Consequences for D's and F's????

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by luvmyottb, Jan 25, 2008.

  1. luvmyottb

    luvmyottb Guest

    I was just considering the consequences difficult child should endure for bringing home 2 f's and 2 d's on her report card. husband is out of town and I don't have anyone to bounce ideas, so I thought the board would have some interesting solutions.

    I could be looking at putting her back in public school system for services. Her teacher told her if she continues with F's, she will be held back in 4th grade again. I think this is of great interest to her, she says she is not ready for 5th grade.

    Thanks for your suggestions
  2. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    Before we talk consequences, could there be any legitimate reasons (ie learning disabilities, not in proper placement, changing schools with a different curriculum) for her getting these poor grades?
  3. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    I would add to SRL's questions: Is she stable on her current medications? My son recently got very poor grades, but he wasn't stable on his medications. Instead of giving him consequences, we placed him in a partial hospitalization/day treatment program for 6 weeks to stabilize him.
  4. happymomof2

    happymomof2 New Member

    Of course look into other issues first. My easy child daughter receives a weekly report of where her grades are every Tuesday. Tuesday before last was the first after report cards and it wasn't great this last Tuesday almost all of them went down. I put her on restriction - no friends over and she couldn't go outside until Sat. She still has the TV - so far. Will see what next Tuesday brings.

    She is very smart and when she puts forth minimal effort she gets good grades. So it's not like she can't do it.

    Hope things turn around for her!
  5. luvmyottb

    luvmyottb Guest

    Sorry, she is in a new school this year. 1st quarter grades weren't great, but no F's and 1 D. She has no learning disabilities. She just refuses to take the time to do her's just get it done and put it in the backpack.

    She is going to a private school. She gets pulled for extra reading time and recieves tutoring 1 x a week after school. Our family pays for extra tutoring outside the classroom 2 hours on Tuesdays. I am sure she is stretched for the private school, but was at least putting forth better effort in the 1st quarter.

    difficult child is biopolar, ADHD and ODD. We let her do some of her homework on her own this quarter because the fights over homework were so brutal. Therapist advised letting her take charge of her work and then she could deal with the consequences.

    Obviously, it failed miserably and we need to go back to more closely supervised work.
  6. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    Do you consider her stable on her medications?
  7. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    It sounds like she may be failing deliberately, at least to some extent. If she's afraid of going on to 5th grade, sabatoging her work is an easy way to get around it. So, my consequence would be rather simple -- summer school -- and still going to 5th grade. If she'll let you help and check her homework, I'd definitely do that.

    I do know my daughter had a huge fear of 5th grade because it was the start of changing classes in preparation for middle school. The idea of having to deal with different teachers and class mates terrified her. Once she was in the 5th grade and started changing classes, it was somewhat better although getting her to do homework was somewhere on this side of impossible.

    There are advantages to public school in that there are more supports available. Also, depending on the private school, the demands may be too high for some of our kids. While they're capable of doing the work, the intensity and competition can be too much.
  8. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Personally, unless this school is a private special education school, I would consider putting her back in the public school system. Private schools generally are not equipped to deal with children with emotional or mental health issues.

    I take it that the semester is over, or is this a midterm grade? Maybe she can finish out the year, and repeat 4th grade in public school if she's not getting anything out of the current year. Or, maybe she just wants to go back to public school, and is acting out.

    It seems like you have gotten some good advice. It's probably not what you were expecting, I'll bet. But, when my son was not doing well in public school, we tried a private school for a year. It was a mistake and a waste of money. It made a lot of people miserable. If I had known more about how to utilize what the public schools had to offer through IEP's we would have been better off. As it was, private school at that time was just a wasted year.
  9. luvmyottb

    luvmyottb Guest

    Not stable on medications, anger issues at home but not school. Grades are from the 2nd quarter.

    New psychiatric appointment on Feb. 5. Perhaps new medications...

    I am afraid I made a mistake by placing her in private school. It might just be too much for her academically. School is good, they read her tests to her and pull her out for extra tutoring and after school tutoring.


    She has an IEP from Colorado and we now live in NC. The public school system here is just not as good as where we lived in Boulder and so that is why I placed her in private. But perhaps the services are more of what we need right now.
  10. smallworld

    smallworld Moderator

    My kids have no LDs, just mood disorders. We have found that when their medications are stable, they are able to attend to school just fine. My daughter (easy child/difficult child 2), who has been stable on her medications for a year, is in a small private school this year and just thriving. But my son has been unstable for two years and was getting all Ds and Fs in his private school (despite an IQ in the gifted range). So we pulled him out of school and put him in a day treatment program, where his medications were stabilized. He will have a two-week trial back at his private school beginning Monday. If he can't handle it, we are going to pull him out and put him in public school.

