How to handle easy child?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Wiped Out, Nov 26, 2008.

  1. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    easy child is such a bright girl. Without much effort she could be an A/B student. Twice at progress report times she had 3.75 and by the end of the quarter ended up once with a 2.8 and once with a 3.0.

    At conferences she was already failing English-something that she is gifted in. I went on the parent portion of the computer system today. She has a 0% in World History. Her As from last quarter are at low Bs.

    It seems every time we compliment her on something or a teacher does she starts to go into a slide.

    I honestly don't know what is the best way to handle this. Do we get tough and take away all t.v.? computers? activities (not that she does much)?

    Or do we just let her fail and deal with the natural consequences? (Doing this will result in her losing a potential scholarship-tuition paid for all 4 years of college but at the rate she's going she is going to lose it anyways).

    I'm really not sure how to handle this. As many of you knows she has been depressed. Don't know how much I should let that factor into my decision. I don't want her using it as an excuse. I see advantages to both ways of handling things.

    When husband asked her about it she said she didn't know why she hadn't been doing the work. That was all she said-she really doesn't talk much and clams up when the conversation gets tough.

    We've (husband and I) agreed to put this aside til Sunday when our company leaves so we'll deal with it more then.

    Any ideas/suggestions?
  2. Jena

    Jena New Member

    It's so difficult I find dealing with teenagers, and so much easier in a sense handling the younger ones, their easier to manipulate LOL.

    Ok seriously though, dont mind me took cough syrup with codeine and flying right now a bit. have you tried taking away the things (material stuff) before? How did that work was there a "uh - oh" type of impression left on her and she went flying into work mode again?

    I find that with my own teenager, there's a fine line between taking away too much and leaving her feeling hopeless and "not caring" and not.

    I did the tough love approach this time, I felt i had to. Instead of taking away the "things" what I did was let her fail, bigtime. She got so bad she got an in house suspension. I tend to oversee what she does, keep up on hw, on talkign and emailing the teachers till finally i got to the point where i said ok this is what you want than go for it "fail away" it is your life. I knwo this was a tough approach to take, yet so far it's working!!

    When you say depression, i remember your posts yet is she medicated at this point or no?? sorry my memory stinks
  3. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I will give you the benefit of my hindsight and let you decide what you think of it.

    When easy child was severely depressed, his academics became second, naturally. The problem became that it stayed that way - for him. Nothing I did at home as far as punishment for grades worked anymore. He failed (of course, this was 5th grade) and they kept passing him along - all the way into high school. So, no matter what I did at home, it didn't matter because he knew the SD would pass him along. (I asked them to hold him back in the 8th grade because he FAILED it and they looked at me like I had grown horns. "Oh, but that's so bad for their self-esteem." Yeah, tell that to the 9th grade English teachers who don't have time, but have to reteach what the kids were supposed to learn in the lower grades just so they could do the work in her class. Anyway.....) He hasn't been depressed for years.

    Now he's in his senior year and is taking a full schedule just to have enough credits to graduate, while the rest of his friends have an easy schedule because they've already gotten most of their credits and required courses.

    Depression svcks. But, if you allow her to wallow in it, she will. She might need some extra assistance - maybe extra time to turn assignments in or something - but I still think she should be responsible. If I had it to do over again, I would do it differently. It becomes a viscious cycle.

    And since I have this experience, I'm to the point with Wynter where she is going to either sink or swim. She's either going to do the work with the online charter school or she's going back to regular school and I'm not fighting her on it anymore. No more excuses.
  4. Jena

    Jena New Member

    Heather I have to agree. I also had to learn, it took me a few years to catch on to what i was doing and allowing her to get away with. My easy child i think has teetered on and off with bouts of depression. WE had tried therapists a few times, etc.

    Yet in the end I said this is your life and you have to be held accountable. I said to her there are days i don't want to, or i dont' feel up to it i even shared fact i too have had bouts of depression yet life doesn't stop and you need to keep up with it, even if baby steps are taken. Some types of steps have to be taken.

