Any ideas on how to get my son organized?

United States
October 7, 2009 12:28pm CST
I'm having problems with my oldest son. I've gotten a couple of letters home from his teacher already, and there's only been 6 weeks of school. She says he's gifted, but he isn't turning his homework in even though he does it. He's always saying "I forgot it" when you ask him where something is. And now he's telling his teacher he didn't do his homework when my husband and I check it every night! She says she's most worried about how disorganized and scatter-brained he is, because this could set him up for failure in the future. We try to stay on top of it by checking his homework and asking him if he's put it all in his bag everyday, but what else can we do short of doing it for him? Help! I'm frustrated!
8 responses
@offlimits (599)
• Philippines
8 Oct 09
I suggest you try to talk to him more often, like asking how's school, making him tell you stories about the lessons and his friends, etc. Also, ask him what he wants to have like a toy or something, then make a deal with him that if he do well in school and his homeworks, you will give what he asks as a reward. Try also to have an allotted time for him to do his homeworks, wherein you're suppose to guide him and encourage him to do it on his own. I hope it could help. Take care! :)
• United States
8 Oct 09
The reward system is a good idea. A promise to take him to Chuck E. Cheese will probably get him on the right track. Thanks for the suggestion.
• Philippines
8 Oct 09
No problem. Good luck! :)
@Shebang (244)
• Philippines
9 Oct 09
Base on your story, I think you're son is not just being disorganized. I think there is just something wrong with him. He does his homework right, but he's not just turning it in. He tells his teacher that he did not do his homework, but actually he does and you checked on it. And he always say "I forgot it." I think you should seek help from a professional. Do not worry. Before you worry, you should act first. It's not too late. Your son is still young. Don't expect too much from your son too. You have to understand him even more. We don't know what he is going through right now, which, if you know could explain the behavior.
• United States
9 Oct 09
He has been diagnosed as ADD in the past, but I think he's just an active, imaginative child. He was on medication for a short while, but the medication proved to be ineffective in the long run. He has been off meds for about a year and a half now and did extremely well at his last school. Now we are thinking that we might need to have him reevaluated. And the only reason this is such an issue is that his teacher has said that even though he is a smart, gifted boy, the fact that he is so disorganized and unmotivated could cause him to fail. Right now, though, we are talking to him on a daily basis so that he knows he can tell us if something is bothering him. Thanks for your thoughtful response.
• United States
8 Oct 09
Although I am not a big fan of doing things for your children, sometimes it can help to do it for him for a short time. I would not do it for him so much as do it with him. It may just take a little routine building. Does he have folders for his classes? You could get him some if not and when his homework is finished and you check it over, have him put it in the folder to bring to school.
• United States
8 Oct 09
I agree with you. We try to make our kids accountable for their own work, and we encourage them to be self-sufficient in that respect, but I may have to alter my standing on that, at least in regards to this. Thanks for the tips.
@Tantrums (949)
• Philippines
8 Oct 09
Ever tried the bribe technique (usually called rewards sometimes)? My mum tried to pay me if I get to clean the house (or my room)... but then the Con for this is the "Raise" part... I usually ask her to pay higher... but that was way during high school though.. heehee!
• United States
8 Oct 09
I was always opposed to the idea of bribing my kids, but I guess I'll do whatever it takes to see him do well.
@cher913 (25865)
• Canada
8 Oct 09
get him to write his homework down somewhere every day. does he have an agenda from school? you didnt mention how old he was but you should get him to do his homework as soon as he gets home from school. also, baskets at home help for organization.
• United States
8 Oct 09
He's 8, and he always does his homework as soon as he gets home from school. He has a student planner that he is supposed to write things down it, but even with constant reminders from the teacher, he stills doesn't do it then uses the excuse "I forgot". Honestly, my husband and I are wondering if there's some underlying problem. It sounds silly maybe since he's still fairly young, but he's never had this many problems in school. When should we really start to worry?
• United States
7 Oct 09
I have had this problem with my childrens as well. One thing that did work with my older one was to have a planner and each night we would go through it together, noting what homework was due the next day. He would check off what he turned in and then we would go through the folder to make sure everything was turned in. We made this a nightly ritual and I think it just became habit. Now, my other son is a different story. We can't seem to find anything that will work with him!
• United States
7 Oct 09
I think my son is having the same problem as your other son. Not much seems to be working, but I guess parenting is all about trial and error right? Good luck with yours. :)
@ladym33 (10990)
• United States
7 Oct 09
If you find a way to get your son organized let me know so I can get my son and daughter to both be organized. I actually got called in to school last year for a conference with my son's teachers because he was continually late to class because he could not find the right things to bring to class because his locker was such a mess and his notebooks were all disorganized. After the meating him and I went and cleaned and organized his locker and told him to keep his current stuff on the top shelf and everything else on the bottom. So far he is doing really well at school this year, but his room is a disaster and so is his sisters. I often get disgusted and clean it and the next day the rooms looks like a tornado ran through them again.
• United States
7 Oct 09
And doesn't it always seem like such a simple solution?--put things back where they belong and you wouldn't waste so much time looking for it. I tell my kids that until I'm blue in the face, and they still don't get it.
@shilley (157)
• India
11 Oct 09
First think about the various reasons which could be distracting your son,it could be anything ranging from family matters to silly things like toys at home.Spend some quality time with your son,every time you speak with him do not start your conversation about his studies,speak something which he is interested.For few days sit next to him and make him do his home work,you pack his school books.Gradually make him understand the importance of studies.Do not lose patience,your son is still young,so you can always get him back on right track with little more care,patience and affection.A stitch put on time saves nine.