Needing Other Mothers Who Have Problems with There Children Doing There School

Updated on March 20, 2008
R.W. asks from Jenks, OK
37 answers

I have a fifteen year old daughter who is very behind in her school stuff. She is a sophomore in high school and is making F's in three of her classes and when she comes home she doesnt study for test. The EOI test are coming up very quickly for her and its frustrating as I stay home all the time and wander if there is any parent out there that can help me know what to do as its hard for me since I am on a fixed income to pay for a tutor and she also complains about what we have to eat.

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So What Happened?

Thanks for your help those that have offered suggestions and I am hurting in my stomach right now with a hiatal hernia so i dont get back with you soon you will understand.r advice but I have had enough now.

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C.N.

answers from Baton Rouge on

Many schools have free tutoring programs after school. Some even have tutoring programs specifically for high-stakes tests. See if her school has one of those.

There's really only so much you can do to make her study. After a certain point, her grades are up to her. What you can do is remove privileges until the grades come up - no tv, no phone, no internet, no friends coming over, no going over to anyone else's house.

As for complaining about what you cook - my daughter used to do that. I showed her how to work the stove and told her to fix her own damn dinner.

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A.S.

answers from Houma on

I would suggest counseling. How long ago did you become a widow? Maybe she is still acting out. Just being a teenager is hard enough. But when you add having no father and money being tight, it's get rougher. Good luck with everything but I do hope you consider counseling for her.

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C.E.

answers from Pine Bluff on

Try talking and listening to your daughter sometimes we talk and never listen to our children try listening to her and take what she say to heart she is at a lost the presser from school and the lost of her father she is trying to deal with that have you all every talk about her father's death? Listen to her too.

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J.H.

answers from Little Rock on

Pray...and pray again. And be consistent and diligent and loving. and then pray some more.

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C.K.

answers from Jonesboro on

Ive been there... Best thing you can do for her.. Is to get her into a church with other teens her age... Its helps , It really does... It helped me with my daughter.. And I see it helping other teenagers....

carrolanne

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E.F.

answers from Tulsa on

R., Sounds like there are some more underlying problems than just school for your daughter. If she doesn't come home and study and do homework, what does she do? If she's complaining about the food you have to eat too...hmmm...not sure what is going on with her. I'd first start with the school counselor to have a meeting with her by yourself and then with your daughter. If you are on a fixed income, there are all kinds of resources out there to help you with this rough time. The school counselor should also have a wide variety of resources to suggest to you. I would also have to suggest a church youth group to attend and a Youth pastor to talk to your daughter. Life is too short and God is so, so good! Just my .02 cents.

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D.M.

answers from Little Rock on

I don't know your's or her complete circumstances, but could there possibly be deeper issues as to why she is failing? Has she always failed or had bad grades? How much control do you have with her attitude? These things are going to determine how resistant she is to you and your efforts. I have a son that is in 11th grade now. When he was in 7th grade, he failed 5 semesters. They gave me a choice to send him to summer school or do 7th grade over again. His problem was not doing bad on the tests. He wouldn't do his homework. He got zeros on his homework almost everyday. The worst thing was that I didn't know it was a homework issue until it was too late. I knew he was flunking, and I kept threatening him that I would homeschool him if he failed. Well, they wanted me to take him to summer school, but his school didn't offer it so I was going to have to drive him 30 minutes everyday for 3 hours to take him to school. They weren't even going to make him do anything that had to do with what he failed. So I told my son that his only choices were to be embarrassed and redo 7th grade while all his classmates, or I homeschool him. He didn't want either, so I chose to homeschool him. At least I knew how he was doing in school before it was too late to fix anything. My son now gets A's and B's. He is mostly self-taught because he is fully capable of reading and learning, but I do have to help him at times. He gets his work done because he has no one to talk to now, except his brother, whom I am also homeschooling since he was in 5th grade. I have my boys very active in church to compensate for social time. I have had so many comments about how well-behaved my boys are. As a matter of fact, at church yesterday morning, someone walked up to me and asked me if I homeschool my boys. I told them yes and asked why they were asking. She just told me that she can tell because her sister homeschools their 4 children and that my boys are very well-behaved like her sister's kids. I never realized it until she told me that. I thought my kids were testy with me, and they can be at times, but I know they are good for the most part. It obviously shows in public, too. But like I said, homeschool may not be an option for you and/or her. I hope I have helped some, and if I haven't, I wish you blessings of finding a solution.

