How to Teach Your Kid to Keep Track of Important Belongings

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have a 16-year-old who has now lost three house keys. I have tried to figure out all kinds of ways for her to keep tabs on them, and none work. I am considering not giving any more keys and just have her walk out through the garage door and giving her a garage door opener. I feel like the opener is bigger and harder to lose. Other than that, I’m out of ideas. -Crystal, Springfield, Ohio

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How to Deal With Teenage Theft

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My 15-year-old son charged $105 on my credit card for video games to download to his PlayStation 4. I am so upset I can’t see straight. I yelled at him and told him that I was so angry that I had no idea what I was going to do, which I feel stupid about now. How do I redeem myself? What do I do now? -Tyler, Houston, Texas

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How to Handle Phone Calls from Your Child’s Teacher

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am really frustrated with my son’s school. He is in 3rd grade and every week or so they call me to tattle on my son. They call me to tell me that he isn’t listening, or that he isn’t doing his work. Yesterday, they called after school to tell me that he was being disruptive. Sometimes it’s the teacher, sometimes it’s the principal, but they keep calling and they have suggested that I give him a consequence. Isn’t that their job? He is generally OK at home, and when he’s not, there are consequences. I’m not sure how to deal with this. -Cheyenne, Dayton, Ohio

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How to Deal With a Kid Who Intentionally Destroys Things

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I have a 6-year old who likes to destroy things. She has ruined a coffee table (sanding down the edges with a pencil), ruined a carpet (scissors), and ruined a wall (markers). We have talked to her over and over, trying to find out why she’s doing it. She says she doesn’t know. Is she needing more attention? Is she angry? We want to find the root cause of this behavior so we can stop it. We are starting to lose our patience with her at times. What do you think? -Jaime, New Albany, Ohio

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How to Deal With a Kid Who is Addicted to Screens

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My seven-year-old son loves his iPad so much that he has started to ignore the rest of the world. He doesn’t care about anything else. We recognized this as a problem, but my husband and I have had a very hard time taking the iPad away. My son goes into hysterics when we do, and he will scream and yell until he gets it back. We went to family therapy about this. We tried talking to him about how using the iPad so much is bad for him and how he should play outside, or go to a friend’s house, etc. This does not help. What should we do?    -Tana, Des Moines, Iowa

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How to Handle a Kid Who Refuses to Wear a Coat

Dear Kid Whisperer,

My four-year old loves to go out and play outside without a coat or long pants, even when it is 5 degrees out. I used to yell at him and lecture him. Then a friend told me I should just let the natural consequence of being cold happen so that he would get cold enough and put on appropriate clothing. I tried that. He went outside for 45 minutes straight in 5-degree weather and played happily. Thinking that someone would call children’s services on me, I had him come inside and forced him to put on winter clothes while we yelled at each other. Now what? -Jeanne, St. Paul, MN

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How to Train your Kids to Remember the Things they Need

Dear Kid Whisperer,

I am so tired of taking things to my kids after they forget them at home. So far I have delivered a cheerleading outfit, homework folders, and yesterday, I delivered basketball shoes. No matter how much I remind them, they still forget everything. I can’t let my kids not have these things. They need them so they can participate in activities, school, and sports. I also don’t want to keep driving 15 minutes one way to school three times a week because they can’t remember anything. Please help.

-Beth, Des Moines, Iowa

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