Intelligent teenage daughter won't do her homework and lies.

Linda - posted on 05/16/2011 ( 30 moms have responded )

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I'm about ready to run away from home! My extremely smart 14-yr old daughter doesn't do her homework and keeps making excuses or out and out lying about it. She'll say she didn't know about it, or she turned it in and doesn't know why it got a zero, that maybe her name wasn't on it. Or she'll say she submitted it online and her teacher said he didn't get it...on and on. She has finally admitted that she's been lying and will do better. But yesterday it took her 8 hours to do one assignment that should have taken less than an hour...only reason she got it done is because my husband and I kept checking on her periodically. It's exhausting. She is failing two classes and flirts with academic probation every quarter. She is in private Christian school, which she loves, but won't do the work. We don't want her to go to our local public school because it has been inundated with gangs and they cater to the lowest common denominator. I don't know how to motivate her...we've tried talking, taking away her phone, i-pod, computer, grounding her, nothing seems to phase her.

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JuLeah - posted on 05/16/2011

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Let her consquences be hers. If she sticks her hand in the flame and you take the burn, what will she learn?



Were she mine, I'd remove all but what is needed in life. So, no phone, no lap top, no cable .... clothes for one week and no more. No ipod, no wii .... and then I'd let her be.



If she doesn't do her hw, let her deal with the consequences. Don't argue with her. Don't ask her questions, it just gives her a chance to lie. Don't get into the details of anything with her. She gets her hw done, or she doesn't. She turns it in, or she doesn't. Don't spend time on the whys or the excuses, it just teaches her to come up with more excuses.



Let her earn her stuff back .... she pulls an 'A' in math, her ipod is returned. She pulls an 'A' in science, her phone is returned, but the second that grade drops to a 'B' the phone is gone again. She pulls her grade in another class up to an 'A' and some of her clothes are returned. No nagging, no arguments, no debates, no discussions - it just is, cause you are the parents and you have that power.

Diana - posted on 05/17/2011

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At the risk of sounding alarmist I encourage you to watch her for signs of depression. It was at about 14 years old that my daughter started acting the same way. She is now nearly 17 and we have been struggling with severe depression and anxiety for the last 16 months. She had it before but was undiagnosed. The straw that broke the camels back before her last hospitalization was that she once again stopped doing homework and was failing classes she had previously been passing with flying colors. As part of her recovery and therapy she said she felt it better to fail by not trying then to fail because she was stupid and not good enough. Her lack of self-esteem really feed her depression so please just keep your eyes open and remember that teen depression looks nothing like adult depression. nami.org is a good resource should you want to learn more.

JuLeah - posted on 05/18/2011

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You won't, odds are, find the assessment/support in her school that you might need. But, really, even if she carries a label, it doesn't change anything. Kids behave like this, get a label slapped on them, and then have a new excuse for not doing their work. Kids with ADD ADHD and all other lables, find a way to work (not harder) but smarter and get their work done. Her telling lies and making excuses is what needs to be addressed. That behavior won't take her far in life.

Christy - posted on 05/17/2011

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What is your daughter's passion? What does she spend all her time doing? If the usual restrictions are not working, figure out what restrictions will. My daughter reads everything she can get her hands on. She doesn't stop reading. At one point in time I had to restrict her from reading. It was a difficult decision to make, but I warned her and she didn't believe me. The next day while she was in school, I packed up ALL her books. The only things she had left to read were her textbooks and her Bible. She cried. Then she realized I was serious and began to earn them back again.

As for the lying, if that persists, she may need to see a counselor or psychologist to help her overcome it. It will be a problem her whole life.

Oh, an idea that worked for a friend of mine. Mom sent son to school as usual. Then after school started, mom put hair in curlers, put on pj's and a bathrobe, and showed up at the school to spend the WHOLE day with son since he was having so much troubles in his classes. For that son, problem was solved immediately. He was so embarrassed, he kept his grades up so mom wouldn't feel the need to do it again!

Christy
mother of 4!

Karen - posted on 05/17/2011

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is this a new behavior? has something happened at school or socially that is bothering her? Rule out the obvious causes(ADD, vision, depression) with a professional, set up daily communication via email with teachers(they list assignments, you check them off with your daughter) Some schools have homework club because kids are more productive at school.
If there are no other issues, follow the tried and true boundary parenting techniques--clear consequences, carried out without yelling or name calling, celebrate successes. We eliminated all weekend activities if there was an absence or homework issues. Loss of cell phone ( you can deactivate and reactivate online any time you like if you are on a family plan--and definitely every night after 9 or so.) We passworded all electronics tv's computers, etc to eliminate distractions. We gave cash rewards for good grades(or dinners at favorite restaurants or movies). But nothing works if you don't get to her heart and find out what is really going on.....good luck!

