Jackets, a mitten, water bottles, a pair of glasses, textbooks, a student planner, last night’s or possibly last month’s homework -- all of them crucial items -- forgotten, misplaced, neglected. Often it seems, so is most of life in middle school. As a parent, confronted by these constantly disappearing items or activities, you may find yourself labeling your child “forgetful”, “lazy” or as I so gently put it “soul draining”, while secretly fearing that this shortcoming is a serious reflection on your student’s developmental abilities. But I have good news, there really is a natural and normal reason for it. This phenomenon of forgetfulness is actually due to the timing of the development of the prefrontal cortex that attends to “executive functioning” skills. Now, if you are blessed with one of those children who were born gifted in the executive functioning world, the rest of us don’t want to hear how you cannot stop getting your child to color-code the world. The reality of the age is that disarray and lack of forward thinking are the norm in a middle school aged child.