Child Behavior Community
14.2k Members
Avatar universal

10yr old; Bright and able but can't organise herself

My youngest daughter is nearly 11. She is able and articulate and passed her 11plus exams and so will be attending a Grammar school as does her elder sister of 16. I have no worries about her educationally.

However, since being VERY young, she has not been able to follow instructions given if there are more than one or two to follow.We wrote her little lists when she was 7 for school to have on her desk to help her to focus at the school's suggestion but she often took off the sellotaped lists and then lost them!

Still now, verbally, you can only give her one or at the most two things to do otherwise you find she does neither and goes off upstairs to brush her teeth and hair but in actual fact, goes to her room and sings or plays the recorder!!

She came home from school the other day with her PE kit on; no socks and didn't know where her school uniform was. She found it; tights' skirt, shoes and cardigan, the next day in lost property. She'd changed out of it for PE but just not thought about it since. She didn't know it wasn't in her bag!

I write lists for her all the time to try to ensure she does everything she needs to when getting ready for school or ballet etc... but she will still not do everything on there...including not putting her contact lenses in...You'd think she'd realise that she'd forgotten that!!!

The only thing she cannot do well educationally is write stories. She has never been able to find a beginning, middle and end and quite often, if you read her work, the sentences don't make total sense and are all over the place in content and tense.

Could there be some type of sequential problem? I would like her to get this sorted before next September when she moves to Grammar school when needing to be organised will be a must.

Thank you
5 Responses
Avatar universal
Teach her mnemonics a nd if you have a copier teach her to write everything down regardless of sequence.  Save it. print it out and cut it out and switch the paragraphs around.

If it's any comfort I think Steven King or Hemingway supposedly had the same problem.
Avatar universal
OMG! You just described my 11 year daughter almost to a "T". my daughter gets straight A's without breaking a sweat. But she is so unorganized, and even worse this school year, as there is more books and papers plus they started the "switching" classes schedule this year. Her teachers tell me she is often digging in her backpack looking for whatever assignment needs to be turned in; dumping all the papers and trash and whatever she has in her backpack to find the assignment. When she does find the assignment, of course it is all crumpled and sometimes torn in places. The only difference my daughter is a great writer and is actually writing for the school newspaper or bulletin or whatever you want to call it.
Mine has also "always been like this". When she was younger we called her TAZ or PigPen {off the peanuts characters} because she would come in a clean room and somehow, just walking thru it leaving a trail of trash and destruction. {And I am only exaggerating a little bit} She comes home from school and by the time she walks out of the living room, she has left trash from her pack, books and papers, shoes, and/or socks {never in the same area--one shoe is on the tv, the other across the room under the coffee table, one sock under the couch and the other somewhere on the floor}. She also has clothes in every single room of the house, still can’t figure that one out.
I have tried many many times to organize her. Folders, planners, stickers, all types of backpacks {which she ends up tearing somehow}, purses, wallets. And still just recently at last PTA, her teacher tells me the exact same thing about how unorganized she is and actually during lunch sat her down and tried to reorganize her.
As much as I would like to blame this on anything, I don’t believe it is any kind of chronological behavior. They are just brilliantly messy. Every day I remind her to clean up after herself. I am convinced that by the time she is 20, she will have this down to second nature. Someone once said that the higher the IQ, the lower the common sense. I don’t feel like it is anything to be worried about, common sense as well as organizations are learned behaviors. However brilliance is not. You seem to be doing everything you can, just continue what you are doing. You even done more then I have thought to do {lists on the desk is great}
Good luck to you and your daughter. I am sure it will all work out with age and maturity.
Avatar universal
We have the same situation and are thinking of having her tested for ADD (no H involved). She is 11, one grade accelerated, but has no organizational ability at all. She leaves swimsuits all over town, her books all over school, never has a pencil, strews clothes everywhere, leaves her backpack in anyone's car, doesn't almost ever know where her shoes are, forgets her lunch, never follows through, but is a great student, is star in many theatre productions (never forgets her songs), and takes great care with her clothes'/appearance (even though she can rarely find what she wants to wear). We do fines and lists relative to chores and clean-up but don't know what to do otherwise. I'm surprised no one's said ADD yet (above). It seems like she just forgets to pay attention in the middle of stuff--like halfway to her locker, etc. What else could it be if not ADD? I'm only afraid to have her diagnosed because they'll want to put her on drugs...
Avatar universal
I have a 12 year old daughter that has all of the problems listed. She does have ADHD and she does much better after she takes her medicine. She is on 54 mg. concerta daily and it really helps her. I worry about her future. She is very social, happy, beautiful, and has a great personality. People are attracted to her because she always laughs and haves fun regardless of how much trouble she will be in later. She went to activity late recently and she danced every dance. I am so amazed that this post has only been about girls so far.
Avatar universal
I don’t know why you would want to get her tested. I don’t believe every childhood issue needs to be diagnosed or drugs. If she is bright and happy, I don’t think she has a problem. I know part of my little girl’s problem is that she is so secure in knowing that she is loved and looked out for that she just spaces a lot of the daily grind. And is that really so bad? I do make her clean up her messed and she has to be responsible for her book, clothing, homework, etc. And yes, it is a daily effort on all our parts and is does get aggravating sometimes. However, I am confident that when she is older she will overcome her flightiness as well as maturity with constant training and continuous support. The reason I feel this way is that I was just like her when I was 11.
Have an Answer?
Top Children's Health Answerers
189897 tn?1441130118
San Pedro, CA
Learn About Top Answerers
Didn't find the answer you were looking for?
Ask a question
Popular Resources
Fearing autism, many parents aren't vaccinating their kids. Can doctors reverse this dangerous trend?
Is a gluten-free diet right for you?
We answer your top questions about the flu vaccine.
Learn which over-the-counter medicines are safe for you and your baby
Yummy eats that will keep your child healthy and happy
Healing home remedies for common ailments