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proexpert37, Educator/Life Coach
Category: Parenting
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Experience:  Teacher 20+ years, Parent, Expert Mentor
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My 15 year old daughter has refused to do any homework and

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My 15 year old daughter has refused to do any homework and long term assignments this year in school and in English class she earned a D- in the first quarter and will get an F this quarter even if she were to make up all of the missing work in her English class. English has traditionally been her best subject. Her grades have gone from A's and B's in 7th 8th and 9th grade to C's and D's in 10th grade. I think it is partly because her father (my ex) and I put a stop to all communication with a 26 year old man on FB that she met once through her friend's mother without our knowledge. She also told me tonight that "I don't see why it's such a bad thing to be self centered and not care what other people think. People who are self centered get further in life anyway. When I'm 16 I'm going to quit school anyway, so why should I care about grades?" She tells me that I didn't do anything "wrong" bringing her up and she does care about my opinions, but not necessarily enough to make her improve her attitude or change herself in any way. I'm beside myself with guilt, fear for her future, fear for the present, too. We tried taking away her phone and computer when we first found out about the older just made her angry and resentful and she showed us she could do her school work she could earn her privileges back which she did. I want to take it all away from her, but fear she'll continue to spiral out of control. She's been seeing a psychiatrist for a year and was recently asked to try a very low dose of lithium. It seemed to help her not be so "tired" all the time, but the attitude is still there. Now with Christmas coming, my folks are giving her and my 13 year old son (with Asperger Syndrome) each a laptop of their own. I plan on imposing house rules for both of them with my parents' blessings. I just don't know where that will take us. What do I do with someone who just doesn't care about any one or anything except herself? It's making us miserable.
Hello and Thank You for using Just Answer. I am sorry to hear about the problems with your daughter. What has the doctor suggested to you so far to assist your daughter with her attitude toward school? Thanks!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
The doctor tells us that my daughter has to see some value in doing better in school, which she doesn't. Telling her that grades are the only way for colleges and future employers to determine abilities etc doesn't mean anything to her. She plans to go into her own fashion design business and thinks she's good enough to do it all on her own. when i mention being able to obtain funds to start the business and keep it going as well as just being able to survive on her own, she says she will do it, and that I just don't have any confidence that she can. The doctor thinks she may be manic/depressive which is why she's tried the lithium. She doesn't want to hear what any of us have to say. I've tried to address her ADD and executive functioning and organizational skills by having her talk weekly to a coach that specialized in helping teens and young adults with these areas. My daughter is willing to talk with her and it often sounds as if they've agreed on a "plan" for the week to accomplish some parts of her schoolwork, but when it comes down to it, she won;t follow through with the "plan". I feel like I'm wasting my money and the coach's time. I haven't talked in person with the teachers or school counselor yet. We had an eligibility meeting last spring trying to get her on a 504 to help with the amount of work she is expected to do and the increased time to allow her to do it, but they determined she was not eligible for a 504/SPED and the case closed. No one has made any effort to contact me, and when I ask questions, I don't get any answers, or I get promises that they will get back to me and they don't. I guess I should be more aggressive, but I work for the district, and don't want to put my job in jeopardy as I am a single parent. But my kids come first, but how do I balance these?
Was she officially diagnosed with ADD? Why wasn't she eligible for a 504 plan or Special Ed?
Customer: replied 5 years ago.
She has a neuropsych evaluation done in January 2010 and ADD was diagnosed, but the team didn't find her eligible because whe is able to successfully access the curriculum. that was in the spring by the time they got around to doing their own testing and finally convening the meeting. So much has changed that I probably should request another meeting of the whole team this week so it could be set up for as early in the new year as possible. In the meantime, do I just ignore her noncaring attitude and total lack of effort in her schoolwork? We have 3 days of school left. She has said that she refuses to spend any of "her" vacation time doing schoolwork.
There are several issues that I need to address but I need more time to thoroughly answer them. I can gladly assist you when I return to the office in the morning. But for now, you cannot do much in three days to change your daughter and her attitude. Just try to stay positive even though she is so negative. Is her dad in her life? What division of the school district do you work for? I am just trying to piece all of the details together to help you better. Thank you for the information that you have provided so far!
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you for your help. I look forward to your thoughts tomorrow.