    I did something though that i think helped.She'd been talking about wanting to join dance class again, etc. and so i integrated that for her, it's once a week it's not much money a mos. yet it got her going and excited about something. It got her body going as well, her confidence build a bit and she started to get a little better in school.

    Just some more ramblings from me :)
  5. mrscatinthehat

    mrscatinthehat Seussical

    Well a different side of this is my easy child. I have to tread carefully on the grade subject. She just gets to thinking she is stupid (she so is not) and if I push the grade issue it becomes a problem. However the homework issue we do address. If she doesn't do the work she doesn't do the fun stuff. Because she is an athlete she doesn't want to give that up so it is a good thing to remind her of. I too check the parent site semi regularly and then I ask her questions. I am very careful to make sure I don't sound judgemental. This is such a sensitive area for her. You will have to tiptoe with your easy child how you see best to handle it. I know that with my easy child she actually did extremely well this last trimester. 3 As, a B and a C with the C being in college A and P. Her being a junior I was thrilled with that. This was her best grade period ever. I never put a lot of pressure on her about it and she came to it on her own. My only insistance was the homework.

  6. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Beth, you bring up a very good point. easy child thinks/says he's stupid, too. Depression really robs one of any and all self-confidence. Depression is often described as anger turned inwards. It took a few years to rebuild my self-confidence after my last huge episode. It was like starting from scratch. It was so incredibly frustrating because I had spent all my adult life to get to where I had been and then had it ripped away with one episode (albeit, a long one) and had to start over.

    It is a fine line, but if she doesn't give herself an opportunity to have successes, it will become easier to just believe she can't. And the depressed way of thinking very quickly becomes learned behavior making it harder to undo as time goes by.
  7. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    I firmly believe that the system ulimately teaches faillure to some by virtue of the fact that negatives and critism are not helpful for some learners. Punishment, in my view, is risky business at best as the natural consequences cover it, not to mention the social recriminaations.
    In my sons IEP his evidences scores were the basis for his benchmark. I feel that involving the teachers to support the achedemic excellance for students would be their main goal.
    I asked teachers to make the effort to critic drafts, not the turned in paper, so that the completed work could be constructed closer to their exspecatations. Also
    I contact the teachers weekly to determine any assigned work that has not been completed. Completions are the key. Also I did ask that when illegiblity was "the problem" to have the work returned to be redone for legibility.
    Most teachers will say that a student can come in during school lunch and recesses for help. As my son is ADHD these times are when he gets to move around and that is so important for his day that it is a mirical if he sacrifies them.
    THerefor I ask his teachers to specificly invite him. ALso his Special Education teacher so that he has those extra times with teachers where the detail stuff that gets lost while attention wanders, or somehow is not picked up.
    For the learner who is able to learn but has issues with the writing part of work (every graded thing) I persistantly ask if this time befor adulthood aren't the times to support ooour children to complete work that meets the exspectation of the teacher for academic excellance?
    in my family dyslexia is as free flowing as ADHD. IT was an absolute mirical my child had one and not both. For me the complement was as confusing as the alternative. I had letters I wrote in high school that were upsidedown and backward. I could write with my left hand so that you could turn it over and read it in a mirror as easily as the writing that I wrote with my right hand. But when I was complemented by a teacher in fifth grade for my penmenship I could not do it
    to save my life in the same way after,
    In my house having the good grades resulted in privledges. Like computer use and movies.
    It follows the same idea of natural consequences but the highlight supports completions and is not "punishing" for lower achievement levels.
    That way one says "when your grades show that you are completing your work and that you understand what your teacher needs you to do for the top grades, then you earn priviledges."
    Computer time is 100% priviledge. Starting with the priveldge to use a computer to do the homework.
    It seems like it is the same thing but it is not. Instead of harping and nagging as parent one has the pro-active and possitive statement to in act the desired conduct. It is not a carrot, either...and it is not a is the desired result restated. That becomes what we hear our selves saying and what our chidren have ringing in their ears on those awful loops that they will carry until they go mad at middle age.