May 25, 2024

Dear Manang,
Is there something wrong with my child if he seems to be so forgetful? I have noticed that my son seems to forget my instructions as soon as I say it. It has frustrated me and I can’t help myself and call him names. But eight years is a long time to wait or stay frustrated. Maybe you have come across something like this and have some home remedies that I can experiment with.
Des of San Carlos Heights, Baguio City

Dear Des,
At one time, my friend told me that her son was forgetful too and that there was a scientific explanation to it. Allow me to share this bit about working memory, which is what this thing is called from Dr. Nelson Cowan. Working memory is not completely distinct from short-term memory. It is a term that was used by Miller et al. (1960) to refer to memory as it is used to plan and carry out behavior. One relies on working memory to retain the partial results while solving an arithmetic problem without a paper, to combine the premises in a lengthy rhetorical argument, or to bake a cake without making the unfortunate mistake of adding the same ingredient twice. What to do according to Kid Sense include: Break tasks into simple steps: Provide short, simple instructions and make sure the child has mastered the first step before going onto the next. Use simple, clear, and specific language when making requests and, if necessary, show them what you want them to do. Repeat instructions: When you have given an instruction to a child, encourage them to repeat it back to you to ensure that the child has grasped/understood what is expected. There are more if you want to Google these.
Take it slow,
Manang

Dear Manang,
I am almost a senior citizen but I feel older than my 80 years old father because I tend to forget too many things already. I am already doing everything recommended on the Internet but it is scary because it affects my routine in the house. I forget that I am cooking something and it’s too late by the time I smell something burning. What have you tried and tested for yourself with some degree of success?
K mama of Greenwater, Baguio City

Dear K mama,
My dear, to give you advise would mean that I am a senior or confirm your suspicions. But darling, I am just so glad that I have deadlines which keep my calendar and clocks in the house charged. I am forgetful, have always been so and my struggle past it is some feat. My practical moves include a small notebook organizer that I keep close to mark dates and appointments that are urgent and I consult it every morning or evening. Because the long-term memory works better, I repeat saying some things that must be stored in my memory for several days or I try to read them in stick-ons that I have in places around the house like; kitchen sink, bathroom, doors, my dashboard or the TV monitor. Try it.
You are the key,
Manang