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B.M.

answers from Tuscaloosa on

R. try this site. [email protected]____.com it is a prenting website from the university and you may also try the boys and girls club toask about resources.

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C.B.

answers from Jonesboro on

Has she been tested for ADD or ADHD? That could a major reason for her lack of focus. Medicaid should pay for an evaluation and medication to help her focus during school and on studing. I was diagnosed with this disorder and it played a major factor in my grades. The medicine helped. Also Instead of paying for a tutor tell her that you will pay her for good grades. That school is her job. That is training her for the real world in away to make her realise that you work hard for good things (like better food to eat) lol well good luck let me know if this helps.

C.
xx

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B.P.

answers from Tulsa on

R.,
I am a tutor and I have a teaching background. I would be willing to talk to you and see if we could work something out. I live in the Bixby area. You could also go through the school which she goes to and try and get some support from the school. There are a lot of services out there you just have to pick and choose. I would love to help you with that. Send me an email through mamasource and we can talk further.

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T.S.

answers from Little Rock on

First, let me say, I'm sorry for your loss.

Second, we're having similar problems with one of our sons who's a little younger than your daughter.

What to do depends a lot on what else is going on? Is it possible that her attitude about school, food, and anything else is related to the death of your husband, presumably her father? Has she lost interest in other things that she used to like? Has she been getting involved in "risky" behaviors or has her personality changed in any other way? If so, she may be grieving or experiencing depression, or something else. Depending on your relationship with her (both now and in the past) is it something you can talk with her about? If not, is there someone else (pastor, friend of the family, counselor) that she could talk with? Family counseling might be in order.

If it's not depression, it'll be up to her. I would set very clear rules for your expectations in her grades, if you haven't already. Make sure she understands them (not necessarily agrees with them). If she's truly not understanding something, there may be teachers at school, or even classmates who would be willing to meet her after school to help her out.

If she's choosing to ignore her grades, she's on her own. Not only should she get the grades she deserves, but she should receive a consequence at home. Grounded to the house until she brings grades up, no more after school activities, etc. She should also understand, that if her grades are poor enough, you would support her being left back in 10th grade instead of moving on to 11th grade with her friends.

I know it seems rough, but she's getting closer to being an adult. It's hard to watch them do things that can make their entire life harder, but if you ride her back constantly about grades, watch over her doing her homework, or pay for tutors when it's a motivation issue, she'll never learn to take responsibility as an adult. It will hurt her ability to keep a job and get promotions and better pay. She'll be an adult, but still dependent on you or someone else to keep her on track.

Best wishes.

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B.S.

answers from Dothan on

R., if you are unable to help your daughter with her schoolwork, I would try to find a local church where some teens might tutor at a discounted rate. If the problem is that your daughter is not trying, I would put some serious restrictions on her such as talking on the phone, going out and other things she might be interested in. I don't know about your town, but children have to pay for summer school here and I made it abundantly clear to my sixteen year old twins that I would not pay for something they should have taken advantage of for free. I also told them if they fail, they will not be able to get their driver's license. I had to take away a cell phone last semester for a "D." Good luck. Teens are something else.

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K.B.

answers from Birmingham on

R.,

I don't have teenagers "yet", but I am in sales. We are ALL in sales.

What you have to keep in mind is "want", "problem" and "solution".

Ask her, What does she want? What does she see herself doing with her life?

Ask her, What does she see as the problem in getting there?

Ask her, If you have a solution, would she be willing to listen?

So often, I think we as parents know what we want, but we don't take the time to know what they want. If she answers that she doesn't want to do anything with her life, then you might have deeper troubles on your hands. Everyone is valuable to this world and she needs to find out where she is valuable.

I hope this helps,
K.

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D.D.

answers from Baton Rouge on

Dear R.
Is she sincere about making better grades? Is she happy about herself? We are apart of a wonderful church and the teenage girls help each other and they have staff members that also help everything is done for free the lord has show us many blessing through our church I am in Louisianna. I know you can find a church that will receive you with open arms! our chuech is a nondenominational or full gospel the teenage groups are so good for your little girl to attend
hey she may even help with meals instead of complaining!
I pray for Gods guidence for you. You are a very stong person......keep going! In his hands D. + 2 girls!

