Friday, June 19, 2009

Am I Too Hard on Her?

My daughter has been increasingly forgetful. It is down right frustrating and sometimes infuriating.

Last year she was on a swim team at the local health club and she was constantly forgetting her suit or goggles, but she really didn't worry too much and most of the time she didn't even bother to tell me that she had left anything behind. At the health club their really were not a lot of kids that used the lockers other those on the team, so here stuff was usually still in the locker she used or worst case scenario, in lost and found.

This year she is on a different team. This team practices at the city pool, there are no lockers and there are just scads of kids in and out of there several times a day. This team also goes to a lot more meets. Last week my kid topped herself, she misplaced her goggles, swim cap, team suit, warm up top and bottoms, and a gigantic beach towel. It turned out that the warm ups and towel had made it into the car, but nothing else. Luckily her coach stays to the very end and got her suit and goggles back to her, but he didn't realize her cap was there too. She got a nice long lecture from both mom and dad about it and she promised to work harder at not forgetting any thing and to be pleasant about mom hounding her about weather or not she had ALL of her stuff every day after practice.

Today, I popped into the 'locker' room to tell her to speed it up a bit and saw that all her stuff was there on the bench, most of it in her bag. 10-15 min. later she shows up and I ask her if she had all her stuff, "Yes, it's all in my bag". -K- we go home to get finished packing for the meet this weekend. She shows up in the kitchen where I'm finishing making some snacks for this weekend, "I forgot my glasses." -K-, we'll go get them after I'm done here. Ten minutes later... "I forgot my goggles.... and my cap.... well, actually 2 pairs of goggles and my cap." So, today she lost 2 pairs of goggles, a cap and her glasses (she's a Mr. Magoo without them, how she forgot them, I don't know). I went back to the pool, by myself so that I wouldn't ring her little neck, and the only thing I found were her glasses (thankfully) and two hair elastics.

So now I'm feeling very irritated to say the least. I have a lot to accomplish by 2:30 so that we are ready to leave for the meet and get there at a reasonable time. I'm also irritated because we don't have a lot of money to keep replacing stuff. Really, we don't have the money to be going to all the meets, but it is her only sport and it is good for her, so we do it any way.

Punishment is definitely in order, but what. Do we skip the meet, do I make her write lines, what do I do to make her really make sure she doesn't keep forgetting her stuff? I decided on menial, gross labor. Latrine Duty. For 4 weeks. And every time she forgets an item she get another week added on. Her duties are to scrub the floor, the shower, the toilet, the sink, tidy anything that stays on the counter, and take out the trash. She has to do this every week before we leave for the meet. I made her do it today... She is already asking if there is any way she can get out of doing it. NOPE.

Am I too hard on her? Does the punishment fit the 'crime'? Being a good mom is hard, sometimes you just don't know if you are doing the right thing.


Pricilla said...

Sometimes it is the only way to learn...aversion therapy.

It is good you found the glasses. They are very expensive to replace.

Heather said...

yes, aversion therapy, it seems to be the only way to help things stick.

I'm just glad the pair she left at the pool were her old pair that she had to where while her new lenses were getting put in her current frames. If it had been her new pair, I think she would have gotten volunteered for poop scooping duty at the neighbors house.....

Julia said...

I get how frustrating it is. Really. However I think there is something developmental going on. I cant remember exactly but there is this little voice in my head saying the absentmindedness can be a stage when the brain is developing and she can't help it.

Maybe the punishment will help her focus though. At least I hope it does...

Heather said...

Julia, I think you're right about the developmental thing. Puberty, hormone fluctuations galore, her brain has certainly got to try and keep track of an awful lot. I hated going through puberty, didn't know which end was up most days.

I really want to work with her in a constructive manner that will help her in the long run.