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  • How to teach a 9 year old responsibilty?

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    Old 03-29-2005, 06:58 AM   #1
    littlegal
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    How to teach a 9 year old responsibilty?

    My step-daughter is nine years old and I'm trying to teach her to be more responsible. If she sleeps over at her friends house - she is always forgetting to bring something back home. Then I have to go get the articles she left there. We buy her nice things and she wants to take them with her when she goes with her mother. Then when she comes back - she forgets to bring them with her. Is a nine year old too young to be taught responsibility? I love her very much but she is so forgetfull. How can I help teach her but not be harsh about it. I hate to punish her but I think she needs to learn as well. I don't know if her bio mom corrects her or not. Any suggestions or am I being too picky and judgemental. I don't want to be a "mean step-mommy"!!

     
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    Old 03-29-2005, 08:09 AM   #2
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    Re: How to teach a 9 year old responsibilty?

    I have a very forgetfull 9 year old too. Try this, when she goes to stay with someone else and wants to take things with her. Give her a sheet of paper and write all the items on it, and before she leaves (or when you pick her up) make sure to have all the items checked off on the list before you leave the driveway. I know it sounds like more work, but it gets them in the habit of getting their stuff together, and you won't have to make a second trip to go and get the stuff either. Make it fun too, like if she gets all the stuff in her bag on the first try and everything is checked off, go and get some ice-cream and tell her how proud you are with her being a BIG girl. Sounds corny huh???

     
    Old 03-29-2005, 08:12 AM   #3
    kitkat77
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    Re: How to teach a 9 year old responsibilty?

    I have been going through this as well with my 10 year old son, for the past 2 years. I blamed it on my ex husband for the first year as I believed it was HIS fault that our son kept forgetting things. Why is it that he never forgets to take things over there but always forgets to bring things back? Because as a parent I assumed the responsibility to make sure my son was prepared, whereas my ex did not seem to care. Bad parenting skills I say -- I have asked him time and time again to remind our son to do a "last check" before he leaves to come home, to ensure that he has everything. My son got an earful too but all that resulted out of my blaming was now they both lie and say the item was lost instead of forgotten.

    What I ended up having to do was discipline BOTH of them. When an item was forgotten I would phone my ex and make him look for it and drive all the way back here to drop it off. I figured if I inconvenienced him enough then he would try harder to do the last check thing for the next visit. If the item is "lost" (or in other words he is too lazy to look and bring it back) then my son loses something of importance until the item is returned.

    Maybe I'm too harsh, but I think this is a discipline problem and nothing more.

     
    Old 03-29-2005, 11:01 AM   #4
    littlegal
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    Re: How to teach a 9 year old responsibilty?

    Thank you both for your replies. I will try the checklist. That should be easy for her to do, just hope she doesn't forget to use the checklist!! HA-HA At times I feel like I need to discipline her. I tell her if she is old enough to stay with a friend than she's old enough to pack her items back and bring them home. I feel that's being too rough on her. I'm not saying anything bad about the bio mom, but she would not be so nice to drive to our town and bring the items that were left at her place!! The daughter leaves things at her mother's family houses and WE are the ones to have to go and get it and it's her family. I will try anything to correct her of this habit!! Thanks again.

     
    Old 03-29-2005, 06:29 PM   #5
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    Re: How to teach a 9 year old responsibilty?

    lettlegal-

    Good luck with this. I have a younger sister who is 14 and she still forgets thing. She is always asking to borrow something or another of mine and i am VERY hesitant because she is so forgetful. She's getting better but my mom still puts her initals on all of her clothes so she remembers to take them and if she forgets them at a friends who has the same thing she will know which is hers!

    goodluck!!

     
    Old 03-29-2005, 11:40 PM   #6
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    Re: How to teach a 9 year old responsibilty?

    Do you pack the bag or does she?
    If your step daughter helped pack she may remember what she took.
    Leave the item at her friends house until the next time you see the friend, collect it then. If it is a game or a teddy she especially likes she will remember how much she wanted it when she didn't have it.
    Try your to encourage your step daughter to be more independant, it helps them to remember things instead of leaving it to everyone else.
    I have 2 daughters, eldest is 10, remembers everything, packs her own bags, hardly needs reminding about what she needs and is generally very independant.
    Youngest is 7 (almost 8) I need to give her a list of what to pack but she doesn't look at it. she thinks taking her new lipstick is more important than a sleeping bag and shorts and T shirt are fine for the snow! She will get better, she is just too laid back in her nature and very forgetful.
    Remember she is going to have fun, don't be the dragon, be her friend. Its hard for her too when two mums are giving different messages.

     
    Old 03-31-2005, 07:08 AM   #7
    littlegal
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    Re: How to teach a 9 year old responsibilty?

    Thank you again for your replies. One question to Fifistoosh - how do you teach a child to be independent? She mostly watches me pack her bags, then she will grap her things that she wants to take. I just bought her bracelet and she was so happy to have her own jewelry. A very nice bracelet, I should add. She wanted to show it to her mother and her family. Well, needless to say I was nice to say ok but she left it at her Grandma's house. I would wait until she comes back and then go and get it, but I have a fear - they will lose it. I shouldn't have let her take it but she assured me she would bring it back. I guess she was having fun and totally forgot about it. Believe me, this has upset me the most. It wasn't like it was a piece of clothing or book. I give her patience, understanding and I always make sure she is told to bring something back. If I or my husband takes the child back to the mother, we tell the mother that we want so and so back. Then sometimes she doesn't even bring it back. I'm trying. Thanks for everyone's support!!

     
    Old 03-31-2005, 09:18 AM   #8
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    Re: How to teach a 9 year old responsibilty?

    May I had my 2cents...If she is a great step-daughter and just forgetful with the coming and goings from Dad's house & Mom's house, please don't be too hard on her...

    The reason I say this is these kids didn't ask to be divorced and shuffled around. Forgetting things Is Their Nature - but coming and going from two homes makes it all the worst for them...

    My son has been shuffled back & forth for 16 years because we are divorced, I never got mad about him forgetting things I wanted back from his dad's.
    But if there was something important WE drove together to fetch it back with NO issues or me be upset.....

    BUT.......On the other hand, if he forgot things at school, the gym, or his friends house - THEN....... I would Get Upset, talk, yell, scream, and then off in the Car we drove with mom in bad mood to fetch HIS things.....

    If you have a good relationship with your step-daughters mother, call her and ask if the bracelet is in a safe place??? MAYBE just maybe the mom got jealous of the Nice Bracelet you had given....I have run into many issues with "MY" step daughter & step son with presents their father and I have bought for them....

    Hope this sheds some light to your situation....

    Last edited by GirlHarley; 03-31-2005 at 09:19 AM.

     
    Old 03-31-2005, 12:04 PM   #9
    littlegal
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    Re: How to teach a 9 year old responsibilty?

    thank you girlharley. Yes, I try not to get upset when she leaves things at her mother's house. She just stayed the night with a friend over the weekend and left her hairbrush and toothbrush there. It seems that she leaves things at everybody's house, not just her mom's. I do understand that being shuffled around is hard on her and I do have a great relationship with her. I do think also that the bio mom is jealous of that. I am not by any means trying to take her place of being her mother. I think she believes that. Anyway... the jealousy part might be true. Thank you for reminding me. As for calling her - no we do not get along that great. She puts on a good act infront of the child but on the phone - no way!!! Thanks.

     
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