Why is my 10 year old not caring about school this year?

Christina - posted on 10/21/2011 ( 4 moms have responded )

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My daughter just turned 10 in August, and started 5th grade in September. Last year, in fourth grade, she had excellent grades, her report card improved each term, etc.

She is now failing almost every subject, she won't let me help her with homework, says she is fine. But the tests come home and they are not passing grades at all.

She has a project due next week and it took me 4 weeks just to get her to actually read the book. And when she does her projects she doesn't care about the neatness, the spelling, the creativity, etc. That is until she sees how amazing the other students work is. Then she becomes upset and talks about what she could have done to make it outstanding.

She is capable and she is very smart. I think puberty is in session and all she wants to do is socialize during and after school. I have told her more than enough times that she can hang with friends and talk with them on the phone after school and arrange playdates and such as long as homework and projects are being done.

She just now admitted that math is hard, and we are spending more time with that by playing fun math games on the computer so it doesnt seem like its work.

I can tell just by the way she has been acting that she doesn't care. She needs help and admits it, but she rather give up and not care instead of asking her father and I to help. We have always made sure she knew we are always available to help.

I need some advice on getting her to start caring again. She is very smart, artistic and creative. But she has been refusing to show it.

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Kristyn - posted on 10/22/2011

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Have you tried talking with the teacher? Maybe something is going on that is discouraging her. Personally, maybe its mean, but I would tell her until her grades are up then no more phone, socialization. My parents did this to me as a child and my attitude and effort changed. If I got below a C I would have things removed. I quickly learned that I needed to do my work or I was going to have a very boring life. Good luck mama!

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Cat - posted on 09/18/2012

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Hi there! It seems like this problem is really affecting you and your daughter. I have some unconventional thoughts on this problem; I really do hope they will be helpful. From what you wrote, it seems to me that your daughter once took pride in the work she did at school and received great grades as a result. Since she once enjoyed school and hasn’t always had a dislike for it, I would assume her problem lies deeper within. Sometimes when children excel at something and then abruptly loose interest, it can mean that the expectations they have set for themselves have become too high for them to reach and they abruptly give up because they cannot see any other result than perfectionism. I suspect that it might be the more difficult (and I’m sure more abundant) material they are providing her with (especially in math) that is causing her to struggle more than she is used too. It is possible that the drive to succeed and excel in school is the reason for her disinterest and apparent failure.

I would work to turn around her self-worth as well as find specific techniques that deal with self-worth and perfectionism. The boy I nanny for has issues with this. He was to the point where he wouldn’t even put on his shoes for fear he wouldn’t do it perfectly; needless to say I was exhausted! But then I read “The Whole-Brain Child” by: Daniel J. Siegel, M.D. and I gained an amazing perspective not only on why this child had simply given up but also why he was displaying these types of behaviors and how I could help him to fix it and grow as an individual from his struggles. The specific section entitled “The United States of Me” is what gave me the most insight. I wish you much luck in dealing with this I hope my information will be of use to you!

Janett - posted on 09/17/2012

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Hi! I was just researching something similar about my 10 year old daughter who doesn't seem to care about a lot of things.

I don't think taking away her phone is mean, it's the right thing to do to get her grades up and motivated. This article may not have the exact subject line for this but it does give great tips and it will help a little.

http://www.empoweringparents.com/Motivat...

xo

Christina - posted on 10/22/2011

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Thank you Kristyn. I was punished the same way, but I read about doing this now-a-days and it's been stated that it makes it worse. I'm kind of with you on this. It worked for me. I will try everything I can. Thank you for the advice.

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