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Failing all subjects?!

Posted by on Feb. 10, 2013 at 12:31 AM
  • 10 Replies
I simply do not now know what to do. My 14 year old freshman girl in hs is failing virtually all subjects. She's went from a K-8 school to a traditional 9-12 grade HS. She's failing most subjects. I hired a tutor and will have our first consultation this coming Tuesday. Any advise besides a tutor? She's distracted by hs drama. I've taken away most privileges due to misbehavior but I don't know what else to do. Any genuine advise?
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by on Feb. 10, 2013 at 12:31 AM
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by on Feb. 10, 2013 at 1:17 AM

I had the same problem with my son 14. I talked with counselor and asked if I could come to school and sit next to him and make sure he is doing what is right in all 6 of his classes. she said OF COURSE...I told my son you have two weeks to change or I'm joining your classes .. guess what he changed. Just an Idea for you. Hope you find relief for your DD soon. 

by on Feb. 10, 2013 at 3:40 AM

LOL I did that 17 years ago....It does work.!!!

by Bronze Member on Feb. 10, 2013 at 10:05 AM

My story is a bit different because my son is dyslexic and had to be motivated in other ways.  Learning is just not fun for him, in fact is is such a struggle at times and is so frustrating.  Football litterally saved him. He has to keep his grades up to play.  She may need some sort of motivation such as sports.  Sports may not be the only thing you can get her into, just a suggestion.

The other thing is make sure you are sticking to the rules you set with firm conciqenses.  Once she figures out your serious and not messing around things may change.

by on Feb. 10, 2013 at 10:30 AM

I recently posted the same thing about my dd. She was failing five of her classes and has never gotten an f before. I contacted all of her teachers by email and talked to my dd about it. Dd has been skypeing and texting instead of studying and doing her homework. She lost all of her electronics and she has to sit in my office or in the kitchen to do her homework. I monitor her work, help her when needed, and review all homework. She brought three F's up within a week. Her teachers are also encouraging her at school. I also threatened to go to school with her. She was mortified. I'm not sure what the hs drama is exactly but if its her social life I would take that out of the picture until she realizes that school is a priority. GOOD LUCK!!

by Kimberly on Feb. 10, 2013 at 12:25 PM

Is she honestly struggling with the subject material, or just not applying herself?    If the problem is the latter,  I suggest monitoring her time.   Supervise her doing her homework and studying.   Keep in close contact with her teachers.  If the teachers do not post assignments and grades online, ask them if they will sign off on her work each week.

Sit down and have a serious talk with your daughter.   School should be her #1 priority.  It is her top responsibility, her job.   If she is not responsible enough to do her job well, then she is not responsible enough to have a social life.    That is her motivation.      As long as Mom has to supervise and monitor her school work and grades, than Mom will have to supervise and monitor every other aspect of her life.  If she wants more freedom.... she proves she can handle it.     In my house, if one acts like a child, they are treated as one.

by on Feb. 10, 2013 at 12:58 PM
Just one of those awesome phases they seem to go through at some point in their lives!! Not the most fun I would say continue to take her belongings away when there is nothing left to do know distractions then tell her she can earn them back by acting normally !! If you act dumb you will be treated dumb is what I tell my kids!!

Hopefully she doesn't have any underline issues such as learning issues or whatever?! But it doesn't sound like it if she was doing so well before...
It just sounds like lazy and stubberness !! Just gotta fight fire with fire.. No outing or friends things of that nature!!
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by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 2:44 AM

You said you got her a tutor, which implies she's struggling, but then you mention she is distracted.  You really do need to evaluate whether she is overwhelmed and can't do it, or whether she has just completely lost focus.

If she is overwhelmed, you have to evaluate whether to move her to a different school, possibly to repeat 8th grade and catch her up, ratchet up the tutoring, and sit down to work with her so you understand where she's at.

If her full effort isn't there, then she has to be internally motivated to succeed for herself.  So just hear me out.  You are really coming up on the time that you will not be able to make her do what you want her to do for you - no matter what you take away.  She may just become angry, uncaring, and rebellious, and then no one will win the battle.

Start by making it clear that anything that she has that you are not obligated to provide is a privilege and has to be earned.  She can earn those things by doing her jobs.  Parents have to work to provide and care for their children.  And children have to work to have privileges. 

You MUST provide a place to sleep (not a beautifully decorated room with plush bedding), a place to study, weather appropriate clothing (not necessarily brand named shoes or clothing; technically it could be from a thrift store), and nutritious food (not Flaming hot Cheetos, Pepsi, or fast food). 

Anything beyond that can be earned.  Each pay off has to be something she values and the pay off immediate.  You don't want to wait until a progress report.  But, for example, you could say that for every day you get a signature from each teacher acknowledging that you completed your work in class, you may have a specific amount of internet access that night.  Password protect your network, and make sure you have to log her on in order for her to get internet. Another example is that you could also say that for every day she has a signature from each teacher that she has turned in all required homework, she may have her cell phone the next day.  For every afternoon that you don't have to fight with her over homework, she gets a certain amount of tv time or outside time.  For every week that she has all the signatures she can have a friend over on the weekend, or go do something with her friends.

You can make a chart like a menu (Homework done daily = 2 hours Internet access that night), and you can post it so it's clear.  You can also make a word or excel doc that she takes to each class and is responsible to get the signatures for each thing required.  No excuses, all or nothing. 

I'm sure you get the picture.  The idea is that you do NOT argue, yell, fight with her. Instead, you let her know the requirements and the priviledge linked to it, and you calmly follow through EVERY single time.  Don't get upset.  Just follow through.  If she tries to fight, ignore it. 

It is a little different than taking things away because if she's already on a roll in a bad direction, she will quickly give up.  If you shift it to positive on a daily, hourly, and/or weekly basis, then if she screws up one day, she has the evening or weekend to wish she had done it differently, but she gets another chance the very next day or week.  Also it feels discouraging to always be in trouble and never do anything right.  That isn't motivating -- even if it's your own fault.  But it feels encouraging to do things right and get praise and a pay off.  She will want more of that, and that is the cycle you want her to grab on to.  Once she gets momentum, things could quickly turn around.  ALWAYS PRAISE HER ACTIONS for everything positive.  Try to ignore the negative and just use the natural consequences.  That's life.  No work = No pay.  And lastly, always tell her you love her whether she is doing well or whether she is struggling and not earning a privilege.  It's the behavior and choices you want to focus on for change - not her as a person. 

Good luck.  It's hard I know.  I raised one that was very challenging.

by Silver Member on Feb. 11, 2013 at 6:56 AM
My SS failed every class his 1st two years of HS. We finally enrolled him at our district's learning center and he did fantastic. He graduated on time and with a 93% average. Traditional high school was just not for him.
by on Feb. 11, 2013 at 7:39 AM

My DD did the same thing.  She was just not mature enough to handle all the drama at the high school.  I pulled her out for the rest of the year & put her in an e-school.  She is not back at the HS & doing great!

by Grumpy on Feb. 11, 2013 at 9:42 AM

Is this sudden?  Are you able to conference with her teachers and figure out WHY she's failing?  Are the classes too difficult or is she not doing the homework and stuff?

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