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Old 05-24-2010, 10:51 PM   #1
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Question 15 yr old daughter - what to do?

Hi All:

I'm new to this board, & have a question regarding my 15 yr old daughter.

A little background first. Our 15 yr old daughter & 11 yr old son were both adopted from Russia a little over 6 yrs ago. At the time, she was about 8 3/4 yrs old, & he was 5. They are bio sibs. Despite all the warnings we got about adopting older kids, they had virtually no emotional baggage, we bonded immediately, & they've been incredibly easy to raise, for the most part. They're both very intelligent, make friends easily, & are now basically typical American kids. Our son is ADHD, but is on meds for it, & is doing very well. Our daughter has had no major medical or emotional difficulties up to this point. When we brought them home, she had not yet been to school, even in Russia, so educationally & language-wise, she's basically gone from infancy to completing the 7th grade & beginning 8th grade work in just over 6 yrs, which is truly amazing to us & her teachers. She gets straight A's, as well.

Our daughter was in the public school system in our small-ish town until the beginning of 7th grade, which was this past fall. For some reason, though, all the kids who'd been her good friends up until that time started picking on her & bullying her terribly. She *is* a yr or 2 older than they are, & is very tall, willowy, & pretty (which I can say w/ no problem, as I'm not genetically responsible! ). She's done Ballet for 6 yrs, & was persued & accepted by a prestigious modeling program this past yr. I think that what happened at school was that the other girls, trying to find their "social position" in middle school, decided she was an easy target, as she stood out from all the other girls. She's very down to earth, not "full of herself", & I think it was beyond her understanding. She's never understood the whole best-friend-one-day-hated-the-next-day games. She hates drama, & just wants to get along w/ everyone. At any rate, the stress of all this prompted us to take her out of the public school system, & enroll her in a new charter school, where the kids could work at their own speed, in smaller groups (the entire school has 50 students total, grades 6 -12). While our daughter has blossomed academically at this school, there are problems.

Most of the kids at this school are there because they were kicked out of their normal school systems, due to continual behavioral problems, delinquency, or simply problems dealing w/ the structure of the public school system. Unfortunately, many of the kids fall into the first 2 groups - behavioral problems & delinquency. The school is new (this was it's 1st yr), & obviously, there are always going to be growing pains w/ a new program. But discipline has been a major problem this past yr - the stories my daughter tells me when she gets home from school each day are almost frightening: girls piercing their noses, lips, & eyebrows in class (& getting away w/ it!), obscene language, smoking in the restrooms, lying, disobeying the rules in general - & quite often, the teachers don't seem to do much about it. The police are called to the school at least a couple times a wk, & kids are visited & talked to by their probation officers just as often. Some kids have been taken out during the school day & taken to the local juvenile detention center. We had to file a police report on one of the kids a couple mos ago, for sending obscene text messages to our daughter. He was already on probation. The police & PO showed up at school the next day & dealt w/ him.

The problem is that, while my daughter says she really finds these behaviors disturbing, she's also starting to display some of the behaviors of these other kids - using bad language, arguing horribly w/ us, treating her little brother terribly (physically pushing him around, making fun of him, or just ignoring him when he wants her attention, pretending like he's not even in the room). She's had quite a few major tantrums in the past few wks, especially.

I used to work at the local juvenile detention center a long time ago, & have had extensive dealings w/ these kinds of kids in the past. During calmer moments at home, I've explained to our daughter that most of these kids come from broken homes, have parents who have problems, who don't care for them the same that my husband & I care for her & her brother, & that they're often not disciplined or even taught proper behavior at home. Our daughter is one of the few kids in the school who has a good home, parents who care about her, who try to do everything possible to help her, & who try to involve her in activities that expose her to the right kinds of kids - in her dance & modeling programs, church youth group, etc. Her lifestyle is probably completely foreign to many of the kids she sees at school. During those calmer moments when we talk about this, she seems to understand it all.....but those moments seem to be fewer & farther apart recently.