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D.S.

answers from Oklahoma City on

R., I don't know where you live, but there are probably free tutors through your school. Call them and/or talk to the teachers. Don't wait until it is too late! (former teacher)

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D.H.

answers from Texarkana on

R.,
I agree with counseling...she may have some problems that she is dealing with that she has not spoken to you about...She may need grief counseling, or she may be in a support group with other teens that have lost their dads..

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T.L.

answers from Jackson on

Well you have some options. Go to the school at random and talk with the teachers about extra credit work to bring those grades up. Also have a long discussion with your daughter about her plans yearly and offer any assistance that you can. Also while she is at school you have the world wide web in front of you and there are people out there that will offer free online tutoring. Also check at local schools and colleges. There maybe some student teachers who need teaching/tutoring hours toward their degree. Hope this helps...Good luck

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M.N.

answers from Jackson on

This is a very difficult situation. I have a stepson who just turned seventeen. We have had these problems with him for a while also. Studying can be fun. Find things that interest her such as teen magazines, etc and ask her to read them. Encourage her to read the newspaper daily. At least one article, and summarize it. This only helps strengthen reading and reading comprehension skills. Inquire if their is anyone in your church or other community churches that offer tutoring services. Some places offer free tutoring. Focus on her weak points and encourage her consistently to become more responsible regarding school work.

Also, pay attention to her circle of friends. Limit her phone priveleges, TV access, etc. until her school work is done in the afternoon. This is not punishment, but a requirement. On days I was home early, I noticed the phone would start ringing as soon as my son came in from school. He formed a habit very quickly of engaging in other things after school instead of completing assignments. We spoke to him about it and he did not correct the problem. We told him no phone, friends, tv, etc. until assignments had been completed and checked over by us. I do realize children have been at school all day and need a break, but they are more apt to complete work after school, rather than 7:00 at night.

Last, stay in tune with the asignments. Voice your concern with her teachers and counselors to ensure you know what is really going on at school. It's good to know before report card and parent-teacher conferences. Offer your assistance with asignments in the evenings. Fifteen is a age where girls are not really open to parents. Find a way to have a general conversation about life with your daughter. Discuss goals and dreams. Success in school is the key to it all. and God of course!!!

good luck

To me, the last resort would be

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J.H.

answers from Huntsville on

I read Lori's response and she has a good point there. My son went through not wanting to study, letting his grades drop, etc when he was 12 and 13. His main problem was he wanted to be lazy or be out doing things with his friends and expect the teachers to let him move on without any effort on his part. Well this mom put her foot down and told him he either studies and does his homework or he could stay in school until he was 50, his choice. I would be preparing dinner and he would sit at the dining table studying. I would have him break for a few minutes to come sample some food or give me a hand. In turn, I'd sit down and we'd discuss his homework and I'd talk about a particular subject when he got stuck.

This is the way we worked it throughout the rest of his school years. When he graduated he said Thank You mom. We made it through school together.

R., I know kids nowdays want all that processed foods and fast foods. None of this is good for them. Write to me and tell me what your daughter does like to eat. I just might have a few recipes you can use which will be healthy and non processed foods.

J. Blue Star Mom, Proud Army Mom

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L.K.

answers from Oklahoma City on

Call or better yet email your child's school and teachers. They need to know that there is a concerned parent at home. There may be some things that the teacher can tell you about your daughter that may explain why she is doing poorly in school. Work with the school to get your daughter up to speed and ready for the testing. They will help you - you have to call and talk to her counselor and the teachers. Don't give up - she needs you to insist that she complete her education. Be strong!

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B.M.

answers from Fort Smith on

R., I have been a single Mom with 2 kids to raise alone, later I went back to school and became a teacher. It is my opinion that you need to go to your daughter's school, talk to the Principle, and her teachers. Tell them you think there is a problem. If there is a school counselor, get that person involved, too. Your daughter is in serious trouble if she is flunking. The teachers should have already contacted you about this. Make them aware that you need help for her, they should have some sort of tutoring for free. They should also have some help with her attitude, as well. I often suggested that parents of troubled students come to school in their free time and be a volunteer or at least help in their child's class. Sometimes, all it takes is the child knowing you care enough to get involved. Or, at that age, if the child thinks you might come and sit in their room they will be embarrassed enough to straighten up.

More importantly, if there is a problem that needs to be addressed about your daughter's ability to do the work, the teachers will see it. Other wise, she may drop out of school and that's never good.

