Nothing we try

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by Wiped Out, Jan 28, 2010.

  1. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    seems to get through to easy child. Probably I should change her status to difficult child but guess I'm trying to hold on to a thread of hope that she'll turn things around.

    Last night after a very long day (left the house at 7:00 in the morning and got home at 8:30 last night) I decided to check easy child and difficult child's grades on line. difficult child did great. All his grades are modified because of his needs but he had mostly Bs with an A in math and a D in science (science they don't modify the curriculum).

    easy child, on the other hand, had 3 Fs, an Incomplete, a D and a C (or something close to that-the 3 Fs and Incomplete are for sure correct). She just doesn't seem to care. husband and I called her down stairs to talk. She listened with no real eye contact (kind of like, o.k. say what you have to say and let me go upstairs).

    We have told her things are really up to her at this point. We told her she turns 18 in July 11 and is supposed to graduate next year. She seems to think that will be no problem and doesn't seem to think she'll need summer school. We told her there is no way she could do it during the school year next year which she seems to think is possible. husband asked how she could handle that when she can't handle even a full schedule now. She says she isn't going to summer school.

    I'm really worried at this point that she isn't going to graduate next year on time. husband told her we are not getting her senior pictures, class ring, nothing until we know she is graduating.

    Even though she doesn't think so; I'm sure she will be in summer school so there goes her $1000.00 internship for the summer. There goes any remaining chance at her scholarship program (if it wasn't gone already).

    She has such dreams for herself (and I call them dreams not goals because she isn't willing to do anything to obtain them). The frustration is in knowing the type of potential she has (not just our point of view-have heard from many others). I told her last night that I think she doesn't believe in herself and her potential even though she says otherwise.

    I am about to give up because I don't know what to do anymore-I've been fairly detached and then this happens and bam:whiteflag: Anyone with any suggestions (a couple of weeks ago her therapist brought up the idea of our alternative high school-she says no way).

    Sorry I haven't responded to a lot of posts lately-it's been some really long days and I am reading but literally haven't been able to respond. I am, however, keeping everyone in my prayers.
  2. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hey Sharon! Sorry about the long days...these things always seem to go haywire when we're the most stressed.

    What are the odds of you buzzing her around to any local colleges to show her what's out there? It isn't uncommon for kids in their junior and senior year to lose the momentum and start slacking off. You might also want to look into "light therapy". Since she suffers from depression, she may have that depression that's linked to the winter (for the life of me I can't remember what it's called!).

    If it continues, you might want to look into her medication levels, she might need a tweek.

    Feel better, you deserve better and my heart goes out to you on this one.

  3. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Sounds as if she got a case of senioritis a year early. I've seen alot of teens go thru this.....and manage to pull out of it just in the nick of time. Unfortunately they all regretted it later of course.

    My easy child didn't let it go quite as far as yours, but even she came down with the condition. I threatened to force her to quit her job and that was enough to snap her out of it. She loved working and she loved the spending money. lol

    Could there be anything going on at school, maybe with other students or a teacher? Would easy child tell you if there was?

    My easy child was just sick and tired of the daily grind of it all. Then what does she do after graduation?? Well, she's 25 and still a full time student. lol Of course college is nothing like hs anyway.

    I'd let natural consequences do their thing. You guys have talked to her. She knows, even if she's choosing not to believe it right now, what will happen if she doesn't pull it together soon. I know it's hard to watch her shoot herself in the foot.....but there isn't alot you can do to stop her at this point.

  4. nvts

    nvts Active Member

    Hey Sharon, have you considered a "hooky day" with her? She might need a little "mom & me" time (although her age will flatly deny it!). Head out to the mall to knock around, a cheap lunch and back to the grind. Sometimes simply wandering around with no specific agenda loosens tongues - she might open up without any prompting from you - or she might not, but will enjoy the commeraderie of the trip.

