Face it, you’ve lost a thing or two in the past unknowingly and you know full well how frustrating it is, looking for that missing item but never finding it again. While it can happen with adults, there’s a pretty higher chance with children misplacing their stuff every once in a while.
This can be very upsetting if your child has lost something more valuable than their regular toy. Let’s say, for example, your child loses their jacket somewhere around the school and the day after that, the weather is still pretty bad and they don’t have an extra one they can use. Losing things that are useful in a certain situation will make that encounter a lot more difficult than it actually is.
What then can you as a parent do to stop your child from misplacing almost everything they possess? The regular scolding won’t really do much so here are some tips that you may find useful to minimize the chances that your child will misplace their belongings.
Practice a routine cleanup with them
You know the saying that practice makes perfect? Well, it applies here. Training your children to pick up after themselves makes them keener on putting away their belongings in their proper places after use.
Since your children are the ones putting away their own stuff, when you ask them where they stashed away a certain toy or book, they know full well where to find it again.
Label and itemize
This is a very simple yet effective method that helps your children organize their things to make them easier to find. For example, if your child has a dresser with many drawers, try to use a little sticky note or even masking tape to label what each drawer should contain. On the inside, you could even write down what the contents of the drawer, like an inventory.
For example, you could label one cabinet as “toys”, then on the inside, there’s a detailed list of every toy located inside.
In another situation, if your child is going to school, put a little checklist inside their bag to remind them of what things they brought to school.
Remind them of the consequences of losing a specific item
It’s a cold rainy day and your child has a hard time looking for their jacket. Naturally, they will feel a lot colder without the warmth that their jacket will offer. Children would be quicker to learn the value of something once they have lost possession of that item.
As another example, if they are already old enough to be given an allowance, you could ask them to use a part of their allowance savings to buy them a brand-new jacket in that situation.
Don’t replace the lost item immediately
While this could be a go-to option for some parents since there won’t be discussions, arguments, or tears involved, you are actually not helping them grow and become a responsible person in the long run.
They will never learn their mistake if they will never experience what it means to lose something that they really need in a certain situation. If they made a mistake and something bad happens, they’re always going to look up to you for help and want you yourself to try to fix the situation.
Explain the value of thingsWhen children finally understand the concept of resource management, they will be more inclined to take care of their belongings. Teaching your children how money works will definitely help as they will finally understand that in order to get something, you have to give something back in return. You could even try to include it in a game such as buying things using pretend/fake money.