Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Daughter 15 with bad grades!

Dear Kay,

I have a daughter age 15 and age 3. I am at the end of my rope with my 15 year old.  We have had problems with her grades since 7th grade (currently in 9th grade).  Now, she has an F in 3 of her 5 classes. She is doing fine in Keyboarding and Gym. She has been grounded all but 4 or 5 weeks since 7th grade due to her grades.

Her behavior is very negative, almost bully like.  She is kind to her little sister, but mean to our dog. Her father has every other weekend influence but he sometimes misses his weekend due to his job (bartender) and he lives an hour away. She does not want to go to his house, but not for any specific reason other than she's bored.

My husband and I always offer our help with her homework (when she brings it home), but she declines. She talks to me about girl stuff, but she doesn't have any "reason" why her grades are so bad.  She rarely does homework, and I can't get her to bring it home or get her to understand the severity of not doing it. Our whole family is teachers, but she still doesn't care about her own grades.

As I was saying earlier, her attitude is also bad. She acts/walks around like a bully, but she isn't one.  She has never been into a fight, doesn't mouth off at school.  She is also constantly tardy to her classes.  She has had 2 after school detentions already and this is only the 4th week of school. She also steals from her brother, sweatshirts, money, whatever she wants she just walks into his room and takes it. I feel like she is or will have a social disorder due to all of the grounding.  She takes no responsibility for her actions and just doesn't care.Help!

Dear Andria:

You may not like my answer. You have been grounding her for two years? How is this working? Why do you continue to do something that is obviously not working?

It sounds to me like she may have a learning disability. She does fine in gym and keyboarding. Everything else she is flunking? Do get her in to be screened for a learning disability by a professional.

When a child is acting out and you have had two years of this behavior it is easy to fall into a negative relationship with a child. Do you have any good times? Doing what? What do you like about your daughter? Do you tell her as much as what you don't like?

I am concerned that she is mean to the dog and is stealing. I strongly urge you to enter into some family counseling as soon as possible. You can turn this around now.

Best Wishes!

M Kay Keller

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