My question is, how else can we deal w/ this problem w/ our daughter's behavior? How much is due to the influence of the kids at school, & how much is merely a symptom of being 15? When she has these outbursts at home, do we continue to try to talk to her, or just leave her alone to sort it out on her own & calm herself down? She's done that more often than not, which usually involves stomping off to her room, screaming at us the entire way, falling asleep, & sometimes apologizing in the morning, & sometimes acting as if nothing happened. She told us once, the day after a nasty evening, that she didn't even *remember* anything happening the night before, which strikes me as very, very odd.

Any suggestions, experiences, idea, etc, are most welcome!!

Thanks for reading this - sorry it turned into a novel!

kt

 
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Old 05-25-2010, 11:23 AM   #2
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Re: 15 yr old daughter - what to do?

oy! I would send her back to public school in a heartbeat. The things she was going through in public school is pretty common. Middle school is the hardest, esp. for girls. Girls can be very mean and cliques start to form. To me, it's all about being a teenager and learning to get along. I am not entirely sure why you pulled her from the public school to begin with? Did she have any friends there?

The alternative school sounds more dangerous. Does she truly have friends there? I would be worried about her getting involved with the wrong crowd. It's normal for a child to want to "fit in." You are doing all the right things by talking to her, but peer pressure is horrible.

Can you look into a private school or a Catholic school? She might be able to get a scholarship somewhere. Does she have friends outside of school, like at church? Where do her friends go to school?

With girls and hormones, most of their outbursts start earlier. Since she is 15, I do feel that the alternative school has a lot to do with her behavior.

Keep us informed, good luck!

Last edited by Belly Kelly; 05-25-2010 at 11:24 AM.

 
Old 05-25-2010, 11:40 AM   #3
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Re: 15 yr old daughter - what to do?

Children just dont seem to understand how very temporary their school years are and how none of this is the end of the world! Very few grasp that the real reason for school is their education and not all the social. And with a daughter who is so pretty, she will either be loved or hated. Very very sad. I agree with the above poster. I think I would put her back in public school. Also, I would start demanding better behavior, and a little more politeness. For instance, keep good grades, and mind your p's and q's....and you can continue modeling. If you dont, no moddeling. You want to argue about that....your grounded. Anything else to say? And I will start taking away the things in your room. She sounds like a good kid, and this is a difficult age. She is trying to assert herself. Just let her know that it's ok to assert yourself, but 1.) there are much more respectful ways of doing it, and 2.) Your still her mother, and in the end, what you say goes.

 
Old 05-25-2010, 10:35 PM   #4
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Re: 15 yr old daughter - what to do?

My husband & I talked to the school's director, meeting after school in her office. She was very interested in what we had to say/ask. The kids had to turn in their forms today, letting them know whether they'd be enrolling next school yr or not. We stated that we wanted to find out about any changes in the program for next yr, as this was it's first yr, & I was sure they'd learned a lot about what was & wasn't working in different areas.

As it happens, *her* major concern was also the behavior of the students, & what they were planning on doing to change their policies for the upcoming yr to address this. While she was mostly aware of what sorts of things were going on w/ some of the students, she was shocked to hear about kids trying to pierce themselves in class. She hadn't heard anything about it - no teachers mentioned it, no other parents, etc. She later called me at home & said she asked her own 16 yr old daughter if they do that at the rural school she attends, & she said that yes, kids there do that, too. It was quite a wake-up call for her, proving that no matter how small the school or how attentive the teachers & staff are (this school even has video cameras in all the classrooms & halls), some things are going to be missed.

They intend, next yr, to further divide the kids into smaller groups than they had them in this past yr. The way they've had it was that the 6 - 8th grades were in the same very large classroom, doing their individual work on their own computers; same w/ the 9 - 12th grade kids. They ended up, part way through the yr, dividing up the 9 - 12th graders in to 2 groups - the ones who were there to learn, & the ones who had behavioral problems. She said it worked out pretty well. They didn't think they *had* to do this w/ the 6-8th graders, but they realize now that they do, & that is their intention for next yr.

