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How can I encourage my tween to do her best and not halfway finish her chores and schoolwork?

She isn't mentally challenged, but, she is diffrent from the rest of my children. She is more withdrawn and a loner. She just wants to do enough to get by. I have tried rewards, I have tried punishment, and just talking to her, it doesn't seem to seep into her brain.

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Asked by ShalaiShort at 12:37 PM on Apr. 12, 2011 in Tweens (9-12)

Level 2 (9 Credits)
Answers (11)
  • Have you set this in way of example? What I mean by this is, when you do something, even as simple as dishes... show her how great it is and make a big deal about having clean dishes... folding laundry, etc. I was always taught if a job is worth doing, it's worth doing well. I have carried this everywhere in my life, even vacuuming, dusting and sweeping. I take pleasure in knowing that stuff is clean. Help her see that too. Go outside with her and together wash the windows. Let her see what a difference it makes by having clean windows and what a sense of self accomplishment it was. It doesn't matter if it doesn't feel that way to you at the time, but always pretend it does... do it with a smile!!

    Hope that helps.

    Answer by m-avi at 12:42 PM on Apr. 12, 2011

  • I think at this point if she is passing and doing what she needs to then I would not worry. You can't really compare her to your other children because each child is different. My oldest does the minimum to get by. He passes in school with A's and B's and does only what we ask. My middle child is motivated and likes to excel so he gives 110% in everything he does. He is a straight A+ student and helps around the house without even asking.

    They are both smart, just different. As long as she is not getting in trouble or failing I would let it go. She may feel like nothing she does is good enough so why bother trying. I know I had to sit my oldest down and explain it is not the he isn't smart he just doesn't put a 100% effort into the things he does.

    Good Luck!


    Answer by cornflakegirl3 at 12:42 PM on Apr. 12, 2011

  • I have tried all of the above, I try not to compare my children, she has struggled more than the others is what I meant. I have made step bystep guides for her, but, I don't always do it with a smile, aggrivation does that I guess.Thank ya for the advice.

    Comment by ShalaiShort (original poster) at 12:46 PM on Apr. 12, 2011

  • Part of that is being a tween, unfortunately. Are there any programs in your area that you could get her involved in? How about volunteering? Maybe what she needs is a feeling of accomplishment and belonging. You could try the Humane Society... I know when kids are loners like that, they usually enjoy working with animals..... I can be like that myself.

    Answer by m-avi at 12:50 PM on Apr. 12, 2011

  • She is a critter kid. We volunteered for a long time fostering Siberian Husky's. We still help as much as possible, but with summer coming soon, I may check into the local shelter

    Comment by ShalaiShort (original poster) at 12:59 PM on Apr. 12, 2011

  • Does she get a reward for doing her chores or whatever, like an allowance or something? Because if she is doing things halfway then I would give her half the reward. That's kind of how it works in real life, if you don't work as hard as the other guy you don't get the same rewards, or if you only put in half the effort you only reap half the benefits. I guess I might try that approach, along with pointing out as often as possible the merits of a job well done. For example with Siberian Huskies you don't brush out half the coat, you brush it all out. You don't clean out some of the dirty water and bedding from the kennel, you clean it all, right? So why wouldn't you clean the whole bathroom, or pick up all of your clothes off the floor, etc? Then chalk the rest up to being an angst-filled (pre)teen and hope she outgrows it. Good luck, Mama.

    Answer by MaryMW at 1:59 PM on Apr. 12, 2011

  • My DD is the same, she does just enough to get by. I think that some of it is the age and what they get from their peers at school. I hear all the time that so-in -so does not have chores. She seems to have a sense of intitlement for doing the bear minimum. This is something that has not come from our family values. I try to tell her that if you did that at a real you would lose that job. I tell her Dad would get fired ect.

    Answer by juliemomx2 at 4:19 PM on Apr. 12, 2011

  • Have you asked her why she only does enough to get by? I just recently had to do this with my 13 yr old, his response was no one else cares or that's what my friends do. Talk about eye opening, we had two things going on here, one he didn't think any one appreciated his work or abilities and two peer pressure was getting to him. He told me he didn't want to do in school because he didn't want more responsibility (my kid is pulling D's and he told me all his friends get D's).
    So after realizing these two things, I was able to talk about the importance of not only grades, but personal responsbility and achieving goals...and how all those things impact life as you grow up and move out on your own. He brings all his school work home now to review with me, he is getting his chores done when asked and yesterday he bought me a piece of chocolate with his own money as a surprise. He just needed to see how much I really cared.

    Answer by blessedwboysx3 at 5:15 PM on Apr. 12, 2011

  • Also he has now set his goal to improve those D's by the end of the year to C's. He's doing really well now. Unfortunately he was in an IEP at the beginning of the year and didn't have these issues, but tested out about two months ago and we started to see the slip in grades and the lack of follow through. I know part of it is just being a teen, but at the same time my little pep talk has done wonders.

    Good luck

    Answer by blessedwboysx3 at 5:18 PM on Apr. 12, 2011

  • Allowance works in our house, You work you get paid, your lazy you don't. I have 2 boys that drive me nuts with that attitude just enough to get by. I explain to them as they get older if they do not do the work their boss tells them to do, they will be fired. Other kids don't have chores but in our house we do.

    Answer by txnmomof4 at 2:06 AM on Apr. 13, 2011

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