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How do I get through to my step-daughter?

She is 17 a junior/senior in HS. If she passes the first semester she will be a senior and has the chance through a program she is in to actually graduate this year. However, she is struggling with her classes and doesn't seem to have much interest in school. She is skipping a class routinely to go to lunch with her friends on their lunch period instead of going on her scheduled time. She just did 3 days ISS last week for this and her principle told her she could lose credit for this as well in addition if she gets truancy fine, that is like $250. Well she skipped again yesterday and when we asked her about it, she just doesn't seem to care. She says she hates school and doesn't if she has to go 1/2 a yr next yr to pass. I have explained that she could just buckle down and get out of school now & move on w/ her life go to college, etc. She claims to be depressed but seems fine most of the time i think it is an excuse.

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Asked by ENCHANTED37 at 8:30 AM on Nov. 3, 2009 in Teens (13-17)

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Answers (7)
  • If she is telling you that she is depressed then take her to go see a councler(sorry bad spelling). And tell her that if she does get that fine for skipping school then she will have to pay it. Or just do what my dad is doing to my stepbrother. He is not going to graduate this year. He is a senior but behind on credits because he just dosnt care. He is 18. My dad told him to get a job then go get his GED. Because my brother has already said that he is going to drop out. For some people this is a better thing to do. My stepsister on the other had is doing indipent study because she hates her school. And she is doing great in it. And she used to struggle before. Sometimes they just have to hit rock bottom before they realize what they are doing and to strighten up. But you can try these things. I hope it all works out. But if she is depressed and its not an excuse then she needs to get some help.

    Answer by Shelii at 8:38 AM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • Are her friends below her, or in the same program to graduate at the same time. She might "want" to fail so she can stay with them. Friends at this age is very important and they think friends are their life.. I hated school to, and still do. This is my last semester and I so want to sit down and not worry about studying etc.. It is hard to keep pushing on. Maybe she is scared about the future. Try to talk to her and find out what is going on, thanksgiving break is coming so maybe that will recharge her batteries also.

    Answer by midnightmoma at 8:40 AM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • Take her to a doctor. Put her to work she wouldn't have time to get depressed.

    Answer by Anonymous at 8:40 AM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • Well, in honesty, you can be depressed and still seem fine. I suffered from depression for yrs before getting treated, and most people were shocked when I was diagnosed, b/c I put up such a good front. If she says she's depressed, I'd take her to the dr and see what can be done to help her - maybe talking to a therapist, some light therapy, or even meds. If she is in fact depressed, getting her help and treatment will help her care about school and want to do better.

    If she isn't depressed, at 17, there's not a whole lot you can do at this point. And as much as I hate to see a child fail, maybe this is the point where she needs to be forced to face the consequences of her own actions. This could affect the rest of her life, but you have to let her deal with her own life at some point.

    Answer by tropicalmama at 8:41 AM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • i dont think you can explain anything to a teen...but i will say this do not give up on her. I pushed and pushed when i was that age to get more freedom and then i started slacking in school. Then i just didnt care anymore. I say cut back her freedom when she shows that she doesnt care about school. Tell her if shes not going to care then you dont care about her social life and she wont have one.

    Answer by shay1130 at 8:43 AM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • Boy does this sound like our home, except with my step-son. He ended up dropping out of school. Then he decided to do "mall school", we got him all signed up, ready to go - then he quit that too.

    What can you do? Once they hit an age they are going to have to make their own mistakes. You hate to see them making them, you hate to watch them going down the wrong path... but sometimes they have to - to become the people they need to become.

    Give her a little space. If she truly is depressed - suggest she see a doctor. It is very easy to hide depression behind a "normal" facade... so be careful in dismissing this too quickly. Depression can be very hard to handle, especially at this age.

    Good luck! The best I can say is - space, time, let her make her own mistakes and grow, and get her help if she needs it for the depression...

    Answer by bikerchick1975 at 2:17 PM on Nov. 3, 2009

  • Sounds like depression, becareful.

    When you depressed you don't care, and don't realize how badly it effects your future.

    Good Luck!!! DON'T GIVE UP ON HER.

    Answer by KFree907 at 11:31 AM on Nov. 4, 2009

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