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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
<p>Ds (3.5) keeps loosing things!</p>
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<p>First was a disc, I bought him a Wii game for christmas, and as we were opening gifts we 'took a break as family members needed to do something else for a second, ds was asked not to touch anything.  He opened his game (not too big of a deal the gifts were tempting), and then brought the game case out to the garage where I was getting something.  I took the case and put it up for later.  Went to play the game later and the disk was gone!  He said he took it out of the case right after he opened it and didnt know where he had put it (so in the literally 3min I was in the garage he opened the gift, took the disk out of the case, and lost it).  Searched EVERYWHERE and still havent found it.</p>
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<p>Next I bought a pair of baby shoes to paint, the laces were tied together.  He took them out of my craft room and ran off to my mom's room, then brought one shoe to the living room.  I asked him to go get the other shoe, he comes back 30 seconds later with it, but the lace is missing.  Again I searched everywhere and I cant find it. </p>
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<p>Last I got him a Quadrilla marble run for christmas, and today I set up a whole run while he was out.  When he came home he played with it for a while and accidently knocked it over.  So we decided to build a new one.  During the build he went into the kitchen (which I can see from the living room) and brought some pieces of the marble run with him.   Comes back, we keep building, but pieces are missing!  Look everywhere and they are gone.  Again he was gone literally 2min and I could see the top of his head over the counter the whole time, yet they still are gone.</p>
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<p>I am so frustrated!  The first 2 things he shouldnt have had in the first place, the last he shouldnt have had in the kitchen, but I dont understand where these things disapear to.  Our house doesnt have that much 'stuff' in it, minimal toys, and the places he had these things dont really have any non-obvious 'hiding places' for things.  And now the Wii game is useless (you cant play without the disk!), the baby shoes are useless (I cant find replacement laces that small), and you cant build any of the configurations in the book for the marble run.   </p>
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<p>How do I deal with my ds?  He is driving me nuts!!</p>
 

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<p>I can see why you're frustrated, but to me it seems more like a mystery than a discipline issue.  We misplace stuff all the time, and I don't think a 3 1/2 yr old can be expected to keep track of his own things consistently.  Sometimes my dc remember where they left things, sometimes they don't.  But I am curious about where the items are going.  The first thing that comes to mind is that you have a pack rat running out and grabbing things as soon as they hit the floor!  Does your ds like hiding things?</p>
 

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<p>I'm not sure it's a GD issue, except that you asked your DS to wait to touch things (hard on Christmas morning, and I'd bet the wii game got thrown away with the wrapping paper).  Kids lose things.  It's just how it is.  Adults lose things, too.  My DD recently lost her cell phone, which I just replaced, and told her if she lost it again she would have to pay for a new one.  I don't think it's something that gets better as they get older; I'd guess in a way it gets worse. </p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
<p>Well yes, its a mystery, but mostly its just HIM being iresponsible and messing with things he shouldn't have.  I think thats the biggest thing, he doesnt listen when I ask him not to bring X to Y place, and by the time I get to him X is lost already (and I cant move any faster!).  </p>
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<p>   And there is no way to put EVERYTHING out of his reach, he can get into everything, and the things he usually takes are things I'd never think he would be interested in, or things I need him to have access too, like cloth wipes, his toothbrush, etc.   I cant always just take it away, or use natural consiquenses (if you loose a piece to the game, it cant be played), because a lot of the time these are MY things he looses, and not something he needs/cares about in the first place.  </p>
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<p>He is not the type to hide things at all.  </p>
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<p>Those are just a few examples, but it happens ALL the time.   </p>
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<p>I try my best to set things up to avoid this - he has a 'school mat' (small rug he can put wherever in the house), which he uses when doing an activity to keep everything in one place, and he knows stuff must stay on the mat.  This is a new issue, we have been using the mat sense he was 18ish months old and he has always been fine with keeping things in their places.   But now I turn around for 2 seconds and he has carried something off.   Anything with multiple pieces lives in a bag, box, tray, or basket.  Everything has a place where it 'lives' and he knows where everything goes.  We dont have a lot of 'stuff' (ds and I live with my parents, we have a bedroom, sewing/homeschool room and a bathroom so not a lot of room for having a lot of things around).  </p>
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<p>I need him to listen to me when I ask him not to take something into another room. (and if I catch him too late, I need him to bring the object to me or put it back where he got it)</p>
<p>I need him to put things back when he is finished (where it belongs).</p>
<p>I need him to ask permission before taking/playing with things that he already knows aren't for him</p>
 

