Caring About School

Updated on January 18, 2010
L.H. asks from Toledo, OH
13 answers

I got a call from one of my daughter's teacher today. She is ok with behavior as usual. She is in danger of failing because of not turning in work. She will still be able to get credit for the project even if it is late. We had these problems in elementary school. That was because she hated the enviornment at school. She loves High School and is very social. (maybe too social?) I cannot seem to make her see that High School is important. I want her to do more with her life and have better opportunities than I have.How do I stress how important this is without nagging? If I focus too much on it she will shut down. I am going to revoke some privliges until this particular project is done. But, how do I get her going and keep her going on the schoolwork? Any advice will be appreciated. Thanks!

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all of your advice! She seems to have gotten better after much discussion(No yelling or nagging either!) Now,I gotta get her to do chores! But, I have been there before, and know what works for us. Thanks again!

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M.M.

answers from Detroit on

Wow! This is the exact same problem that I'm having with my niece that lives with me!!! I'm going to talk to her counselor if it keeps going in this direction. I'm looking for alternative disciplines also. I tend to do a lot of nagging myself. My email address is [email protected]____.com if you would like to keep in touch to see if one of us comes up with something that works.

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T.A.

answers from Detroit on

Don't stop trying to encourage her to pay attention. This is coming from a 43 year old who didn't give a hoot about high school either. The counselor would call me in every year to ask me of my plans and I would simply state I have none and no desire for college and they would send me on my way. My parents never pushed me or encouraged college. I worked since I was 15. I wasn't lazy just dumb about real life. Find someone she will listen to. I ended up as a file clerk after graduation and my best friends mom worked there. She encouraged me to go back to school and would simply ask me what are you doing. I thought I would get married and have children, thats the kind on household I grew up in. Trouble was I didn't even have a steady boyfriend. Anyway, I ended up 10 years later with a Masters in Social Work and worked my way up the ladder to Administrative positions. I loved it. Then I had a baby when I was 39 and became a SAHM. I'm not loving it. I love my daughter but when she enters school I'm going to volunteer or something in the field. My best advice is focus on the future and find a mentor and keep talking about reality. She can still be social and have a great time. Do her friends have plans and are they a good influence. Mine were not. I just wish someone would have sat me down and had a heart to heart about life. Good luck.

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D.Z.

answers from Detroit on

L.,

I have a 28yr son and a 16 yr old daughter. My son was very social in High School and had a similar problem in HS. In our family good grades are an expectation. We laid down the law. All social activities are allowed only with good grades. That means cell phones, Computers and all activites. We worked out a grade reporting system with his teachers. We had communication with all his teachers. It was not always easy on us, alot of follow through. We worked with our son to understand and problem solve that in life we all know envirnoments are not always great. Good Luck!

D.

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B.

answers from Lansing on

I don’t know if you’re still looking for advice, but I thought I give it a try. I’m only a junior in college and couldn’t begin to think I know more about parenting than you, but I am an education major and I care greatly about students being engaged in school work. My best advice is to be honest with your daughter. Let her know the kinds of opportunities you missed out on that you want her to have. And make it hands-on. Show her some of the opportunities available to her if she works hard in school, don’t just tell her about them. Take her to visit colleges, help her look at different careers. If she is really going to work hard in school the motivation is going to have to come from her and not from you. If you can help your daughter find a reason to do this for herself life will be much easier for both of you. It also greatly possible that the problem is not motivation. Freshman year can be a difficult adjustment. If you haven’t done so already I would suggest talking with your daughter and possible her teacher to see if there is some reason that she isn’t doing the work in a particular class or just on a particular project.

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H.M.

answers from Saginaw on

L.,
I am the mother of twin 18 year old boys and I have been batteling this problem for the last 3 years. They are seniors this year and we still have problems getting them to do their work. I am fortunate that I can pull their classwork assignments off the computer and look at their grades on a daily basis. The only thing that has ever worked with us was to revoke certain privelages until a said amount of work was done. I think that it is just up to the child to WANT to excel. We also have a 16 year old daughter who has a 3.45 GPA and tries very hard.
Don't give up hope though because as much trouble as my sons have had, one is going into the Army and the other is going to Northwest Michigan College. So there is a light at the end of this very frustrating tunnel.

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S.L.

answers from Grand Rapids on

Hi L.! I think every mom here would agree with me when I say our kids often have a condition called 'mommy deafness'! If you know another woman she admires ask her to bring up the subject to your daughter. Also, search the web for info on any people she is into (actors, athletes, band members...) When you come across articles of them which backs you up - like statements on the importance of education or the college they graduated from - print it for her. By all means, punish bad behavior but don't forget to push her with praise too! Best of luck!

