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spencer826
spencer826 asks:
Q:

I have a daughter who is a junior in high school. Her grades are not the greatest and her attitude is not either.

I need some help on getting her to care I feel like I am always bailing her out I have contact with her teachers and give my daughter feedback on what they say. I have talked to her school counselor and she says it has to be up to her to want to do good which I believe also but how do you get her to want to do good. I do encourage her when she does well and try not to make her feel bad when she does not I have contacted outside help to get her tested and to try to get her organizational skills worked on. In the meantime how much do I keep after her I feel the more that I do the more she is pulling away. She definitely has potential she is outgoing but this age is hard for girls and friends are always changing.
In Topics: Motivation and achievement at school, Teen issues
> 60 days ago

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Expert

Boys Town National Hotline
Nov 12, 2009
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What the Expert Says:

It sounds like what your daughter is going through is typical behavior for a teenage girl. Dealing with school and social expectations can be stressful. Friends often change and emotions usually dictate their behaviors. Their up and down moods can seem like you are both on a roller coaster ride. This can be a challenging time as a parent. You're doing a great job of encouraging your daughter to do well in school. You're right that she needs to want to do well on her own, but there are things you can do to encourage her. Besides verbal praise, consider starting an incentive program with your daughter. Decide what motivates her, such as going out for ice cream, getting to pick her favorite meal for dinner, having special alone time with you, getting to pick a movie rental, getting extra time on the computer, or being able to buy a few extra songs on itunes. Then tell her that for every day she comes home from school with a positive report, she gets a point. When she earns 5 points she gets to pick from a list of rewards.

You mentioned that you have gotten outside help to help your daughter get organized and to check for any possible learning disabilities. It's an excellent idea to rule out anything that may be out of her control. You're doing the right thing by trying to give her skills and encouragement to empower her to change her behavior. If you find that the only problem is her not being motivated, you may need to set deadlines for her completing her homework and then follow through with consequences when she doesn't adhere to those deadlines. Consequences may include taking away cell phone privileges, limiting time with friends, and not allowing time to watch television. Include your daughter in the process of deciding on rewards and consequences for her behaviors. If she's involved in the decision making, she's more likely to own her behaviors, and want to succeed.

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Additional Answers (3)

J.D.
J.D. writes:
If shes a junior, shes close to finishing high school. I hope she realizes she will br working at McDonalds or Burgerking if she does not finish.I have a daughter who is a sophmore and thank god she is self motivated. No fast food job for her. Talk to your daughter. I'll bet she does not want to end up at such a low end job. The job market is very tough without an education!  GOOD LUCK!
> 60 days ago

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karelg
karelg writes:
I would recommend that try to figure out her attitudes thoroughly; I hope you do understand her but teen years are hard to figure out completely. She has potential and you can help her out. The first step in keeping up to date with your kids is educating yourself on all the possibilities. Once you get the basic info and educate yourself a bit you need to implement that knowledge. See if your kid is falling under a certain category or if he shows symptoms of any troubling issue. When you are educated you are more likely to spot a problem when it’s starting, rather that noticing it too late when it’s already hard to deal with it.
Teens just have different attitudes and each one of them requires a different approach. Yes, there are those teens that will give you the lip, but there are teens that are just set in a certain way, either way they all need some push into the right direction. Well, more like guidance than a push, after all they simply do it because it soothes them in some way.
Best wishes for your daughter..

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csk65
csk65 writes:
I am a firm believer that kids will NOT do as you tell them to do but they WILL do what you do.  In other words; LEAD BY EXAMPLE, and stay positive!  I think all people, especially teens, pick up on what's negative. If you are a hard worker they pick up on that.  If you are a nag and get all over them, they reject that....[Edited by Education.com Community Team]

Don't worry, it's not too late; I believe there are some things you can do to actually improve the situation. The first thing you can do is to forget withholding her ice cream and forget a reward plan; kids see right through that stuff and hate you for trying to manipulate them. Most of the time all those plans are too taxing on you so the plan gets forgotten anyway.  So what do you do? Well, believe it or not kids are motivated by fear. Yes, fear. Not fear for their life, (no mean stuff hear me), but fear of what their future will be, or fear of hard work.  

I some what agree with the guy that suggests taking her to McDonald's and showing her what her life will be, however, I don't actually suggest McDonalds, Fortune 500 magazine calls the McJobs the best way to start a stunning business career; why not learn from the best.  You should, however start her on a path of manual labor, now, while she is young, take away the allowance and tell her no dough till the grades improve, then, if she is 16 years old, set her on the working trail. Tell her no allowance but she can work if she wants to; at 16 there are plenty of terrible jobs out there to break her in right. A little networking on your part and you could get her a great job cleaning grease traps or similar work. I think one of two things will happen; she will learn to love grease, quit school and work full time, or, she will see the value in doing well in school.  

You see, you cannot motivate her, she has to motivate herself, your job is to manipulate circumstances to get the desired result; and by the way, she'll love you for it, you'll see.
> 60 days ago

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