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Curtis - posted on 08/22/2012

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Is your daughter on Facebook or other social media? Does she have her own full featured cell phone? I saw that my daughter was spending most of her time on facebook and dealing with texts. The cell phone is now issued when she needs it and texting is OFF. Am now trying to figure out a decent limit to Internet access - using the router as a timer for her computer. Currently am thinking about having her computer's Internet access shut off at 6:30 PM so that she can do her homework without facebook, pandora, twitter, youtube... and on.

Jenni - posted on 06/03/2011

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yes, have her checked for ADD/ADHD, her symtoms,actions are just like my son's. Private schools are less likely to suggest this than public schools are. you don't have to be hyper to have ADD, my son has the highest placement scores in his 7th advance reading class, but struggles with getting things completed and handed in. aces all the tests...ask your pediatrician for an evaluation, it will also include insight/questionaires to you and her teachers

Karen Richards - posted on 05/18/2011

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I've talked to some students and they really do not care if their electronics are taken away. Maybe she has something else that she prizes more. My 14 year old likes to go to a friends house or socialize and when that is taken away, she gets in action. Also a routine may help. Try sitting down with her while she does her homework. Just suggestions. Pray !!!

Cherie - posted on 05/18/2011

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The other problem that may be stirring this all on is your daughter is 14. That is an age that is difficult for parents (and I guess kids too). 14 year olds have hormones, boys, friends upper grades in school and all kinds of distractions that put school on the back burner. The good news is that age 14 only lasts a year (then gasp! comes 15). Just stay strong on what you expect of her and know that as she slams her door and says that she hates you, it's the result of her being 14 and she and you will get over that hump. Stick to your guns and make her step up to her full potential.

Linda - posted on 05/18/2011

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In response to Amy, yes I am crazy busy...I have a side business besides my job and my father, who had a stroke last June, is declining rapidly (on Hospice now) so I visit him and my mom as often as I can....they live 3 hrs away. I try to give my daughter as much time as I can....she asked me the other night if I wanted to dance Michael Jackson on the Wii and I did, of course...we had a lot of fun. We have mall and movie dates once in awhile. She plays softball and I go to ALL the games and am one of the voices in the stands that supports all the girls. I'm happy to give her more one on one time...

Linda - posted on 05/18/2011

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Everyone has had such great suggestions...thank you! We've ruled out ADD or ADHD or anything along those lines. She has a lot of friends at school and is very popular. She isn't afraid to state her opinion and typically sticks up for the underdog. I sometimes think she feels a lot of pressure because we (I, especially) expect a lot from her and she's trying to bring the bar down. I used to tell the story of how when she was 2yrs old she announced that a stop sign is an octagon...genius right!? (jk) I've told her I don't expect straight A's but that she do her best. Her response was that doing her best IS straight A's! Aaaak! So bottom line I DO expect that because I know she can.

Last night was Academic Awards night at her school. My daughter is in choir and they performed, but there was no way she was getting any academic awards, so I didn't go, but my husband did. FYI...this is a first for me, because I typically go to everything. I knew all the music kids were getting "awards" but they were really just certificates...they ALL got them. Many of her friends got awards, and one made a speech. My husband said she was very quiet on the way home. She was a bit distant this morning but I didn't react except for the usual hug, "I love you" and "Have a great day". I'm hoping that by seeing her friends doing well and me not attending because there was no reason to, that it will start to click with her to cowgirl up or be left behind. If I had said anything she would have dug her heels in deeper....so I put a smile on my face, gave her a hug and invited her to go to a Zumba class with me tonight...(if her homework is done, of course).

Jackie - posted on 05/18/2011

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I haven't read all of the responses but if I didn;t have hours of homework to do everyday after 9 hours of school, I would have done GREAT in school.

Homework seems to be an overkill sometimes and maybe she's just plain worn out by the time she's out of school

Cherie - posted on 05/18/2011

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You say that she is intelligent. Have her tested and see where she is academically. My son is a highly intelligent person. He could get straight A's on any test he took. The problem was he was bored with the classes. They didn't challenge him. He was also outright arrogant and believed that if he could pass the test he shouldn't be expected to do the homework. He just barely passed high school.
You need to find out where she is academically working with the school. If she needs challenging then find teachers who will do just that. Then she needs to learn study skills. If she is allowed to remain lazy or possibly arrogant this will become a pattern in her life. A pattern that will not serve her well.
Good luck and the grounding thing is a good start. If she has to earn back those items she may gain a respect for her education and herself.

