I guess Abhay isn’t the only one who is careless about his belongings at school, but that still doesn’t get him off hook when he returns home without his school stationery or his school jacket or having misplaced the same at school for the umpteenth time! I don’t understand what it is with children of this millennium and their total lack of compunction over their recklessness. I have been a middle class single child myself and I don’t ever remember possessing as much stationery during my entire school life as my seven year old son now has! So much so that he takes a new pencil/eraser every day only to have forgotten/misplaced/ been allegedly stolen (really??) at school the same day! I guess we as parents ought to take a fair share of the blame too as we don’t think twice before buying them a new set of oil pastels before they are finished with their old one! So if the children grow up with a jaded sense of abundance and entitlement, whose fault is that? So we decided to do a stock-check of his pencil box as soon as he returns home and I must say that we managed to follow it up for the first week or so. But seriously, after a hectic day at work, maddening traffic on my way back, amongst fixing dinner and getting his homework done, the last thing on my mind as I enter home between 6.30 and 7.00 PM is to check if Abhay has his stationery box in place!
I feel it’s not just about monitoring and enforcement, the key is to inculcate a sense of responsibility early in them so they realize the value of what they have. So today I had him read “Don’t forget Lara” by Julia Green and illustrated by Guiditta Gaviraghi which though speaks of being responsible albeit in a different way nevertheless conveys a valuable message. Being an emergent chapter book spread over five little chapters, this is an endearing tale of a little day-dreamer named Lara who keeps forgetting things she needs for school. (Well, it’s the other way around with Abhay!) This book can prove to be a good transition between an early reader which your child has probably mastered and a chapter book that may still be a challenge. Lara can’t stop thinking about her cat who is to have kittens soon, and is often caught staring outside her class window by her teacher! (Does it sound familiar?) That is not all, Lara has trouble remembering all the things she needs for school- first it’s her lunch box (landing her with no option but to have school dinner which is not to her liking!), then it’s her book bag ( which her friend later offers to share hers) or her spelling tin (which ends up being a good memory exercise!) or her apron ( as she borrows her mom's artist apron). Finally, Miss Button, her teacher assists her with making a list of things so as to help her remember everything! Does the list come to her rescue the next day? Have your little day dreamer find out as this story could just be his that hopefully should help him not to forget his things too! J