What does she want to be when she grows up?
I've noticed most kids who are successful at school fall into one of three categories:
- Those who just love school... it's more fun than mardi gras
- Those who have been told to do well and do it for no other reason
- Those who are passionate and driven about becoming __________
( _________ can change as they grow, but since they're already used to defining, researching, and working towards goals, change is FINE. It means they are continueing to evaluate).
Your DD doesn't love school, so that one's out. Thank GOD she's not just doing well because you told her to (these kids just end up LOST... because they never think for themselves, they just do what is expected... probably 2/3s of college kids I know have no real clue how they got there, what they should be doing, or how to go about it... they're just crippled)... so that leaves finding her passions.
Which can be FUN. Especially if you 2 do it together.
Seriously... Sit her down and say "Lets completely ignore school for a few hours, lets just care less... NOW what do you really love to do? If you could be any of 4 things when you grow up what would they be? ((AND let her say things like tennis player, or rock star, or even gold digger. Take *whatever* she says, no matter how outlandish... completely seriously. The start researching what it takes to a) get there, and b) what the actual job/carreer is like.)) She'll probably spoof you on at least a couple. That's fine. That actually builds trust as you put as much effort into the "ridiculous" answers as you do something respectable like "doctor". Let her know that the answer "I don't know" unless she's trying to come up with some (you know the difference between IDK blowoff and IDK yikes! I have no idea!!) means that you will choose for her. If so, try and choose 2 plausible (based off of things she likes to do) and 2 really silly (but not insulting) ones.
The whole point is to get her really engaged and interested and thinking about her life. Ideally, have this be a once a month thing. Leave how much "work" is involved in each carreer to get there out of it for NOW. Instead let her get excited about the possibilites. Get her *excited* about the different options and have her trace backwards on how a person gets there.
And you may be surprised. As a spoof of a similar project at school (waaaaay too late, it was a senior thing, when it should *really* have been done as a freshman), I decided to be a jewel thief. Art, banks, whatever... but high end. (I was feeling a little snarky about the project). Come to find there is a way to do that legally (working for a company that multimillion/billion dollar companies hire to break in to test their security), AND that one of those companies was based 20 minutes from my home! (Rare, there are only a handful in the country). While *yes* a lot is computer oriented, some was very James Bond. Super fun. And the entry level salary was over 6 figures a year. J, M, & J! Of course, by that time I was already signed and sworn with the USMC, and was shipping out in 3 months, or I could have taken a 1 year unpaid internship, modified salary while they sent me to school, and been making 6 figures by the time I was 22 doing a SUPER fun job. Heaven forbid.
So even the "loopy" answers can have some interesting results.
Anyhow... in any job that is not a service industry job... it quickly becomes apparent *why* education is necessary. It's not always an academic education (usually is, however), but very definately an education. Especially to chase your dreams. I mean car mechanic making $8 at Jiffy Lube, or Nascar pit team? Wildly different educations go into those jobs. Hair stylist at Supercuts, or runway fashion hair, or movie hair? Lack of education, internships, drive, and ambition gets the jobby jobs that pay the bills. ANYTHING a person loves can become a *very* lucrative career... but a person has to actually
a) Find what they love
b) Think outside the box.
School doesn't teach these things. But you can.
((And if she's adhd... this whole process will work really really well. Mostly because we adhd-types are better at thinking outside the box than almost anyone, and also because it's almost impossible to focus on anything boring. Focusing on your own dreams and likes is the opposite of boring.))
And ditto Shane. Won't LET you take her phone? ROFL. Yeah right.
"You can hand it over or lose it for good. Hand it over and you can earn it back. If you make me FIND it, I'll think about *maybe* letting you have a phone again in year. Or two. And if you throw a fit about it, or throw the phone, be aware that you'll also be grounded for the next _______." and smile, and hold out your hand.