    Hope you get everything straightened out for your daughter soon.
  11. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Perhaps it was a mistake to put her in public school. Meh. Live and learn! You can't change what already happened, only move forward.

    You've gotten some great advice here (not surprising). You decide what is best for her and go that route. I hope she gets the help she needs.
  12. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    We had a similar situation with difficult child 1 last quarter. He got a D- and a D in two classes, and the reason was because he never bothered to study for tests and he somehow was confused about a few assignments that ended up getting missed. Some of it we chalked up to being his first year in middle school. But some of it was sheer lack of interest. He would blow through his homework so he could play video games. That's the part that made me most upset. I felt that regardless of whether he was interested, he still had to study and do his best. He lost the use of ALL video games until the mid-term progress report came out and his grades improved, plus he had to show us that he was working on being more diligent about studying. He was an A/B student in elementary school, but I was willing to accept C's, just not anything less. The loss of that priviledge was painful for him, but he accepted it and knuckled down. Thankfully, it looks like nothing below a C this quarter, and the grades seem to have improved across the board.
  13. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    The therapist advised letting your child take charge of her work and then she could deal with the consequences? OK, so the grades are the consequences? and now child is supposed to deal with them?
    {(edited to add-----) I am curious if maybe the therapist meant that the low grades themself would be the consequences?-- altho in my humble opinion, it seems to me, yes, that backfired, or might have backfired, and could have caused your difficult child to not have the opportunity to grasp the material presented at that time}
    If your difficult child does not seem to be stable on current medications, that could contribute to the grades issues. Even if the other behavior seems ok, the grades could still be related to instability. Or attention span.....and if difficult child struggled one semester and began falling behind, it will dominoe and difficult child could be slowly falling further behind, where it might take more to crawl out of a hole....trying to catch up, but haveing missed foundation work that was laid earlier, will make the newer work harder to grasp?

    Also, many bipolar people do have a harder time of it in winter months, and it can get progressively more difficult as winter wears on....
    It would be great if a bipolar child could just automatically know to push themself harder and cope better dureing their more symptomatic times, this is a skill that must be taught to them, they need to be equipped to learn how to accomodate themself and work with their issues. It might seem to a casual observer your child is not applying herself to schoolwork, but the reality may be that instability is the biggest problem.
  14. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Because of the young age of this child, I would not assume she is goofing off, not necessarily. If she has bipolar, she's struggling partly due to the bipolar. Not only that, but I'm starting to be told by psychiatrists AND NeuroPsychs that people with bipolar also suffer other cognitive disabilities, often hidden Learning Disability (LD)'s that are hard to pick up. medications themselves can cause cognitive dulling and over time memory problems. Bipolar is very difficult to live with and I would get an IEP in place and make cirriculum modifications. I am guessing that she really doesn't want to be held back. The social stigma is horrible for kids who are held back and I personally don't think it will help her. Since I had so much trouble myself as a kid, and also had early onset bipolar, I never jump to the conclusion that a child is trying to do poorly. in my opinion most kids who do poorly do it for a real reason--for some purpose they can't get it down. Depression can make doing work almost impossible.
    Although the wrong medications can make a child do poorly in school sometimes stable kids can struggle simply because mood stabilizers cause cognitive dulling. I've had my share of medications (probably twenty or more tried on me in my life) and they do affect your ability to process and learn, depending on the medication. Depakote, Topomax, Tegretal and any of the antipsychotics (Risperdal, Zyprexa, Seroquel etc.) are famous for cognitive dulling, some more than others. Mixing it up with ADHD medications can sometimes make one medication not work or both can contradict each other. Has she ever been to a neuropsychologist? I wouldn't trust the school to check for Learning Disability (LD)'s. Also, have you asked the psychiatrist about possible memory or cognitive problems from the medications or from the bipolar? I would dig deeper before assuming she can do the work. She may be a brilliant kid, but still have a hidden reason for struggling. I think public schools are best for our kids, but that's JMO.
  15. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    OK, here's where my dander gets up. M's therapist used to pull the same line of BS. He doesn't do the work so he deals with the consequences which are bad grades. Excuse me? If he cared about his grades, they'd be good! What kind of consequence is that?
  16. dreamer

    dreamer New Member

    Originally Posted by dreamer
    The therapist advised letting your child take charge of her work and then she could deal with the consequences? OK, so the grades are the consequences? and now child is supposed to deal with them?
    OK, here's where my dander gets up. M's therapist used to pull the same line of BS. He doesn't do the work so he deals with the consequences which are bad grades. Excuse me? If he cared about his grades, they'd be good! What kind of consequence is that?"