If we thought we could do it w/out making her totally miserable & more angry at us, we'd put our daughter back into the public middle school.....but she's adamant that she wants to continue at her new school, cos, as she said, she's more interested in catching up academically than she is about making friends w/ these kids. The school's director agreed that that was what our daughter was doing in school, from everything she's seen - if another kid talks to her politely, she'll be polite back to them, & when the conversation's over, it's over. If a kid starts talking to her rudely, she just turns away from them. The school's director said that, if anything, our daughter needs to be *more* forceful in her remarks to some of these kids - she's so quiet that the kids consider it a challenge to see if they can upset her. And, since she doesn't want to show she's upset in the presence of these mean kids, she's perhaps holding it in, & blowing all that steam off here at home. Kinda makes sense to me, in a way. Maybe if the mouse decides to roar once at school, it'll get that tension out of her system, so she's not dragging it home w/ her. I guess it's worth a shot.

Oddly enough, despite all this, the kids had their field day today, & as they were sitting in the park having their picnic lunch, they started talking about each other, & how they would categorize everyone in their class. Surprisingly, the other kids decided that our daughter was the Most Polite, Prettiest, & Hardest Worker, in the 6 - 8th grade group. That really gave her a boost - perhaps these kids really *do* see her values, despite their nasty behavior most of the time. So she was in a really upbeat, happy mood when she came home from school, & it seemed to carry over into the entire evening at home. No frustrations, no arguments, no over-dramatic behavior, nothing! Since they were at the park most of the day, it sounds like the kids were kept busy doing fun stuff, & the rotten behavior was kept to a minimum....& as a result, so was our daughter's stress level.

So, I think we're going to keep her at this school. She says she intends to work on the computer several hrs a wk here at home, logging into the school's computer system, & continuing her lessons so she can catch up even faster.

Thanks for the suggestions. I'll definitely keep those various options in the back of my head as this all continues to unfold. I'll try to work w/ her on how to be more assertive w/ the kids at school when they try to involve her in their questionable stuff, see how the new system works during the upcoming school yr, & take it from there. I just hope we have a nice, peaceful summer in the meantime!

kt

 
Old 05-26-2010, 05:51 AM   #5
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Re: 15 yr old daughter - what to do?

I would try as hard as possible to get her involved in something at school, which is hard in an alternative school. At least the public school has sports and theater (most likely). Does her current school have any extra curricular activities?
It seems if she could find an activity that interests her at school, then she would make friends with kids who have the same interest as her. Sometimes kids have to find that group that works for them.

Good luck!

 
Old 05-26-2010, 06:36 AM   #6
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Re: 15 yr old daughter - what to do?

well it seems that you've put her in that environment....with kids with bad behavior, etc, and it's rubbing off!
put her back in her regular high school, pronto!
and if she has problems with kids, she deals with it.....
that's life, you can't teach her that when there's a problem with someone, you will wisk her away to somewhere else so she doesn't have to deal with it.

 
Old 05-26-2010, 07:14 AM   #7
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Re: 15 yr old daughter - what to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktnil View Post
If we thought we could do it w/out making her totally miserable & more angry at us, we'd put our daughter back into the public middle school.....but she's adamant that she wants to continue at her new school, cos, as she said, she's more interested in catching up academically than she is about making friends w/ these kids.

I dont think it should be about making her happy. I think it would be about doing the best she could do for her future......and alternative education is not it. This is for children who CANNOT function in a traditional learning format. Sounds to me like your daughter is intelligent enough to do so, I would put her back in regular school and look into some after school one on one with a teacher or a tutor if she is a little behind before I would put her in alternative. Not to mention.....a good college WILL turn her down over a child who received a more traditional format.

The school's director agreed that that was what our daughter was doing in school, from everything she's seen - if another kid talks to her politely, she'll be polite back to them, & when the conversation's over, it's over. If a kid starts talking to her rudely, she just turns away from them. The school's director said that, if anything, our daughter needs to be *more* forceful in her remarks to some of these kids - she's so quiet that the kids consider it a challenge to see if they can upset her. And, since she doesn't want to show she's upset in the presence of these mean kids, she's perhaps holding it in, & blowing all that steam off here at home. Kinda makes sense to mekt
Sure, the theory makes sense. What doesn't is how this woman knows it's going on....so do the teachers I'm sure....and nobody is doing anything to stop it! I'd be angry and crabby too.