  5. ML

    ML Guest

    I'm rooting for her to pull it together, shake off the senioritis and buckle down. I like the idea of a mommy and me day but maybe not on a school day :) Prayers and love, ML
  6. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    Sharon, she has consistently been passive aggressively dealing with you and husband. It seems you are trying to put her in the mold of a typical teen and you know she isn't. You are offering her so many wonderful things but she isn't buying it. She suffers from horrid depression and I'm sure some scars of being a sibling of difficult child. The internship, scholarship are all things you and husband want for her. Obviously, she doesn't want them. She may never go to college. You can't work harder on her life that she is.
    She wants to screw up her life to show everyone how miserable she really is. I guess she wins. Who really suffers. You and husband can work, play and live a life regardless of her choices. You will be sad and you will carry some guilt forever but all parents do about something, but you will move on,hopefully.
    I would probably step back and let her have very simple rules. Pass classes, help at home. If she doesn't do that what are her consequences? School is obvious- she won't graduate with her group. Natural consequences it would seem. You are going to have to let her fail. I have never found forcing a teen to do anything ever works or achieve the goal intended. They have to be vested in it in some way.
    The fact that she is 18 soon allows you to offer her total emancipation if she is not productive. She is welcome to move out if her life is so hard that you would expect her to try to do well in school and be somewhat pleasant and productive at home.

    Part of me thinks she has other diagnosis' going on but they are not as obvious. I don't think she will thrive in a boarding school or alternative school because severe depression sucks the life out of everything.

    I did offer difficult child to drop out of school if he thought it was so difficult to attend. He was horrified that I would even suggest it. I was willing to go with it too. I figure he could finish when he was ready to attend. Not everyone goes the traditional route. Some are even successful finding an
    alternative to what their lives are at present.

    I don't think of parenting as us against them and I don't think you do either. I would use cooperative input. Involve her in identifying the problem(failing class) Talk about the goal and how to get to it. If she doesn't care if she fails, ask her what she thinks will happen. Step by step so she can connect the dots. So many of our kids can not project forward to the outcome their behavior creates.

    My thoughts are different medications, cooperative problem solving, natural consequences. If she chooses to drop out she must have a back up plan of what she will do. No one gets through life who doesn't work or go to school. Let her work it through with you like a life lesson plan.
    Forcing the issues just never seems to work.
  7. Shari

    Shari IsItFridayYet?

    Our (ahem...) easy child 2 is almost 13, but she couldn't care less about school, either. I dont know how it will work out, but we have opted to take the "not my problem" route. It seems to harsh, and its so hard to do, but every time we did anything to help her she'd just lie about it, anyway. So we are now letting the chips fall where they may.
    One chip is going to hurt. I presume her mother will make her attend summer school (she'll be attending from our house - it was the deal when school started - do the work and get the help you need = no summer school; don't = summer school), and if so, summer school doesn't end this year until July 2. She will miss our 4th of July camping trip. At first, I worried about working it out. Now, I'm not. Its a natural consequence of her choices.
    I agree with trying a day off and asking her input on what might help...but beyond that...not sure what more you can do, other than hope she hits bottom while you're still around and able to help her pick up the pieces and move on.
  8. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not



    Sounds just like my daughter's report card. Three Fs two Ds. My daughter is also under the impression that somehow these bad grades won't "count".

    Sadly, if they don't want it--there's not much we can instill in them to strive for better. I hope she turns herself around soon...

  9. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I agree with Fran.

    I dealt with this with easy child just last school year and it didn't matter how much I yelled, begged, pleaded, etc, etc, etc, he just wasn't going to do it. I wish I had been able to let it go earlier than I did because all it did was cause me an incredible amount of stress and changed nothing.

    In the end, he ended up graduating "on time" by doing a graduate recovery program during the summer after he was supposed to graduate. He got really lucky, though.

    I also agree with the mom and me day. My mom did that a couple of times when I was horribly depressed and although I *never* would have asked for it, it helped a lot. Even if just for a day or two. And it made me realize that she was on my side. As a depressed teen, I felt she was against me all the time.