Lastly, don't let her disrespect you by complaining about the food you have for her to eat. I am sure you are doing the best you can. My kids ate a lot of beans, macaroni, and taters, but they ate and grew.

Hang in there.

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M.B.

answers from Tuscaloosa on

I am a gramma , have grown children now , but your daughter sounds like a growing teenager who needs a mother who sees into her needs , the inner heart cry ..... in order to get into that you need a close relationship with her , not being judgemental of what she says , but softly helping her along , no screaming and showing frustration , but praising her when she does good...build up her ego slowly , don't show her where's she's a failure, but start building up her self esteem , sounds like thats what she needs ..... pray with her , build a mother / dau relationship ...she'll react with some snide remarks and act like she resents you ,but inside they love that mommy support ...don't give up, keep trying even when she gets mad at you , she's crying for something she's not getting .....help her with her studies ..... growing up was no fun for me , I remember my feelings and I had God fearing parents who cared about me, its just a part of growing up that needs that very special mommy attention and she needs it now ...... M. B

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L.H.

answers from Jonesboro on

Oh, she's at a difficult age too. Is there any man you know that you can talk to about your daughter to encourage her to study since education is so important to her future? Someone she respects?

And maybe at your church there's a school teacher who would volunteer to help you if you let your problem known.

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T.D.

answers from Biloxi on

the school should have a free tutor thing after school or durring school, just call the school and ask, they should have a program called no child left behind.

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K.B.

answers from Baton Rouge on

Do the tough love tactic ...like my mom did..if u ever wanna leave here, u either leaving with a dipolema or in a body bag...it worked.. I was 3rd in my graduation class...she was right.. I love her...
I rebeled on everything my parents did... but my Aunt intervened because of my mom was at wits end. So my Aunt said I could come stay with her as long as my grades came up.. needless to say but her and my mom were in cahoots together.. it worked..
Good luck and God Bless.
K.

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L.K.

answers from New Orleans on

Has she always had a hard time keeping up or is this a recent development? If she's never made good grades and always struggled perhaps holding her back or having her tested for a learning disability would be in order. If it is just a recent development try to think back to when it really started and think if you can pin point any changes in her life at that time. If it started when she started high school she may just be having some adjustment issues or even social problems that are causing her to perform poorly. I know I, personally, did very poorly my first 2 years of highschool (went to summer school and everything) because I had a really hard time learning how to organize myself and learning how to adjust to an envirement that required much more independence than I had dealt with in the past. If this is the case for her try sitting with her and help her organize herself... make sure she has a different notebook or binder for each class and an assignment book for her to jot her homework in... If she has block scheduling (4 classes a day instead of all 7) make her leave the books she's not using at home and switch them out every night so that she can't forget stuff at school when she needs to study.... I wish you all the best, I know it can be frusterating but there is hope.... if she genuinely is just having trouble with certain subjects than you need to really research and find a tutor (free ones are out there). Good luck!

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D.B.

answers from Tulsa on

I am a big believer in choices with consequences. No amount of tutoring will change the fact that she is not interested in school work right now. Save your money. She is a teenager and no matter what you want for her, she thinks she wants something different for herself. These years will be most trying and confusing for you, but you and she will get through it. Just pray that she will make the right choices for herself and that those consequences will be beneficial rather than painful. She is probably experiencing a lot of peer pressure right about now and that can be hard for a teen that doesn't even know herself or realize the changes she is going through. My daughter, who just turned 19, did exactly the same thing. No matter how many conversations, shouting matches, groundings or anything else I tried, she continued to do what she thought was best for herself. She did not graduate and she missed prom too! A consequence of not having good grades. I missed those things too! Not just her. We both suffered her decisions. But since then, she has had some experiences and she has changed and is becoming the woman that I knew she would be some day. Have faith and pray for them for they know not what is best for themselves. God bless you and your daughter as you journey through the hardest years of being a mother and, for her, becoming an adult.

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L.L.

answers from Fort Smith on

I am very lucky, my boys do pretty well in school, but I did not do so well. I am an only child and couldn't stand to do my school work in my room by myself. I don't think I ever told my mother that, though. I think that if she sat down with me at the kitchen table and we worked on it together, I would have done a lot better. She should not do any of the work for me, or even know a lot about what I was doing. Just the company and interaction with another person would have helped. She could have asked questions and let me teach her about what I was studying, that really helps people learn, to teach others.
You might try that and also try explaining that she is in control of the way her future turns out. She has choices to make every day and those choices will shape her life. She can choose to make good grades by putting out the effort. She can get scholarships with decent grades and a decent ACT score and go to college at UAFS for free. I know because I have been researching that stuff for my senior. Check this website, it is Arkansas Acedemic Challenge Scholarship.
http://acs.adhe.edu/index.html
With a college degree, she can make good money and it does make life easier. I really regret not finishing college because now I work two jobs to make one good income. I hope that helps.