    I am not quite sure that just careing about good grades always makes good grades a possibility. Mostly I was thinking that the therapist may have created a situation where difficult child did not get the help needed, and partly from the therapists idea, it helped this child fall further behind. Rather than leaving the child to flounder, maybe a better plan of action would have been to help the child work on homework issues? Or something (I am not sure just what the better plan might have been, but maybe there might have been a better plan......a more helpful plan?)

    I do think for "some" kids, bad grades might be a motivation to work harder, but for some kids, that just is not the answer at all.
  17. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    Amen, dreamer.
    I couldn't agree more. Not all kids who get bad grades don't care. (I cared, but was too frazzled/nervous, depressed, spacey and at times too Learning Disability (LD) to pass so I gave up completely). I'd hate to see any kid give up because he doesn't get the help he needs.
  18. luvmyottb

    luvmyottb Guest

    Thanks guys, your all advice has been stellar as usual. I think it is all part of blowing through the hw cause its a pain to her, giving up, not asking for help, instability of medications, and MDW thanks for the part about medications dulling the memory. I hadn't thought of it, but boy it certainly makes a lot of sense.

    Sooo, based upon what has all been discussed, does she get a punishment for the report card?

    We are going to rethink all strategies for the 2nd semester and I am going to look at a move to public school after husband gets home from fishing trip. We are getting another nueropsych evaluation this spring. Possible medications change by Feb. 5. Am I going to change too much all at once?
  19. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    If this were my child, I'd see if the medications are dulling him first. If they are, punishing him will make him want to NOT take medications. I know my teenage daughter threw out her Depakote. She was in a two year college and, in her words "I can't think. THese medications make me stupid" and she refused to take them or ever medicate herself again. You can send him the wrong message--that if he does poorly because he can't think as sharply as he used to, maybe medications that help him aren't good. I would have him talk to psychiatrist, have psychiatrist ask him if he can think and remember like he used to. Sadly, you pick your poison. If you have bipolar, you give up something to remain stable. Everybody I know in my age bracket who has a mood disorder also has memory/cognitive issues. It's part of long term use of medications. Also, a new study just came out indicating that the brain of a person with bipolar is different and that memory problems are very common due to this (I checked it out, though, it's NOT Alzheimers). If it were me, I'd want some sort of reasonable accomodations for him so that he doesn't give up. I gave up when I tried and tried and couldn't concentrate and couldn't sit still to read or do my homework. I had racing thoughts and would get lost in daydreams even while I tried so hard to focus on what the teachers were saying. I'd realize I'd lost half of what she said before she/he started on another topic. I did really well when my mom hired a tutor. One on one, if I'd had an aide at school (which they didn't have at the time) I would have been a good student. I needed somebody to keep me from drifting thoughts, which are part of most people with mood disorders, especially bipolar. Since I've lived with it, all I can say is for me it was very frustrating. It killed my self-esteem to get such bad grades, but I finally decided it was better to be "Pam who is smart but doesn't try" other than "Pam who tries hard, but is just a dummy." In the eyes of my peers, Pam the rebel was cool. Pam the dummy would have been social suicide. This is a serious issue for all parents of kids on medication who has serious psychiatric problems. But, trust me, it's harder on the kids, who already feel "different." I would go easy until I found answers. This child is not your "typical" child. I was able to get decent grades until seventh grade, then it all fell apart--too much multi-tasking. If your child has ADHD too I'm guessing that perhaps he DOES have underlying Learning Disability (LD)'s, on top of the bipolar, making it hard for him to remember or multi-task. If not, it could just be the medications alone--they are powerful stuff. I've taken them for thirty years now and couldn't survive without them, but it's foolish to believe that there are no side effects. It's better to take the medications than not to, but they still take a toll. In my case, I always had a serious NonVerbal Learning Disorder (NVLD) too and that didn't help. You may want to do the neuropsychologist thang to see if anything was missed and I wouldn't feel bad about getting your child modifications so that he feels encouraged and doesn't give up. I barely graduated high school and it was such a sore spot for me that I refused to go to my graduation, thinking I didn't deserve to walk across the stage. And nothing my parents said could force me to take that walk. ANyways, just my usual
  20. daralex

    daralex Clinging onto my sanity

    I am in SC and I know all too well what you're saying about the schools - However, I really think the public schools may be the way to go for you. (We finally got so fed up I started homeschooling her this year - yes, I must have been insane!) Public schools are harder in the sense that most times you have to cream on a daily basis to get them to do what they should be doing - but they still have to do it.
    Sorry for more questions but I'm curious - is she failing because she's not understanding the work or not doing the work? My difficult child has a lot of issue and laziness is right up there at the top! She also just wanted to "get it over with" as soon as possible. To my amazement she was failing beacuse she never turned homework in but scored A's on her tests. I would say if she's failing because she is having a hard time with the work, it may be over her head. I have found private schools to be much more demanding than public. If that's the case I'd pull her out and set up a meeting with the public school.