Lost Lost Lost

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by ShakespeareMamaX, Nov 4, 2007.

  1. ShakespeareMamaX

    ShakespeareMamaX New Member

    Does anybody have any advice in terms of my difficult child constantly losing his coats, hats, gloves, sweatshirts, etc...?

    I'm going nearly bankrupt constantly having to replace these items that he keeps losing everywhere.

    I've attached his gloves to his coat, but that doesn't help when he leaves the whole coat, somewhere!

    Ahhh! :surprise:
  2. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    We turned to buying stuff from the 'school pool' aka "let's sell the lost property because the heap is getting too big". This is for school uniform items.
    Op-shops. Hand-me-downs from other kids. If it had holes, I would fix them. We still do this - frayed jeans with holes are in fashion now anyway - even buying new jeans for difficult child 3 is difficult because the brand new ones are sold pre-frayed. Crazy. And when difficult child 3 (previously with difficult child 1) gets holes in his jeans, I patch the holes - with denim cut from jeans now too far gone for use. I sew the patches on with a decorative stitch, maybe add a safety pin and hey presto! Fashion!

    Also, I labelled everything by writing inside the collar with permanent marker.

    What also worked - don't know if you can do this - was sending him back to fetch what he had left behind. So if he came home without his lunchbox or without his coat, I took him back for it. We also would make do for the next day, sending him out of uniform which meant teachers kept on asking him why he was out of uniform, and when he said, "I've lost my coat/hat/sweater," there were more adults telling him to go find it.

    If all else fails, set aside a certain $ amount based on what you are already spending. Tell difficult child that this is the allowance for a certain period of time. If you spend more than that, he has to work off the amount extra. And if you spend less than that (because he takes more care) then the balance of what is left can be spent on something non-clothing that difficult child wants.
    If you do this, keep a running tally on a sheet stuck to the wall - write down everything lost, the date and where (you think) plus how much you spent to replace it. Once you spend money to replace the item, finding the item will not lead to him getting credited with that amount back - if he lost it for long enough to get replaced, he's done the dough.
    Use your judgement, keep it as open and transparent as you can.

    Also, work out how much you would spend in a month. Depending on how fast he loses stuff, you can make the time period longer or shorter. But shorter is best, because for every successful interval, he gets a better chance of winning sometimes.

    Good luck!

  3. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    When you figure this out, let me know. I've threatened to staple difficult child's socks to her ankles before. She's the only kid I know that loses clothes...like shirts and pants...without taking them out of the house. She also loses dishes. Out of a setting for 8, I'm down one large plate and 2 small plates and am down 4 small spoons and 3 butter knives. They're not anywhere in the house. I've torn the house apart, moved furniture, etc. I have no idea how she does it.
  4. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Do label clothes as if they are at camp -- name, classroom number. Make it a habit to check lost and found once a week even if nothing (ha!!) is missing that week.

    If you have to replace an item for health's sake (jacket for warmth, etc.), buy from the thrift shop, don't buy new again and again. If it is not something that is absolutely needed, don't replace it. This is not to punish but simply to show natural consequences -- you lose, you don't choose.

    The reality is they don't do it on purpose. Most kids lose an occasional item of clothing; our kids do it to an extreme. It is too easy to get sidetracked and, when you go back to where you THINK you left it, it is not there.

    Sorry you're going through this. Even replacing at thrift shops can get expensive if you have to do it constantly. Another one who's been there done that.
  5. goldenguru

    goldenguru Active Member

    My suggestion? Garage sales or thrift shops.
  6. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    I agree with the garage sales and thrift shops. Until this year, my son would "forget" his coat, gloves, hat, boots etc. at school. When I went to the Lost and Found half the stuff was his. Some were things I'd forgotten about. He has also taken his shoes off at the park, "forgot" to bring them home and I didn't know he hadn't gone there barefoot (the park is 1/2 block away and in the summer sometimes he doesn't wear shoes to go there). The next day he'll say he can't find his sandals. Most of the time they were still at the park, but sometimes other kids obviously stole them. I don't think he does this on purpose, but I'm not going to spend a fortune on his belongings when he loses them all the time. For shoes we do Walmart as the few times I've gotten him expensive shoes, he has lost them--plus he could care less what brand he wears as long as they look "cool." At age fourteen, he is getting much MUCH better.
  7. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    It's a loosing battle here. The only thing difficult child never lost is the vouchers to the behavior mgmt plan we used years ago. The rule was, "loose them, tear them up -- they are gone and never to be replaced." As a result, he kept them in the same place -- always. So far it's worked with his iPod also.

    It's all he can do at once I suppose. Can't tell you the number of socks, jackets, school supplies, homework, etc., that have been lost -- never to see the light of day again......

    It's frustrating.
  8. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    My kids have to go back and look for stuff. If I do not go up to school I call hte office and have them send him to look through the barrel before the bus comes.

    Permanent marker on everything, NOTHING is bought new. Partly because our church thrift store has such excellent stuff and partly because he eats his shirts. Sensory Integration Disorder (SID) thing, but I only worry about coats really.

    Check with the bus dept if he rides a bus. They have their own lost and found, they do NOT tell you if they send things to the thrift stores, it is a source of much hassle.

    I had to stop letting kids ride in the am because older kids would make thank you take off his coat and then they would toss it around. If he didn't have a coat they took his backpack.

    The bus driver TRIED to make thank you in trouble for this, when it was high school kids taking his stuff and throwing it. I had a FIT including a call to the head of transportation and to the superintendent of schools.

    Guess what?? IT stopped!! But hte kids did other stuff to thank you. We stopped letting him use the bus and sent a bill to the school board for transport fees detailing #miles and gas. Said we had to drive him because the other riders were abusing him and the bus driver wouldn't make it stop.

    We didn't get any $$ back, but it did cause a big stir in the transport system!! Some buses now even have an adult on them for discipline!!