  10. Star*

    Star* call 911


    I was wondering if maybe there isn't a little BiPolar (BP) manifesting itself finally here? Dude was suspected of it on and off for years and not that he's almost 20 it's almost like watching cycle up/down/up/down. I don't know if it is or not, but the mood swings around here are horrific. I thought PMS was bad. NOTHING compared to whatever he's got. I gave up on trying to help him with school it was just too much. - For me...and I say me because it seemed the only one that was concerned WAS me.

    Now that he's out trying to apply for jobs? Wow, all of a sudden guess who is sorry they didn't listen to me? That however lasts about () long...and then it's back to being Dude. I have () much hope when he starts getting on himself about his education hoping HE will take the reigns into his own hand and go back and get his GED, but it's wishful thinking.

    I know what Fran said may not be exactly what you want to hear, but I think there is a lot of truth in her post. Friends do that for you. I also love NVTS's idea of a hookey day. Maybe there is something bothering her. Daisy's right when she says Senioridis is in the air, but D's and F's??? Wow...that's pretty serious. I think that's past tutor. I think it's time to flat tell her - she's not going to graduate. And repeating another year is a reality.

    This sounds like a tough love challenge and a good time for detaching. When I backed off from Dude and let him fail? IT was really hard to watch him not go to school, but I had to realize this is HIS life not MINE. HIS mistakes NOT mine. HIS choices NOT mine. HE will reap the sorrow of this will your daughter, and you have to let her. Let her do it now while she's young and the consequences can still be repaired. On her terms.

    Hugs - I know this stinks.
  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Siiiiiiiiiighhhhhh. I really hate this for you. And her. I really think youth is wasted on the young. Teens shouldnt be able to mess up their lives when they are so dumb. Really!

    The one smart thing my parents did (yes, they did ONE thing right!) was when they made me actually get a paying job when I decided to quit school in 11th grade. Boy that opened my eyes to what my fate would be without a HS diploma. LOL. Hostess in a Shoney's just wasnt what I foresaw my future as being. I decided to return to school.

    I think what is so much worse in your dtr's situation is the fact that she is throwing away a scholarship. I can feel your pain. Cory did the same thing. He had a full ride if he had only graduated HS. Sigh.
  12. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    Thank you everyone for your replies.

    Beth-I have been thinking about getting her out to some colleges. Don't know if she'll want to but I will put it out there. Unfortunately I have so few sick days left I can't take a hooky day but she and I are going to see my sister and her family for part of spring break-just a four hour drive but a chance for her and I to get away together.

    Lisa-I think we do need natural consequences take over for the most part. I just hope she actually cares about the natural consequences.

    ML-Thanks for the prayers and love-we need them!

    Fran-Thank you-I think you are so right that she isn't fitting the typical teen mold. I think you are also right about the simple rules. She is going to have to live by the natural consequences. husband and I are worried she won't care about those consequences but at this point that will be her choice as well. Unfortunately she won't be 18 until July 2011 (I goofed in my post by writing July11). We did just start a new medication in December which seems to be kicking in to an extent. She is much more pleasant to be around and not holing on to grudges for such extreme periods (at least for the present). I agree parenting isn't us against them. We've asked her input, usually she won't give it or says one thing but does the other.

    Shari-You are right it is hard but the natural consequences are going to have to be the way we go.

    Heather-husband and I have let go of a lot and it is sooooooooooo hard to do. Guess there isn't much of a choice though. She and I are going away on spring break together (just the two of us) to see my sister and her family-I know she is looking forward to that.

    DF-Thanks for the good thoughts. The teen years sure aren't easy.

    Star-thanks-I have often wondered if easy child might have BiPolar (BP). She is so different from difficult child that if she does their two BPs look very different. That being said easy child seems like what I used to would have thought of as BiPolar (BP). She does seem to cycle (just not the rapid cycling like difficult child) up and down. In difficult child everything is so obvious, for her not so much but I haven't ruled it out.
    I'm going to have hone up on my detachment skills and pull on my rhino skin with the tough love.