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C.F.

answers from Detroit on

Hi L.,
I too was a single parent with a child that didnt want to apply himself in school. He was very well liked by students and teachers both. His teachers use to tell me he could do so much better if he would just apply himself, but for me not to worry because he was such a great kid that an employer will hire him and never want to let him go. Well I use to say to him just graduate, thats all i ask. I said i dont expect all A's but if you fail and don't graduate you will have to start school all over again while others move on in their lives. When he was old enough I started having him sit with me to do my bills and the checkbook. This way I felt he would understand the responsibilities as a parent and how far money would go. He would sit and write them out with me and when he was old enough I allowed him to be added on to my checking account. Then he could write checks for things but he had to call me first and get the ok. I think he learned a lot from this. First of all how much it cost to live. And second of all that he knew I trusted him. He did understand and he did graduate. He did not want to go to college but i said i would back him up and help him if he ever did. He got a job while he was still in school. He applied himself to his job and made it to management within a very short time. He is now 30, a husband (same girl since jr. high), a son 4 yrs old, and I couldn't be more proud that he understands responsibilities of everything. Good Luck! I think love and communication will get you through as well. Treat her like an adult to help you and let her see how life really works. She will be working with you not against you and learning as well. Hope this helps in some way.

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C.A.

answers from Toledo on

My 8 year old is not turning in his homework either What did I do but take his gameboy away it seems to work Maybe try taking toys away.

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J.Z.

answers from Toledo on

Hi L.:

When you are watching TV or a movie with her and one of the characters is having a hard time with money or struggling to get by due to lack of education, point it out to her. Lifetime has a lot of those types of movies. I think sometimes just talking to kids about movies or what they are seeing in the media, they can relate easier to their own life vs. a lecture on what they should do or shouldn't do.

Also, just discussing what people make working at certain jobs that don't require an education and letting her know what is possible if she gets one can be powerful. There are websites like Salary.com that you can get comparisons on. Real life examples may help in your discussions with her. Just a thought.

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D.M.

answers from Detroit on

Hi L.! Boy, do I understand what you're going through. My son Kyle started high school this yare, and he too is in danger of failing because of not turning in work. Same problem in middle school. What I have done this year, is I have written a contract with what I expect from him form school. For me, I wrote that he must turn in every single homework, classwork, and extra credit assignment. I catorogized it into 2 weeks. I listed privilidges he will get if he does this (and he will get them all at once after the initial 2 weeks). Things like, cell phone, paid for babysitting his younger siblings, computer time, etc. But, the agreement is if he misses even one assignment.....the 2 weeks starts over with him getting none of them. The minute he makes it to 2 weeks, he gets all on the list. I made him sign it. I signed saying I would provide him with things like an adequate place to do his work (quiet, no TV or radio), and will get him extra help if I cannot help him. I know that for my son, taking away one or 2 privilidges just doesnt make a difference, because hes got other things. But, by allowing him to have ALL the privilidges the minute he reaches his goal, that seems to be a good modivator for him. And he has to get a progress report filled out by every teacher Tuesday and Friday. And if he misses one teacher or one section on the form, starts over. So far this is appears to be starting to work. I think there is something about the fact that if hes sees it all written down, he is realizing just how much he is missing out on.

Sorry for the long winded response, but I know that that this is the most frustrating thing for me from a parental standpoint! I hope things get better with your daughter!

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N.W.

answers from Detroit on

L.,

What is she really interested in? Maybe getting involved with her in something she likes and encouraging that, on the condition that she do well in school will help. I would also check with the school and see if they can recommend a mentoring program. Sometimes hearing it from someone other than Mom helps.

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C.J.

answers from Detroit on

Hello, L. H. My name is C. J. I have a 15yr old and yes it is difficult at times to keep them focus on thier education, but we as parents have to keep talking to our sons/daughters about how important education is. If you find a subject she not doing well in, work with her as much as you can and give praise when she has given her best. Work with the teachers and ask if they see something you dont'. Inspire her to do well and dont get discouraged. Keep up the good work and continue to be concerned about your childs education. PS, I agree with taking somethings away for awhile until you see what the problem is. Have a Blessed Day!!! As you can see I am new, but I have a 15yr old daughter so I felt I should comment. I am glad to hear everything is well.

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L.C.

answers from Detroit on

Hi L.,
While my son is only 2, my husband was the same way as your daughter when he was in high school. His problem was that he was "too smart", the classes just didn't challenge him and because he knew he could do the work he just didn't do it or turn it in. Have you considered whether she should be placed in more advanced classes? Good luck and don't give up, I am not looking forward to the teenage years!

L.

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