Friday, July 16, 2010

Teen daughter having problems in school


Subject: Teen daughter

Question: I have a 16 yr old daughter who is having problems in school (too muching talking in class, failing test, late to class. She is a good girl and excels in many areas.

She is the only child, and it appears that her socializing and acceptence from her peers is keeping her off focus.

Friends are so very important to her. She has promised over and over that she will overcome this.

We have changed schools 2 times, and a few weeks into school the same cycle begins. We have taken away many of her priviledges. I beleive she wants to go to college, and she knows what it takes, but when she gets to school it seems she forgets everything.

Answer: Dear Dee:

On the surface with just the info you have given me, switching schools twice for a teen who is talking too much and not doing well in school is dramatic and a bit much.

First of all teens are going to talk and socializing is often more important than anything else appears to be to them. It is where their brain is developmentally. However failing school is not an option.

You don't mention any indication of drugs, alcohol or sex so at first glance my recommendation is many appointments with school counselors to determine if there is a learning disorder going on here.

Switching school however is only going to ensure she fail and I am sure that is not what you want either. Switching schools often results in interupptions in learning and disconnects relationships with teachers. I only recommend switching schools under the most dire of circumstances that involve violence and illegal drug activity. Please for all your sakes do not take this step again.

Consider getting a family counselor as well. There is probably something going on here which needs to be addressed if the learning problems are ruled out by a professional. Look for someone with experience with teens and who has a marriage and family background.

Also as far as college is concerned remember college is about her not you. She needs to want it more than you do and it needs to be her putting the energy into college not you. If she chooses not to worry about college then it is time she worried about how she will assume financial responsibility for herself when she is 18 and now for her extra curricular activities.

Just my thoughts.

Best wishes,

M Kay Keller
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