I just went through a situation at my childs elementary school. One thing that I learned while going through it is that I am sure there are a handful of good teachers out there. The kind who are really and truely there to teach, and help your child be the best they can be. Putting that special group aside.....the rest got into it for the paid hollidays and summer vacations. They are human like everyone else and not above glossing over the truth to get out of dealing effectively and efficiently with problems, or even outright lying to cover their own behinds! It's up to YOU to look out for the best interest of your child because at the end of the day,she's yours! You know her best. And you have to be dilligent and on it. and unless you are willing to admit that your child is reckless, abusive, and has a learning disorder of some sort, then I really dont think that alternative education is the right place for her.

For some reason half of my response ended up as part of the quote. I have a hard time with the quoting, ending the quote, and picking it back up again. lol. sorry.

Last edited by justmel30; 05-26-2010 at 07:16 AM. Reason: elaboration

 
Old 05-26-2010, 11:31 AM   #8
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Re: 15 yr old daughter - what to do?

Quote:
Originally Posted by ktnil View Post
Most of the kids at this school are there because they were kicked out of their normal school systems, due to continual behavioral problems, delinquency, or simply problems dealing w/ the structure of the public school system. Unfortunately, many of the kids fall into the first 2 groups - behavioral problems & delinquency.
This right here is what would most concern me, and there's no way around it. No matter what changes are made at the school, that's still a fact.

15 is an age where some kids are extremely susceptible to bad influences. When the bad influences are all around you, it's hard to not have some "rub off" so to speak. Granted, there are always a few who will excel no matter how bad the environment (think of rare stories of inner-city youths with crackhead parents going to harvard), and some who will tank no matter how good the environment (rich, privileged kids getting hooked on coke and pills).

But for all the kids that fall somewhere in the middle, I firmly believe that your environment and those around you will have a large influence. For that reason, your daughter's school situation would scare me like crazy.

 
Old 05-26-2010, 10:36 PM   #9
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Re: 15 yr old daughter - what to do?

Well, she did it again tonight. My husband asked both kids to get the ferrets out, play w/ them, & clean their cages. Our son said ok, & went in to get started. Our daughter was on the computer, & she kept saying, "I'll go in in a min." My husband called my son back into the room, muted the tv, & asked them to both come over & sit down, cos he wanted to tell them something. Our son came back in & sat down. Our daughter kept looking at the computer, & when my husband said, "come over & sit down *please*", she finally huffed & puffed & came over, sat facing the opposite direction so she didn't have to look at her dad, & when he asked her to please face him, she spun around dramatically & just looked at the ceiling. All he wanted to say to them was that, on the days he had to work late (like tonight), he'd appreciate it if they started on the cages while he was on his way home, which would give them plenty of time to do homework, watch a little tv &/or chill out for awhile, whatever, & that he'd do it on the nights where he was home early, or didn't work the next day. My husband said that they'd have a lot of responsibilities over the next few mos, as I'm having knee replacement surgery in July, & they'd have to help out a lot while I'm recovering. Our son thought that was a good idea, but our daughter didn't answer at all when asked. She just got up & went into the room where the ferrets are kept, mumbled something & started to close the door. My husband turned to her & said "what did you say?", & she started in w/ her "oh my ****, you're going to start yelling at me *again*!" My husband said that he simply wanted the courtesy of an answer from her, & would she please answer him. She said, "yes, fine.....I understand, do you think I'm stupid or something?"

My husband made her come back in & sit down while our son started his share of their chore. He told her that nobody said anything about her being stupid, nobody was yelling at her, & that all he wanted was a simple yes or no when he asked a question. She said, "I already said yes, so leave me alone", & started to leave the room. He & I just looked at each other, & I said, "ok, I'm about ready to stick my foot in my mouth & say something that'll probably end up getting in trouble for". He asked what it was, & I told him that I was about ready to tell her that if she kept up the arguing, disrespect, & everything else, we would put her back into the public middle school next yr, cos we're afraid the behavior of the kids at her present school is rubbing off on her. My husband thought about it for a sec, then said, "ok, let's call her in, tell her that, & deal w/ the tantrum that'll happen once we tell her." So we called her back in once again, made her sit down, & we told her - the tantrums, drama, screaming, threatening us, accusing us of hating her, etc, will stop immediately, & that she was going back to the public school if she didn't.

