calindgirl asks:

My 15 year old is not consistant in her performance at school.

I am concerned about my daughter who is 15. She is in 10Th grade. Her grades go up and down, but they are never at A+, only at B's and Cs. She doesn't like to be tutored by either parents or anyone. She insists on working on her own, and is not able to do well towards her potential. Sometimes she has good homework grades and most tests she doesn't do well. She seems to understand her mistakes, but is un-able to rectify in consequent tests. She has good ability to comprehend when someone is working with her. But, she insists on slogging out on her own, and hides poor grades
and performances.

We would like to help her to get good grades, develop good work ethic and realize her potential. What can we do? Please advice.
In Topics: School and Academics, Tests (preparing, taking, anxiety!), Teen issues
> 60 days ago



Mar 26, 2010
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What the Expert Says:

My suggestion is that you call the school and ask to set up a meeting with your daughter's teachers. At that time bring up your concerns and cull from the experience and expertise of these teachers to see if there is any consensus or common denominators that can be identified to explain what is going on academically.  With the staff's collaboration, you can also consider whether your child is a candidate for special education, and if so, find out what the process is in your school district for accessing Special Services resources. Be sure to include your school's guidance counselor in the meeting, if possible. The guidance counselors can add a dimension to the assessment, by considering psychological and emotional factors.

The other piece to the puzzle may be something emotional going on with your child that is affecting her academic performance. The fact that your daughter is hiding poor grades makes me wonder about self-esteem issues.

Think about whether there is a stress in your home situation that could be troubling her and causing inconsistency and distraction.  Or is this a social-peer issue that is bothering her? Either of these might be an issue that she needs some help with.  Ultimately, depending on what you think is happening, you may decide to seek outside professional help.  You can find counseling resources through your doctor or through the school.

Good luck, and don't give up.  It sounds like your daughter wants to go it alone, but you do not have to. Round up your supports and see if by putting heads together you can get some strategies for helping your child to succeed in school.

Bette J. Freedson, LICSW, LCSW, CGP
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