Amy - posted on 05/18/2011

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Is this a way for her to get mom's attention? Sounds like you are super-busy. Totally understandable and not a criticism! But maybe some positive girl-only time where you can discuss it honestly? If she understands that this is making your relationship harder, takes additional time to resolve and actually takes away from the time you can spend with her when you aren't working...? Perhaps follow it up with a comment that if she does better, then you will do better about spending girl-only time with her. Make it a commitment you can keep. (I remember working 2 jobs--it's rough! And yes, it's great that dad can be there. But sometimes that's not enough for a teen girl who has a mom.)

Jane - posted on 05/17/2011

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I would suggest having her evaluated, to see if she has any conditions that may make studying difficult for her, such as ADD, dyslexia, nearsightedness, etc. I also suggest that you strip her room down to the basics and allow her to earn back her stuff bit by bit as she does her work (and lets you check it). I further suggest that you develop a good email relationship with her teachers so you know what homework she has before she gets home, and so you can tell the teachers what she completed and so should be turning in.

Both my son and my niece have this same problem. My son is ADHD, ODD and Bipolar, with an emotional development equivalent to a 9 yo. My niece has not been tested because her parents are divorced and her mom won't agree. Also, the girl lives with her mom because her mom lets her do just about anything she wants, including drinking alcohol and smoking at the age of 14. In the end, my father bribed them both to graduate by offering a nice sum of money if they do actually graduate. My niece still lies and manipulates, but she has set some academic goals for herself, so it's a step in the right direction.

Rian - posted on 05/17/2011

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Don't know if this would work , but I had a friend who took there kid to the gas station and parked and watched for like an hour. When the kid asked what they were doing she said "I want you to see what you'll be doing after you graduate high school if you don't get good grades". It worked for them!

Carole - posted on 05/17/2011

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This sounds exactly like my daughter at 14. We finally had her tested and she has ADHD. Intelligence has nothing whatsoever to do with this - it's the busy work that drives them crazy especially if it is boring and repetitive. Its extremely hard to focus. Because we also had her in a private Christian school it took years of struggles before a dear friend of mine gave us a book on Girls with ADHD for us to have her professionally diagnosed. We kept thinking it was a bad attitude when in reality it's a disability.

Expat - posted on 05/17/2011

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I don't believe you should let a kid this young fail. We know they're not thinking like an adult and the future (ie. college) is too far away to worry about GPAs.
If you're in a smaller school, the teachers should have time to communiacate with you and her on a regular basis. Let me tell you, when the student knows you're in touch with the school, they soon learn they can't get away with too much.
I would also dangle carrots - tell her this is a two way relationship. She does her school work then she gets privileges like a phone etc. I have had this conversation several times and it's quite effective, but only if you follow through.

Diane - posted on 05/17/2011

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She could actually have a physical problem that might be causing the problem. Even though she is smart, she could have eye problems. We just found out my grandson gets headaches doing close activities such as reading, writing,etc. If it hurts, you find reasons not to do your work.She could have ADD.It is our job to help them. There are several things that could cause this kind of behavior. I had comprehensive problems. My son was OCD and had to be on meds. during his school years. There are lots of things it could be. Most of the time, us, as parents jump to the first conclusion, "LAZINESS".Get her tested. Never assume it is just defiance. You need to get to the root of the problem. You can have her tested by a school psychologist, not psychiatrist. If you don't think it is any of this, sit her at the table and observe her. Time her and give her some weekly reward or something. Have the teachers email you all homework assignments. That way you can double check that it is done. Don't wait though. Just remember whatever might be the problem, it follows them into their adulthood and can really affect it. Good luck and God Bless.

Lupita - posted on 05/17/2011

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Hey,never give up on your kids.I can just tell you,pray every day,bean example ,put some limits and you have to be the one that has to respect those limits in her life.No matter what.From a mother of 3 men now and a teen of 13 years old.I am a widow.

Kirstine - posted on 05/17/2011

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how about rewarding her for doing it? I have a 13 year old just the same and we had a house meeting about this very subject not two months ago she is not alloud to do home work up stairs, first of all and no changing out school clothes untill work is done. If she gets good grades she can have a download i tunes voucher of £20 so far three albums have been brought and no more arguments. Hope this helps

Sneaky - posted on 05/17/2011

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At 14 she is old enough (and smart enough) to own the consequences of her actions. This is the way the world works and if she chooses to not do her homework, then you will just have to bite the bullet and let her get probation at school or even expelled - you say she loves her school, make her prove that she is willing to work her butt off to stay there . . . kind of like how she is going to have to work her butt off to get everything else she wants in life!