Sure enough, the tantrum started. "You can't do that to me, I'll go to school wherever I want." "No you can't - you'll go where WE say you'll go." "You can't make me." "Yes we can - we're your parents & that's exactly what our job is. *Your* job is to listen, obey, & behave, & if you don't start doing just that, that's exactly what we're going to do, like it or not." She started to get up to leave, & my husband pushed her back down into the chair (just put his hands on top of her shoulders & pushed her back down), ^ she started screaming at the top of her lungs, "you hate me! I can feel your hate! You don't care about me at all!" I told her that if we *didn't* care, if we *didn't* love her, we wouldn't be having this conversation, & we wouldn't give a damn *what* she did or where she went. She started to get up again, my husband pushed her back down into the chair the same was as before, & she started screaming, "you're choking me, you're smothering me, I can't breathe, stop hurting me!" We weren't even TOUCHING her at that point, & I said, "you can breathe just fine, nobody's got heir hands over your face except YOU!" Then she started crying hysterically & hyperventilating. My husband got a paper lunch bag & said that if she was going to do that, she'd better start breathing into the bag to calm herself down. (Our son has asthma, & when he has an attack, he tends to panic, so we have him breathe into a bag to calm himself & his breathing down.) She threw the bag on the floor, & as my husband picked it back up, I told her that her behavior has gotten a lot worse since she started at that school, & we didn't want her to end up like them, since she says she doesn't like them & the way they act. Do you *want* to start acting like them? Do you *want* to throw away all the hard work you did this yr w/ your grades? You have the best grades in the school (which is true - she's the only student on the "all A's" list at the end of each semester), you worked your tail off for that.....do you really want to throw it all away simply cos you won't answer us when we ask you a simple question? You're a much better person than that, when you want to be. But if you don't start getting yourself under a little better control, we're going to start taking things away until you earn them back - & the first item we'll take away is your new school. So you better start thinking that over. My husband went in to help our son w/ the ferrets, & I told him I'd stay right where I was, & so would our daughter, as I wasn't going to let her just go to her room, turn on the stereo, & fall asleep w/out thinking about all this.

She sat in the chair & just became completely silent - no crying, no yelling, no hyperventilating, no nothing. Just sat w/ her hands over her face, not moving or making a sound at all. So, we just let her sit there, & we all went back to what we were doing before all this started. I was watching American Idol (I'm not a regular fan, but Crystal Bowersox is a hometown girl, & I wanted to see the outcome). Soon, our daughter slid down onto the floor, grabbed a blanket, covered herself up & started watching, too.

Once the show was over, & my husband & I were going to go upstairs so he could get some sleep & I could look at the computer for a few min before going to bed myself. My husband said good night to our daughter, & she stood up, came over to him (blanket over her head for effect), & started to give him a hug. He said, no, take the blanket off your head first. She did, He said good night, I love you, & she said I love you too. She then came over & did the same w/ me. I told her she could stay up til midnight (she's done w/ school for the yr - she got to get out a few days early, cos she finished her 7th grade work last mo, & has already started her 8th grade work, ahead of the rest of her class).

So hopefully, she now knows that the lines are drawn in the sand. If she doesn't hold up her part of all this, she'll start losing things, starting w/ the new school. I'm going to try to talk calmly to her about this tomorrow during the day, not making any accusations, nice & calm, to make sure she understands that we're *serious* about all this, & find out how she plans to hold up her end of things. I have to take her shopping to get stuff she needs for summer camp, anyway, so maybe I'll have the discussion w/ her while we're doing that. She wouldn't dare have a tantrum in public, I know - she wouldn't embarrass herself that way. We'll see what happens.

BTW, as for the school she's now going to - even though it's an "alternative" type school, all the work they do is approved by the state board of education, & it's actually an extention of the North Central Ohio Educational Service Center.

