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Daughter has consistently bad grades...

My daughter has consistently bad grades. We have done it all - taken everything away, including putting most of her bedroom in storage, etc. Nothing has helped. I decided to let her go it on her own but am really struggling with it. She is doing her chores at home and is pleasant as long as school/grades are not brought up. It is killing me to watch her not do her homework/studying. I am just looking for others experience/wisdom in this area. I am debating starting the horror again of fighting/taking things away and our home in disarray.

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Anonymous said...

Hi ...Are you following the advice in Mark's eBook on how to deal with poor academic performance? I was in the same boat as you until recently after following his tips.

Anonymous said...

1. Make sure your expectations are realistic. Some kids just aren't MEANT to make A's and B's. Some kids ARE "average". Have a meeting with her school counselor, review previous aptitude tests, and see where she falls on the curve.

2. YOU are not responsible for her grades. SHE is. Stop feeling guilty.

3. At 15, she should not get be getting much help from parents on homework, anyway. She should be well on her way towards taking care of this stuff on her own and taking responsibility for her own work. Parents can help structure time, etc., and make sure that a child has all they need in order to do the work -- but "help with homework" should NOT be an every night occurrance.

3. Make sure she is taking advantage of after-school help sessions with teachers. Our school has an after-school help period where kids can visit teachers and get assistance on homework, upcoming projects, go over things they didn't understand in class, etc. Most teachers would be delighted to help your daughter -- but she has to ask.

4. If she really is struggling with a topic, consider hiring a tutor for her. SInce she has changed schools, she may very well be deficient in some areas. A tutor does two things -- takes YOU out of the loop and removes you as a source of stress, and puts the responsbility for the work back on HER. You want to be her mom, her best cheerleader -- not yet another source of stress.

5. Tantrums are unacceptable about ANYTHING, but girls and hormones . . . *sigh*. Make it clear that you are willing to discuss anything in a calm fashion, but tantrums are cause for loss of privileges (i.e., cell phone, Facebook, etc.)

6. Once you have a reasonable idea of expectations, sit down with her and come up with an agreement: As long as she makes "C"s or better, then she will be able to enjoy reasonable freedoms. Once grades fall below an agreed level (again, make sure they are realistic), then you need to help her structure her time more until she brings them in line. Structuring her time: Setting aside a certain amount of time each evening and WEEKEND to do schoolwork -- no TV or phone, no non-academic internet use.

7. Try and determine if she knows what she wants to do after graduation. Does she WANT to go to college? If so, look up the admissions criteria for the colleges she is interested in -- point out the grades that the middle 50% of admitted students have, and see if they match her efforts. It is NOT too late -- most schools will be understanding of increased effort and improvement, especially with family issues mixed in.

8. Consider enrolling her in a smaller, private school that can give her more individual attention.

Good luck.

Wendy said...

Thank you both for your input. My daughter does not care about school, period. When she has allowed me to help her study or quiz her, she can get A's & B's. She is smart. I am aware she will never be an A/B student and at this point, C's are fine. I am following Mark's advice, but like I said everything is okay at home until I mention homework/grades/studying. I have told her I will no longer monitor it (in the past 2 years, I have known more about her schoolwork than she has.) It is her own responsibility. In some ways I am relieved not to have that stress, but I am having a hard time not giving her consequences for taking care of her school responsibilities, even though she is taking care of her home ones.

Jody said...

It is her responsibility. Your responsibility is to let her know the consequences. If she is smart she will click at some point. Lots of bright people detest school. Consider that Mark Twain said something like....don't let your schooling get in the way of a good education