This is, of course, as long as it doesn't turn out that she has dyslexia or some other learning disability - that is a whole different issue.

Melissa - posted on 05/17/2011

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Is there any chance that shes having a hard time with these subjects ? maybe shes having problems at school with friends or boys or something? if shes being doing well upto this point there is likely something behind it not just that shes choosen not to do it

Cristina - posted on 05/16/2011

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I found out I have ADHD just last year (I'm 27) I barely scraped by in high school despite my high IQ (I'm in MENSA). One of the only reasons that I did make it out was that my parents got a notebook and everyday I had to get everyone of my teachers to write my homework in it and sign it so that my parents could look at it and check off each thing as I did it.
The embarrassment alone was enough to get me to start actually taking charge of my own school work.
[btw... I graduated, spent five years in the Navy and am now attending a top ten university as a junior. So it may have worked :)]
Good luck...

Kate CP - posted on 05/16/2011

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So did I, Linda. I did fabulously in school...except for the homework part.

Linda - posted on 05/16/2011

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Thanks LM... yeah, I think she knows what she can get away with...I work (more than) full time and even though my husband was laid off 2 1/2 yrs ago, he's older and a softy. So I'll dole out the punishment and expect him to follow through...but he doesn't (yes...another issue). I can't be everywhere and I'm frustrated. I have kept in contact with her teachers and look at her homework assignments online every day. Maybe I need to talk to her teachers daily, instead of when an issue arises, which has been my MO.

Maybe our punishments haven't been harsh enough! Making her earn her stuff back sounds like a good tactic...(tks JW & AK) We have been too easy, it seems.

Amy - posted on 05/16/2011

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she wants to fail, that's on her. No reason for you to have to keep on her. it's not your homework. How will she learn if she doesn't put in the work?

how long do you take stuff away for? I'd do it until grades hop up. Nothing in the room but dresser and bed and zero computer time unless it's monitored and for school work. If it takes her 8 hours it does. She'll figure out a way to get it done faster if she wants some of her rights/stuff back.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 05/16/2011

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When you said "my extremely smart 14year old" I knew it had not to do with her school work grades..

Linda - posted on 05/16/2011

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Thank you for your reply, Kate. I will have her checked, though I don't believe that is the problem. She does well on tests, answers (and asks) questions in class, particiaptes in class, and scores in the 90% range in every subject on the SAT's. Zeroes on her homework assignments are what bring her grades down.

♏*PHOENIX*♏ - posted on 05/16/2011

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She sounds like me at 14! Wow
My father (who raised my two sisters and me) was never the parent who checked our backpacks, or kept in touch with the teacher when we were as young as 1st graders.
As we got older like 3rd, 4th, and 5th grades he would always ask if we had homework but was never (HARD core on us about) so by the time jr high and high school rolled around we already knew we could get away with…WHAT your daughter is doing, yeah it didn’t last long and eventually he knew that we were lying or not telling all of the truth of our school work.
But we still did it, he was predictable in his punishment meathod and half the time didn’t stick with it..

But my point is this…she has been doing that because she knows she can (I don’t know what kind of parent you are or were to her) but im sure that if you were on her as a child about school work and she knows your going to be keeping in close contact with her teacher she wont be pulling all this..

Taking away her favorite things to do is good, but What I suggest you try is keeping close contact with all her teachers, literately calling daily or every other day or weekly and letting her know that you will be doing that and be consistent with it.

My 8year old pulled the “Oh I forgot my homework at school” one time and we went back to his school and picked it up. He didn’t do it again, because he knows either way he will have to do his homework and I make it known to him that I can check up on him at any time while he is at school, he also knows that I speak/e-mail his teacher on the regular….and it has nothing to do with his behavior in school because he is a good kid, its so I know what’s going on…and because my father NEVER did it, and I don’t want him to get to jr high/high school and think he can slip on over me

Kate CP - posted on 05/16/2011

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Well, I did the same thing when I was a kid. You know why? I was dyslexic and had a hard time focusing on studying. I would have rather sat there staring off into space than attempt to do homework. Get her some help, don't just punish her and assume she's doing it for no reason. She's probably got some sort of learning disability like I did and just doesn't know how to tell you.

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