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<p>He is still way too young for those expectations.3 year olds have a natural curiosity and wonder about everything in the worlds and are by nature exploring and learning at such a fantastic rate I don't think it is at all possible for even an orderly househols to stay that way with one around.</p>
<p>We are also a Montessori family,in just 1 more year you will certainly start to see the results of all your work!!!</p>
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<p>It sounds like you are at your wits end though so how about a massive clean up and reduction in things? Whenever we start having lots of bits and pieces everywhere I wait until the kids are asleep and put bags and boxes full of stuff up and away. My dd loved having her own closed door shelves at that age and EVERYTHING we "lost" was ALWAYS in them. Does he have a place for trinkets and kiddy gold?? </p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
<p>He really doesnt have many toys, I have a small fabric box that holds those small random junk toys, but everything else is used often (a marble run, several games, a box with train stuff, a box of music stuff, a basket of cars/trucks, a bilibo, and a million books), thats it!  His homeschool stuff mostly lives in a closet out of his reach other than the 'shelf work' activites we have out that I rotate out often and his art shelf.    I have an insane amount of fabric as well.  </p>
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<p>We just cleaned everything out before christmas and over the past couple days I emptied all our clothes out of the closet and came up with 2 big trash bags of stuff to donate.  </p>
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<p>The rest of the house has the normal furnature and a couple things for decoration but its not cluttered and there isnt places things would 'hide' really.  (I look under beds/other furnature, in the small cabinets that hold games etc)</p>
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<p>I know that my expectations are not realistic for average toddlers, BUT he has met these expectations for a LONG time now (ever sense I can remember, even when he was a young toddler under 2).  It has not been an issue until very recently (this month).  Thats why I am so frustrated!   I have never had to deal with him not listening, loosing things, putting things back, asking for things (even when he was tiny if he wanted something that I had told him wasnt for him, he would point at it, bring it to me to show me, or sign "please" for it, he wouldnt just take it and run off and not stop when I ask him to stop!).   I cant think of anything specifically that would warrant a change in behavior like this!  </p>
 

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<p>Quote:</p>
<div class="quote-container">
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>leighi123</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291946/loosing-things#post_16191774"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br>
I know that my expectations are not realistic for average toddlers, BUT he has met these expectations for a LONG time now (ever sense I can remember, even when he was a young toddler under 2).  It has not been an issue until very recently (this month).  Thats why I am so frustrated!   I have never had to deal with him not listening, loosing things, putting things back, asking for things (even when he was tiny if he wanted something that I had told him wasnt for him, he would point at it, bring it to me to show me, or sign "please" for it, he wouldnt just take it and run off and not stop when I ask him to stop!).   I cant think of anything specifically that would warrant a change in behavior like this!  </div>
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<p><br><span>Welcome to the wonderful world of child development!</span> As they grow, their behavior changes. Just when you think that you have one stage mastered, they move on to another one!</p>
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<p>Three year olds are more challenging than two year olds in many ways, precisely because they seem to change the rules on you. Two  year olds, in my experience, are very transparent with what they want, what they think, and what they do. Three year olds are discovering their own autonomy in different ways (more socially than physically). He's testing his boundaries in new ways.</p>
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<p>The reality is:  He's taking things you don't want him to have. He's losing some things. He's running off when you ask him to stop. I think it would help to think about these separately. The running off is the only 'discipline issue', IMO. The others are yours. If there are things that you don't want him to have, you can spend time frustrated that he's losing them, or you can prevent access to them. For losing things, it's part of having kids. It's frustrating. It's maddening. I spend more time looking for 'stuff' (ds' watch, dd's book, dh's keys....). It helps to have a place for everything, but even then, sometimes things don't get put where they should. It sounds like you've done a really good job of decluttering and keeping minimal toys. That should reduce the amount of time you spend looking, but it's not going to eliminate losing things. It takes <em>years</em> to master the skill of everything in its place and putting things away when you're done. Most preschools, for example, have very clear places for everything, have specific clean-up times, and they still lose things. Kids sometimes put things in the most unexpected places. They also have the attention span of a flea. When something else catches their attention, they put it down and they don't remember that they were distracted.</p>
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<p>Honestly, it sounds like pretty normal 3 yr old behavior.</p>
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<p>One thing that may help is to totally declutter, have a place for everything and practice/mimic/teach him to pause often during they day and clean up, returning everything to the proper place.</p>
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<p>If he loses something, he needs to find it.  I will walk around briefly to look but in general, his toys, his problem.  Natural consequences.  Things turn up eventually.  I don't get upset - just handle it matter of fact.</p>
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<p>****and just had to pause because DS can't fiind a toy.  I simply said "turn on the light and look" - he found it***</p>
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<p>The taking things is a different issue and you need to work on, this is mommy's, no touch, etc.  Teaching respect for other people's things is a long road.  Lots of repetition, lots of patience.</p>
 

