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There was a funny article on the internet where the principal of a primary school lamented during a parent-teacher meeting that the school's Lost and Found Office is always very busy. Each day, there are new lost articles such as school jackets, water bottles, stationery, lunchboxes and all kinds of stuff. However, the lost articles in the Lost and Found Office are very "unfortunate" as very often their owners fail to claim them back……

The reason why many children do not claim their lost items is because they do not realise that after they have lost something, they should try to find them. Below are 4 ways to teach children to look after their personal belongings:

  • Let children know that on top of cash, their personal belongings are their important assets, and they need to keep them properly all the times.

  • When parents buy things for their children or give them pocket money, remind them to treasure their items or to keep their money safely.

  • If children lose something, parents should not rush to buy a replacement. Get them to search for the lost item first.

  • When children lose items, let them bear some responsibility for their negligence. For example, talk to them about deducting some money from their pocket money or laisee (red pocket money) to purchase the replacement.

Parents can also try out some activities, suitable for children between 5 to 8 years old, to encourage them to value and take responsibility for their personal belongings.

  • Put a small amount of pocket money in your children’s wallets and ask them to look after it properly. Remind your children to keep their wallets safely when they bring it goes.

  • Let your children put items such as water bottles, tissues and towels inside their bags when they go out. They should not ask other people to look after their bags for them.

  • Make sure your children have written their names on all their personal belongings.

Parents, if your children have lost something, remember to be firm and do not immediately replace the lost item. Without experiencing the consequences of losing things, they will lack the awareness of the need to take care of their personal belongings and treasure what they have. Of course, parents must be role models too and should not be careless about their own belongings!


6 July 2017