When Your Child is a Forgetter/Part Two: A Tale from the Realm of ChatGPT

In Part One, our tale of woe ended with “What could work?” True confessions, that was nine posts ago, so clearly I forgot to follow up, which is the topic of this post. I thought I’d have fun with a writing partner this time.

Part Two is a collaboration between Chat GPT and me. Enjoy “The Chronicles of Jack: A Teen’s Epic Battle with Forgetfulness”.


Maybe you’ve heard of Jack, our hero in the saga of adolescence, battling the fierce dragon of forgetfulness. Picture Jack, the absent-minded knight, who often loses his sword (or phone, homework, you name it) and then, in a plot twist, blames the dragon (or, well, anyone but himself).

You might want to label Jack’s journey as a downhill slide of irresponsibility, especially with the scary Mountains of Adulthood looming ever closer. Jack, on the other hand, seems more like a stag caught in the torchlights of oncoming life responsibilities. He dreams of independence, but it’s less “brave explorer” and more “escape to a land where socks pick themselves up.”

You, the wise sage of the tale, might think, “Just try a little harder, young apprentice.” You recall your own glorious youth, perhaps savored through slightly rose-tinted glasses, as a time of unmatchable responsibility and unquenchable dragon-slaying. But wait! Is it your quest to reshape Jack, or to guide him on his own path?

Here’s the magical scroll of strategies to aid you, intrepid traveler of the stormlands of parenting:

  • Embark on the Quest with Compassion:
    • Anchors aweigh from “I Was Perfect” island and sail toward the “What else could be true?” archipelago.
    • Adopt the “Generous Assumption” spell, which magically transforms your view of Jack from an idle “you have no idea what it’s like to be me” squire to a knight doing his best at jousting academics, extracurriculars, and (some) family time.
  • Forge a Structured Daily Life:
    • Create a kingdom of routine: Homeworkshire, Mealville, and Bedtimeburg. Adjust the borders of independence as Jack grows in his quest for self-direction.
    • Beware the false messenger of phone notifications who can never out-magic an incoming text message! Use bold, interactive scrolls like charts and checklists at the castle gates (also known as the front door) and exit tickets of immutable proof for acquiring keys to the ever-desirable horsepower-fueled carriage. 
  • Design a Kingdom for Belongings:
    • In the land of Jack’s Room, set up tidy hamlets with labels and open containers (not that kind) as memory charms. Remember, Jack the Wise might rebel against adult decrees, so co-create this realm to include his noble ideas.
    • Allocate a daily festival for decluttering. Celebrate small victories in the battle against mess. Use the sands of time (a countdown timer) to avoid the quest for the mythical Perfect Clean. Try it yourself!
  • Demonstrate the Art of Self-Reflection:
    • Show your sage wisdom (minus the judgmental wizard glare) by celebrating Jack’s victories in the battle against forgetfulness.
    • Embrace the ancient art of mindfulness, together: Breathe, like the cool dragons you are, into the now-point. Repeat small, successful spells daily. Share tales of  noticing “What Went Well” at the round table.
  • Curb the Curse of Do-Overs:
    • In the social jousts of teen life, discern between the sneaky trickster of “social forgetting” (Oh, that lost phone ploy!) and genuine and reasonable memory mishaps, making sure only to support the latter.

Remember, in this epic tale, your role is less of a dragon-slayer and more of a wise guide, helping Jack navigate the enchanted forest of adolescence with humor, patience, and a touch of your magic.

And what about the spell of ChatGPT?

Help your intrepid young adult to keep learning (and remembering) real things!

A bot is no substitute for critical thinking. To know if the bot is actually wrong (It can be and often is), improve and continually develop your own and your student’s fact-checker and find-it research skills. Always ask, How do I know this is true?” and have real evidence.

About the author

Sherri Fisher, MEd, MAPP, executive coach and learning specialist, uncovers client motivation and focus for perseverance. She has decades of successful experience working with students, parents, and professionals who face learning, attention, and executive function challenges at school, home, and work.

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