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<p>Another vote for normal three-year-old behavior and a caution that your expectations are set a bit high. You said that you knew your expectations are set high for an average toddler but he has been doing what you want for a long time. Now he is exploring his boundaries and separating from Mama; he is really starting to see himself as an independent person in control of himself and disobeying you is one of the ways he works through that process.</p>
 

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<p>My DD loses things all the time, too. Drives me nuts how quickly she can forget where she put something. But, I see it as age related for the most part. And I just consider it my job to teach her to learn to keep track of her things, but I dont expect her to "be responsible" at this stage.</p>
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
<p>You guys are right.  Thinking about it more, I am putting high expectations on him BECAUSE he is so smart.  But he is still 3!  </p>
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<p>He and I had a talk about loosing things, and how when you loose things it is not fun (because you cant play the new Wii game, or whatever).  So we decided to put a basket to 'catch stuff' in the living room, things that need to be put away.   That way if he has some random thing, but forgot where it goes, he has a place to put it instead of loosing it.  The idea seems to make sense to him sense we use a "finished work" box for his homeschool stuff, so its kind of the same idea.  </p>
<p>Also I think I need to be more explicit about what things of mine are "OK to borrow", "ask to borrow" or "off limits", and try to keep "off limits" items in a spot he cant get to or that I can always supervise when its in use.  I guess I need to be more clear with that. </p>
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<p>He is in a 'testing boundries' phase for sure.  Like for bike riding in the driveway he isnt allowed to go past a line in the sidewalk that is pretty clear (so he wont go too close to the street or too far down the sidewalk), in the past he avoided the line, but now he tries to ride his bike excatly on the line while looking at me.   So far, thank goodness he listens when I say "STOP" which I ONLY use for safety violations (goofing near the road, hugging a friend while they were both at the top of a ladder at the playground, jumping off things way to high to jump off, eating something he is allergic to)..., but for non-safety issues (like running from me when he has something he knows he isnt allowed to have), I dont want to use "stop" because I dont want it to loose effect.  Maybe I need to work on a different term... ideas?   </p>
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<p>Maybe I need to teach him how to play freeze tag and then use 'freeze'!  </p>
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<p>He is so frustrating sometimes!  But generally he has been such an easy kid (sense he was a newborn), I guess I shouldnt expect him to always be so easy. </p>
 

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<p>Quote:</p>
<div class="quote-container">
<div class="quote-block">Originally Posted by <strong>leighi123</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1291946/loosing-things#post_16197117"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a><br>
He is so frustrating sometimes!  But generally he has been such an easy kid (sense he was a newborn), I guess I shouldnt expect him to always be so easy. </div>
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<p><br><span>Yep, it's easy to get lulled into thinking they'll always be easy.</span> Dd was a very easy baby, and a fairly easy 2 year old. 3 was hard. 4 and 5 were harder. 6 started off hard, but is getting easier. She's bright, she's verbal, she's <em>intense</em>. She's got a keen sense of how the world is supposed to work. Unfortunately, the world does not always agree with a 6 year old!   </p>
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<p>When you've got a very verbal child, it's hard not to treat them like they're older than they are. People make that mistake with dd all the time, but she really does have the emotional maturity of a 6 1/2 year old. She can give a very cogent argument as to why "Redskins" is really not a great team mascot name, and then still break down in tears at the fact that we aren't going to have time to bake cookies like she's planned (but only told me 15 minutes before bedtime).</p>
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<p><span>And boundary testing comes at really odd times. Ds is NINE and is going through boundary testing in terms of going to bed. He likes to lie in our bed after we've done our bedtime reading and prayers and say "This is my bed". Sorry hon, but you're 4'10" and you won't fit in the bed with dad and me. He wants me to chase him out. He actually said to me tonight, "I can't get out, you haven't tickled me yet." </span> <span>I guess we've got a new routine -- he refuses to get out, we argue (playfully), I tickle him, he gets out. OK.</span> <span><img alt="dizzy.gif" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/dizzy.gif"></span></p>
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<p><span>A good game to play (works in lots of situations) to teach the kind of impulse control and 'stopping' that you want is Red Light, Green Light. Then when you need him to stop you can say "RED LIGHT". This game works in 2 ways -- it can get them to speed up/keep walking when you need them to. You can also put in 'yellow light' for going slow. For a while, my kids invented 'blue light' for going backwards.</span></p>
 
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