Teenage Daughter Refuses to do school work and it keeps getting worse.

Heather - posted on 02/26/2015 ( 1 mom has responded )




My 17 year old daughter has been increasingly failing school the past few years. Lately, it has gotten worse. An example would be in her English class, she will sit there and do absolutely nothing, even when the teacher hands out quizzes, most of her answers will just be "I Don't Know" or she won't even do the test/quiz at all. I know most parents must say this about their kids but she's extremely smart, I've seen her do better. Her grades are extremely inconsistent. Some classes she has As in (for example History) and other (like English) F's. I've tried everything. I've taken away her phone, computer, PS3, ect. And it's not like I can ban her from seeing her friends. She doesn't have many and the ones she does have she never hangs out with. All she really does is stay at home, inside and can go without talking to her closest friends for days that can turn into a week. I'm afraid that maybe the social thing is tied to her academics.

I've even spoken to her. She knows she's failing, she knows the consequences but she can't bring herself to actually care what her grades are or what she does in school. I have a feeling she's given up completely or believes there's no point anymore because of how bad she's been doing in school her whole High School career. When we talked she also admitted to saying who her teacher is has a very strong influence in how she'll do in the class. She hates her English teacher, and refuses to do anything for her, while her History teacher she loves and studies for every test, quiz, and assignment.

I don't know what to do anymore. I don't understand why she doesn't care at all or why she's being so apathetic about her future. I feel there's nothing more I can do and I would be completely torn to see her flunk out of high school. Does anyone have any suggestions on how to deal with this?

Edit(since I don't know yet how to reply to an individual without commenting on the whole post itself): [In response to Jodi]She has interest in photography, film, and some psychology, along with history. I'm lucky that she's open to discussing these things with me. During a big talk the other week she said that she feels like she's getting left behind in everything (she can't pass her written test to get a permit, people are checking out colleges and applying) I told her that she has to step up, but I think she's just letting things drag out to see what happens.

And I don't think she has a careers counsellor, but by any chance do you mean guidance counsellor?


Jodi - posted on 02/27/2015




Maybe instead of focusing on her current grades, it is time to start discussing career planning with her. What does she want to do? Or some idea of some things she's like to have a go at? Set her up with a discussion with her careers counsellor. They will be able to help her develop a pathway that may work for her.

Make it clear that "nothing" is not an option. My son is the same age, and he is well aware that he is either studying and at school or he is working. Nothing else is an option.

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