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C.F.

answers from Tulsa on

If there are things that your daughter gets to do, you can always take those privileges away until the grades come up. Also, you might check with her eye doctor to make sure that her vision isn't a problem. Sometimes kids don't realize that they have a problem with their vision because they have become accustomed to seeing 'their' way. If the grades have just now become an issue, then I'd suggest you contact the school counselor, social worker, or resource officer to help as well. The more help the better.

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D.C.

answers from Mobile on

I have the same problem as you, only with a 17 year old son. He does not do homework but is so far passing. I was widowed last year in March so, same as you, a fixed income. He complains about what I cook and thinks that every night should be fast food. It's hard, hon, but pray and God will get you through all of this.

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S.A.

answers from Dothan on

There are a lot of "free" resources/study guides on the internet. The school counselor or the teachers should be able to point you in the right direction. Also I would step up the communication with the teachers/school board and find out what resources might be available to your child through the school. Our school system has "tutoring" available after school on certain days of the week at no cost to the parent. Also ask what the teachers observe in your child. Is she too talkative? Does she ask questions regarding the current work? Does she sit in the front of class or in the back? Have her moved to the front and insist (to her) that she always needs to choose a seat in the front so that she is not destracted by things going on around her. Sometimes just the shuffling of paper or quiet activities of those around children can be a distraction. Have you had her eyes checked? Talk to her teachers and find out exactly what their observations are. Be open to hearing what they have to say...even if it is something you don't really want to hear. If you don't work, then perhaps you should get your substitute teaching certificate (usually a one day ordeal) and sub at the school from time to time.

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C.C.

answers from Birmingham on

R., I'm so sorry that you are having such a tough time right now. I know this is stressful. Does your daughter have a female mentor (other than yourself) that you could get involved in this situation? Maybe a friend's mom could give her some encouragement or an aunt or your best friend?? Another idea is to ask her what she wants from her life in a very loving, serious fashion. If she wants to be a nurse, doctor, social worker, teacher any of those things talk with her about how to attain that. She is at an age that she doesn't fully understand what it takes to get these things and also that her actions now pave the way to recognizing those goals.

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K.B.

answers from Birmingham on

This is normal - she is 15 and she is testing you and herself. I went through it with my son (17) and what I did and still do seems to work. At our school, we have access to grades on a daily basis through the school home page. I access that page every afternoon and make sure that his grades are up to snuff. If he has a 0 on an assignment, I immediately ask him about it. That usually jogs his memory enough to make sure that he gets it done. We also sit together in the living room while he does his homework. This works wonders. He knows that I am there if he needs some help with anything. My step-mom did this for me and it worked great.

I hope this helps! Good Luck and God Bless

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S.C.

answers from Fort Smith on

Todays teens have so many issues to deal with in life. Don't give up on her. Encourage her to do her best. Sit at the table with her and make it a family event to get her work done. Talk with her and encourage her to talk to you about her feelings on issues. Allow her to respectfuly say what she feels without the threat of punishment. I know it must be hard to do with no help. She must be going through a great deal with out a father there.

Good luck!!

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S.R.

answers from Little Rock on

First, look to the Lord and he will help you threw anything.
I have a twelve year old so I am not at the 15 year old mark and I know they must be worlds apart but.... take extra extra time with her that seems to help her "be still"
Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, "I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won't have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life."

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M.C.

answers from New Orleans on

Playing catch up is very hared for a teenager. I am sure though that her teachers are very available before and after school to help her with her work. If a teacher know s that a student wants to work at the subject matter, he/she will help. Go to the teachers and the guidance couselor and let them know of the problem. About the food, take her shoping and let her handle the menus

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S.B.

answers from Oklahoma City on

R.,
You must get down to the real problem. Sit down with her a listen really listen to what she has to say about everything. Don't judge just listen from her view point. Let her understand you may not be able to fix the problem but you will work with her and try to understand. You are doing all that you can do. Pray for her and ask God to show you how to help her. I have been a single parent before.

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