    Janet-Thanks, it does seem so much when she has a scholarship riding on things. Unfortunately at this point we are past that she must not have wanted it to begin with even though she said she did. She will just have to do things the hard way.

    Truly, I appreciate all of your responses. They are so helpful and your support mean so much. husband and I are really going to work on detaching.

    Am I not detaching enough if I call her school counselor to lay it on the line for her-have a talk about her options at this point?

    She is already starting to deal with natural consequences. husband called to say they would be home earlier than usual because easy child was cut from the cheer squad. Of course, she says she doesn't care because her best friend's mom pulled her off because of her grades (not as low as easy child's).

    What will be really interesting is if they pull her from the out of district school she attends. They are able to do that but I don't know if they will. If so it will be another natural consequence.
  13. Suz

    Suz (the future) MRS. GERE

    S, your post is bringing back those nightmares of Rob's high school career. By the time he was a junior he was at an Residential Treatment Center (RTC) for a variety of other reasons besides school work.

    You asked if you could detach and still call the counselor to lay it on the line? I did. I talked to Rob's therapist weekly while he was at the Residential Treatment Center (RTC). I told her to lay everything on the line to Rob. It seemed to help him to not hear it from me. I also "used" that therapist to say a lot of things I'd said until I was blue in the face because he listened to her better than he listened to his father and me. I didn't care who he listened to as long as he listened.

    I'm sorry you are going through this. Rob backslid his senior year because he was moved to a group home and the therapist there had a different agenda from the previous one. really is true that our kids only learn from natural consequences. It's a pity.

  14. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member


    reading all the replys to your post brings home why this board is such a great place. There is so much wisdom and care here. You have been given some great suggestions.

    Personally, I think calling her school councelor is perfectly fine. You are her mother, you have concerns. Perhaps someone else's plain speaking will have some impact - but it's also a good idea that she takes advantage of any services or help available. Might be good for the school councelor to know what's going on.

    Hugs Sharon.

  15. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I have no advice on this one but wanted to offer support. I'm sure she'll get through it somehow, it's just what they go thru and we go thru in the process can be so trying and exhausting.....I'm sorry....
  16. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    This is so much like M was. He was convinced that the world would sense his brilliance and doors would open. It was like dragging a kicking mule. In hindsight, I wish I had let it go. I don't know if it would have made anything better, but whatever happened wouldn't have been laid at my feet, and it was just 2 years wasted in bitterness.

    She's a Junior, right? This was where it all fell apart for M. Honestly, I'd let it go. I see a lot of kids who go through this with my work with Boy Scouts. The ones that succeed are the ones who figure it out on their own.
  17. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    I'm sending you a big {{{hug}}} for your aching mommy heart. :(
  18. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    I wouldn't wait until Spring Break. I would do a girl day before then. Do you have President's Day off?
  19. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Another vote for calling the counselor. Also, you might want to double-check the graduation requirements. At Miss KT's high school, there were actually three different sets of that preps for a UC campus, one set for a state college, and then the set that allows you to graduate from high school. Miss KT's counselor was pushing for the first set, since we have NCLB. I was waving the paper that had a very different, and achievable, set of requirements.

    If Miss KT had had to take four years of math, four years of science, four years of foreign language, etc., she would never have graduated. As it was, she not only graduated, she was on honor roll. Made her feel much better about herself.
  20. busywend

    busywend Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I vote for drug testing her. Just to be sure. Sorry. Keeping fingers crossed this is not it.

    Detach for sure. I had to. It was making me ill. My difficult child is getting the same grades in college. She reluctantly is signed up for this semester - 1 at campus, 2 at night off campus and 1 online. Her way. After this she can drop out.

    But, as a easy child who also did not finish college the traditional way (2 years ago! :) ) I am OK with the non-traditional options. Even though I know they are much harder.