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how do you help your teenage daughter care about herself and her future?

My 14 year old is flunking 2 classes, doesn't know or seem to care when tests are, and doesn't do her homework if she doesn't understand it. She has friends, is very pretty, has a great personality when she wants to, and has always been a decent student. I have tried everything I can think of and nothing seems to work. I feel at the end of my rope and just when I think things are improving, she comes home with another 54 on a test. I don't know what to do!

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Maxine888

Asked by Maxine888 at 11:37 PM on Nov. 19, 2008 in Teens (13-17)

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Answers (13)
  • just try your best to set a good example (not to say your not!). no teenagers care about grades more than fun. maybe be a little stricter. 54 = no social life for two weeks and make sure you enforce it!
    chagenue

    Answer by chagenue at 11:41 PM on Nov. 19, 2008

  • Yea, like th other poster sd...but also try this (my mom did this, and FIXED THE PROBLEM! lol)
    take away social life, phone, computer, tv, radio, everything. Call the school, talk to ALL her teachers, and guidance couselors. Get the schedule for all her tests and homework assignments. Make her teachers sign a little sheet, that sd she had homework and a test. At night, sit with her to do her homework and study with her for her tests. If she doesn't want to comply, tell her you will be joining her in school, until she decides she can handle school on her own. Uh, my mom didn't have to get to the tutoring. After the teachers signed those papers, and she called up to the school every day to find out the homework, I GOT IT TOGETHER! lol...You have to be hard when it comes to education. Its SO important, and there is no excuse for not doing the work! GL
    YanniSmoMMy

    Answer by YanniSmoMMy at 11:46 PM on Nov. 19, 2008

  • Well it isn't all hopeless. I made 50's and 40's in high school at times. I still have nightmares that I will not pass my math class and graduate or that I have to go back to school. I never did my homework or studied for tests. I wasn't dumb. Far from it. I did have a learning disability that went undiagnosed until I was in college. I did start to do better (of course I moved and was in a new school) my junior and senior year. I also went on to college, a local one at first, and then a major university. I also went to graduate school and will go back again soon to work on my Ph.d. So it isn't hopeless. What I can say for sure is that I was depressed. I would have denied that at the time. I didn't even know it. I had friends, boyfriends, a busy social life...
    frogdawg

    Answer by frogdawg at 11:49 PM on Nov. 19, 2008

  • cont..I was also confused in many of my classes. It looked like I was lazy or not trying. In reality I just didn't understand how everyone else could do well and no matter what I did I couldn't get good grades - so why try. Oh, and I also have ADHD. As far as how to motivate your child - she has to be the one who wants to do well. But ask her for a "wish" list. If her world was perfect (and yes she still had to go to school) what would it look like? Ask her what her work load would look like. What would she be studying? Ask her what is getting in the way of those things. But do not be judgemental. Just listen. And maybe some testing to see if she does have learning difficulties, ADHD, or depression. Make the problem external from her. She is not the problem. The problem is something you will tackle together as a team.
    frogdawg

    Answer by frogdawg at 11:55 PM on Nov. 19, 2008

  • Take away the phone until after all the homework is done. Find out when she has a test upcoming and see that she studies. I would take away the computer usage it is way too distracting, and give her her phone after the work is done so that she learns to have both and manage them. I think taking away the phone all together wont be necessary and may motivate her to get the work done so she can then communicate. Also find out why she is failing the tests. Does she not understand the material or is she just not doing any work. Talk to her about that.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:58 AM on Nov. 20, 2008

  • get her a tutor. i was never very good in some classes at school and i wished that i had a tutor to show me how to do things. the teacher won't be able to show her she is to busy and sometimes a teacher is a turn off for students. she would feel better once she understands and will enjoy doing the work. doing the home work is important but if she does it wrong that won't help much. she is just feeling low about herself.
    melody77

    Answer by melody77 at 12:43 PM on Nov. 20, 2008

  • Make her get a weekend job. Perhaps start charging her for her phone, and anything else she enjoys. That should do it. She needs to have first hand experience on what it is like to struggle with a low-paying job.
    21stCenturyMom

    Answer by 21stCenturyMom at 1:16 PM on Nov. 20, 2008

  • Oh, my above suggestion is only applicable if you are sure she doesn't have some type of learning disability or simply doesn't understand the work.
    21stCenturyMom

    Answer by 21stCenturyMom at 1:17 PM on Nov. 20, 2008

  • my mom did all this stuff to me and it didnt work. it only made me want to rebel even more. she took me downtown and showed me how hobos live and asked me if i wanted to live the same way. i told her no of course n she said if i dont get my act together thats the way my life is going to be. i graduated 2 years early and i am a 16 yr old freshman in college.
    lesliestorrs

    Answer by lesliestorrs at 2:23 PM on Nov. 20, 2008

  • Well, somethin worked with you @lesliestorrs. She needs to instill fear and respect in her child other wise she will rebel. She I was too AFRAID of the cosequences my mother would give out to do any rebeling and after I was messing up in school...OH SHE FIXED IT...graduating is soo important, and shouldn't be taken lightly. You have to do what you go to do to get it together.
    Anonymous

    Answer by Anonymous at 2:36 PM on Nov. 20, 2008

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