In answer to your questions:

Her dad is involved with both her and my son. They see him regularly once a week for dinner and once in a while for an overnight on a weekend. I have physical custody, we have joint legal custody. He left our home when my daughter was 3 1/2 and my son was 2 months old, the divorce was final 6 months later, but he has always had a role as their father. He's since remarried and subsequestly divorced. I have not had any relationships.

I am currently an elementary school instructional teaching assistant in my 4th year of teaching in their district, but not at the middle or high school. I am a licensed elementary teacher looking to "move up" from IA to classroom teacher at some point in the future.

To my knowledge, my daughter is not using drugs (outside of prescription), alcohol or tobacco or sexually active. She vehemetly opposes all of the above.

For the past 20 years, I have lived in New England and my parents, sister and brother & families are on the west coast - so we won't be together for the holidays as is usual anyway. The kdis and I try to visit them once a year in the summer.

Again thank you for your input and advice. ~Jules.

Hello and Thank You for responding. Your daughter obviously has the potential to do well in school as she did in 7th and 8th grade. However, when children enter high school, they often are more attracted to the social scene rather than homework and school overall. The man that your daughter was in contact with on Facebook, probably made your daughter feel like a queen by the things he said or by the things he may have one day wanted to do. Even though your daughter's dad is in her life, she still may feel a void and the man on Facebook fulfilled that void of a male figure whom she could trust probably on a consistent basis to talk to. It is best to keep her away from the computer and limit cell phone usage. She is probably influenced greatly by peer pressure. Her friends are probably very much like her. Her friends probably also talk with older men on Facebook because it seems cool and somewhat thrilling. Maybe a change in school's may be necessary or going to live with dad for a while....maybe for the vacation if he enforces rules.

With regards to school, children diagnosed with ADD often can receive some type of special education services because their disability falls under the category of Other Health Impaired. Since she is doing so poorly and is already on medication and additionally is receiving mental health assistance, you must get the school more involved otherwise she will slip through the system. Your job will not be stake in any way, shape or form. The first step you must take is to contact the school psychologist. You can speak to him/ her in person or on he telephone. Explain your daughter's situation and troubles. Request that testing be done to see if she has any learning disability or if the ADD is the main reason for her lack of interest in school. Also, make a written request as well. Furthermore, you need to contact her school counselor who in turn can contact your daughter 's teachers. They need to know the situation. Your daughter needs to meet regularly with someone at the school site. Weekly meetings with the counselor and/or the school psychologist may make her feel more accountable for her academic studies. Also, your daughter may require tutors to help her pick up her grades. The school may have peer tutors that are accessible for free! The school counselor could tell you much more about that. Also, your daughter may need tutors to help her get through her vacation work. It may be costly so see if grandparents can assist you financially.

With regards XXXXX XXXXX lackadaisical and non caring attitude, keep her busy. If your daughter has too much free time on her hands, she will sit around, get depressed, and not want to try to better herself. Get her involved in out of school activities. Is there a church outreach group for teens that she can be a part of? Can she get a part time job on the weekends once her grades have improved? Can she volunteer with children? She needs to develop more esteem and really needs guidance, support, and encouragement to keep on persevering. Keep her seeing the professional counselors that she is currently seeing. She needs to understand that there are many people who care about her emotional well being and that she can turn her life around.

You do have your hands full as single mom and I applaud you for doing so much already. Try not to be too hard on yourself. Take a deep breath and relax, and look forward to the new year. Be an active participant in all areas of your children's life. You have more of an influence on them than you realize. You are correct in that your kids come first always. But you need to also take some time for yourself as well.

All in all for your daughter, get her tutors to help with her vacation work. Contact the school psychologist after the break for testing. Contact her school counselor and or teachers in classes that she us failing. Keep her seeing the psychiatrist and any other counselors. Keep her busy around positive people.

All you can do is to keep encouraging your daughter to succeed when she is at home. Just keep the faith that this is just a phase and will one day pass.

Hope I helped you even if it was a little bit.

proexpert37 and other Parenting Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 5 years ago.

Thank you. You brought up a couple of points I hadn't thought of - peer tutors and contacting the school psychologist. I have requested a meeting with the school to revisit the ADD issues.

Thank you again for your reply to my complex situation.


You are so welcome. Request me....Jordan1314.... if you need further assistance down the road.

Just never give up on your children and you all will be fine. :)