he gets it. 5 minutes later he does it again. Why? "I forgot." And again, and again, and again.
And I can't for the life of me figure out a way past this. Can't figure out a consequence, can't figure out a solution, anything. Please help me brainstorm?
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by flapjack
5 minutes later he does it again. Why? "I forgot." And again, and again, and again.
And I can't for the life of me figure out a way past this. Can't figure out a consequence, can't figure out a solution, anything. Please help me brainstorm?
Ds (almost 6) does this, too, and it's a major trigger for me.


First, do you think he's aware of what "I forgot" really means? I've noticed that ds sometimes uses words and phrases in the way that he hears them used but they don't necessarily apply properly. Sometimes it helps just to explain to him what it actually means.

When he says that, I try not to get crabby (it's really, really hard
) and ask him if he can figure out something that can help him remember. Sometimes he asks me to put whatever it is away. Sometimes he asks me to remind him. Sometimes he comes up with something completely different. It seems to work okay. Not perfect, but okay.
 

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: Just quickly jumping in to say, that as a child, I was very very very flighty (probably would have been dx'd ADHD these days) and forgot things very easily. Important things. Things my parents told me over and over and over. As an adult I'm pretty flakey still, I have forgotten entire conversations with my husband, phone calls, etc.. I joke that if it's not written in my appt. book to breathe I will forget to do it.

My parents used to get so angry at me, thinking me saying "I forgot" was a lie/defense mechanism/excuse, but the truth was, I really did forget.

Just wanted to offer that bit of perspective from a former child flake/current adult flake.
:
 

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Have you tried asking for his help? Like, "It's really important to remember ____ because _________. What can we do to help you remember?" Maybe visual cues, writing it down somewhere, re-arranging the environment... depending on what he's forgetting.

Dar
 

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We get a lot of this with 13-year-old ds1, as well. When we try to help him find strategies to help him remember, he says that we think he's stupid and gets really bent out of shape. I know what happens with him - he gets totally distracted by his social life, and everything else goes out the window. But, we haven't found a good way to deal with it yet...I'm watching this thread...
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Hmmm. Specific examples range from:
3 out of 5 days a week he leaves school without a lunchbox.
He has been known to leave the house without shoes.
At his dads
"Alex, I just told you off for doing that."
"I forgot"
At home
"Didn't we just ask you not to do that?"
"I forgot"
"Alex, I thought I heard you offer to set the table. Do you still have time to do that?"
"Sorry, I forgot"

Specifically, though, it's when he uses it after he's been (gently) disciplined that is bugging me. It feels (on a purely emotional level) that it's as if he's using it to get out of dealing with the consequences of his actions: and the major negative consequence in our house is a very cranky mummy, or dad, or baby, or brother. If he can forget this, then he can do what he wants with no consequences at all.
 

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Quote:

Originally Posted by flapjack
Hmmm. Specific examples range from:
3 out of 5 days a week he leaves school without a lunchbox.
He has been known to leave the house without shoes.
At his dads
"Alex, I just told you off for doing that."
"I forgot"
At home
"Didn't we just ask you not to do that?"
"I forgot"
"Alex, I thought I heard you offer to set the table. Do you still have time to do that?"
"Sorry, I forgot"

Specifically, though, it's when he uses it after he's been (gently) disciplined that is bugging me. It feels (on a purely emotional level) that it's as if he's using it to get out of dealing with the consequences of his actions: and the major negative consequence in our house is a very cranky mummy, or dad, or baby, or brother. If he can forget this, then he can do what he wants with no consequences at all.
Um no, not no consequence. The consequence is that the demand is repeated and maybe mama is cranky and tired of repeating demands.
The "I forgot" is not important. Focus on what needs to be done.

"Alex your shoes"
"I forgot"
"well go put them on"

"I thought you were going to set the table"
"I forgot"
"Go set it now please"

How many times do you have to tell him? Many many many many times.
 

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Also -- I think 7 year olds forget things. It may be universal! LOL. His head is probably someplace else. First and foremost, I'd keep reminding myself that this is not uncommon, and symptomatic of his age.

I would also:
- Be sure to get his full attention whenever you need to ask something of him. Eye contact, if possible.
- When you ask him to do something, ask him to do it "now."
- Ask him (kindly) to repeat what you've just said.
- Have him make lists for the most important things -- eg. - post a list on the back of the door that includes what he needs to have before he walks out the door for school. Ask him to make this list himself -- the act of remembering and writing it down will help him even if he never looks at it.
- Ask him to brainstorm his own solutions for "remembering." Even if they are not wonderful solutions, they will work better if he comes up with them. He will feel better motivated by his own plans.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
It helps knowing that he's not the only one that does this
TBH I think pretty much every imaginable problem (apart from possibly PMT) can be attributed to being a 7yo boy, it really is a tough age for him.

Thanks!
 

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i agree that you should help him remember. make notes or signs or something....

<-- i'm another forgetful adult.


i have learned to write EVERYTHING down, and put EVERYTHING back in the same spot every day, and stick with the same routines.

it's easy to get upset at my son for acting flippant about things he forgets to do, but on the other hand, i get distracted really easily also.


why not try something like this? ~
when you say "Did you set the table?"
and he says, "No I forgot,"
try, "Why don't we both go do it together now?"
 
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