rosemarie asks:

I have a very bright daughter who is successful in school but does not contribute at home in our family.  What can I do?

I have a very bright daughter, who gets good grades, but can not get along at home, outside of the house is fine, we were told when she was entering high school that she had add, then possibly had asburgers, she acts bi polar, disrupts our family, does not seem to be able to read other people non verbal clues, , had delayed speech, apraxia, great athlete, but clumsy, is not able to wake up on her own, do her chores, take her medicine, it takes a villiage to get her out the door to school, yet she is an honor student, everyone loves her, but she is so mean at home, the other kids resent her, becuase so much attention is focused on her and they say she gets away with everything, she simply refuses to do the dishes, etc and does not care if she gets grounded, she sleeps alot when she is home, messes up every single room she enters, what can I do, I do not think she will make it in college.
In Topics: Special needs, Discipline and behavior challenges
> 60 days ago



Boys Town National Hotline
Feb 27, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

There are many things that you can do to help teach your daughter some relationship and independent living skills. Each child has a different way of learning. As a parent it is up to you to identify the different personalities and different motivations of each child to establish some consistency. This is hard when you have many children to teach to, and it sounds like some are teenagers. Teenagers have the ability to find the unfair in most parenting instructions or decisions. Coach your kids how to do their chores, be respectful to family members, and be a member of the family unit. Have consequences in mind when they choose the undesirable behaviors. Grounding may not be working for your daughter as it seems she likes to sleep. Maybe try having her come up with a schedule for the day. You will be teaching prioritizing, independent living, problem solving (when there is a change of schedule or last minute change in plans, how does this affect the daily schedule?). Make sure that schedule includes the chores that are expected, has the time of day these chores or tasks are completed and time to review the day with a parent.

Meeting with each child to understand their own individual concerns, may help you decide how you want to proceed. Another suggestion would be to have a family meeting and then you all can discuss family concerns. Make sure that this is guided feedback, with your children using "I statements". For example: "I feel irritated during chore time, when you choose to not do your chores". Come up with a plan to help your kids help each other. You can explain to your kids, that there will be others in their life, whether they be co-workers, classmates, or friends that frustrate you. Therefore, teaching your children that you can not make a person change, but you can communicate feelings to that person. Remember, this communication or feedback may not be received well. But the key, is to teach all your kids that they choose their behaviors. They can work toward a plan to help alleviate their own stress or irritation by other peoples behaviors.

Having some professional support can help you, your daughter, and your other children. There are many services to choose from. There are some in-home family services to consider. A consultant would come to your home and observe what is going on. Your kids could visit with them, they would observe what is going on, and offer you support as the parent. The in-home consultant could also help your daughter that is diagnosed with ADD and Aspbergers and could refer you to other local resources to ensure your daugther can be successful if she chooses to go to college or join the workforce.

If you need to talk to someone, you can call the Boys Town National Hotline at 1-800-448-3000. Our focus is helping kids and families and we have counselors available 24/7.

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Additional Answers (1)

bob , Parent writes:
Rose, who told you the diagnosis of ADD and Aspergers?  Was it a formal evaluation?  These are words that are thrown around a little too generously these days and we should all be careful with them and rely on experts to do evaluations and offer diagnoses.

My background as a parent (three teenagers) and an engineer does not qualify me to diagnose anything other than computer problems, but, reading your list, I would definitely guess, had you not said, that your daughter was a teenager.  There are elements of every one one of those items in one or more of my a few others.

There are a lot of places to turn for help.  Almost all schools have counselors who can help you understand what is going on, but they might now reach outside of school affairs.  Many communities have counseling centers (my wife works in one) that offer services as well.  This is just good sense - anytime you have a chance to talk to someone in a professional capacity about the struggles with adolescents and teenagers, you should jump at it!  Six years ago, at my annual physical exam, my doctor was asking me the usual questions about my health, and taking notes.  He asked me how old my children were and when I said that my oldest would become a teenager in a few months, he suddenly looked up from his notes and said, "Oh!  That's going to become your most serious medical problem" and he said it in all seriousness.

There is something about going off to college that changes kids: no more parents to push around.  And, admit it, they do push us around a little bit.  I think that's okay to an extent.  She may quickly find that, being surrounded by peers, she has to change her behavior...and wants to change her behavior.  Just a thought.

But don't skimp on the research and seeking help from people in your community whose job it is to provide help.  This site ( has a lot of helpful articles.  Use the search box at the top of the page and try a few terms.
> 60 days ago

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