<sigh> I just hope we made some sort of impression on her tonight. She can be such a good kid most of the time, but all this recent stuff is just dragging her down.

kt

 
Old 05-27-2010, 07:32 AM   #10
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Re: 15 yr old daughter - what to do?

Honestly, from your latest post, she sounds like a fairly typical 15 year old. Looking back on my teen years (I'm 31 now), I had a few similar episodes with my parents. It is a tough, tough age. As long as that's the extent of it, and she cools off and realizes that her behavior was wrong and unwarranted, I think you'll get through this and be oK.

I still say, though, that I would be worried about her current school. I'm not sure the tantrums are a result of her associations at school, but I'd be worried about what may come as she continues there. Just be vigilant and keep a very, very close eye on who she's hanging with, to make sure she's not getting into the "wrong" crowd, since it sounds like there's a big "wrong" crowd to suck her in.

 
Old 05-27-2010, 11:09 AM   #11
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Re: 15 yr old daughter - what to do?

I dont understand why the arguments are allowed to escalate like that. I think the first moment she became disrespectful, It would be off to her room(where hopefully there isn't a tv, phone, or anything else fun for her) until she can talk in a civilized manner. If she wants to act like a 5 year old, punish her like one. Along with that, if she feels like everyone hates her, or is out to get her, that's ok. She has a right to her feelings. She even has a right to voice them. She does not have the right to scream, yell, or be rude and insulting. Everyone is there to talk, if she wants to talk. But I would not allow her to continue flying off the handle at everyone. Remove her from the scenario the second she starts and let her know you wont talk til she is ready.

Second, your son is a bit younger. Stop including him in on the talks with her. It's unnecessary stress on him, and of course he is going to listen a little better. It sounds to me like he's still at the age where he really wants to please mom and dad. So, if you have something to say and she starts, excuse her from the situation and deal directly with your son, then deal with her afterwards. Or vice versa. But dont lump them together, I guarantee you he feels the tension of the situation, even if nobody is upset with him.

 
Old 05-28-2010, 11:44 PM   #12
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Re: 15 yr old daughter - what to do?

Our son went to a friend's house this afternoon, & ended up spending the night, so it was just my husband, myself, & our daughter at home. She had a dance recital rehearsal to go to, but once she was home, we had a talk while cleaning cages.

She says she doesn't know *why* she had the outbursts she had. We asked her to try to tell us what she was feeling when she acted that way, & she said that she felt mad at herself. The only reason she could think of that made her feel that way was cos, when she wants to say something to us, she can't always find the right words right away, & she gets frustrated & mad at herself. (I can kinda understand that - she's 15, & she's only spoken English for 6 yrs, after all....she *does* sometime have to slow down to think of the right word, or the right way of saying something, when she's having a regular, calm conversations w/ us. And even when she gets something right, she sometimes still uses Russian word order a little bit.) We asked her if, when that happens, if it would help if we back off a little & give her a few min to think of how she wants to say something, & she said she didn't know, but maybe that would help. She also said that sometimes, she's afraid to ask us something, cos she's afraid that she won't word it right, & maybe it'll sound like she's asking something completely different, & we'll get mad at her. We asked her if we've ever done anything worse than say "no" when she's asked us anything, & she admitted that, no, we've never gotten mad at her for asking a question.

So maybe, part of the problem is that we *all* have to slow down a little in our conversations, debates, etc. The next problem is *remembering* to do so.

She doesn't want to be like the other kids at her school. She doesn't associate w/ them, really - if one of them speaks politely to her, she'll respond politely, too, & once the conversation is over, she goes back to her work. If someone acts mean to her, she just says "whatever" & tries to ignore them. But she did say that sometimes, having to listen to their behavior, bad language, etc all day at school, made her mad. I asked her if it made her mad at *us*, & she said no, but when she'd start to tell us about it, it made her feel the same way she felt at school, while the actual event was happening.

We also broached the subject of her staying at that school or not. We asked her if she understood the reasons the school bothers us a little, & she said that she did understand - some of the kids are not good kids, & we don't want her to start acting like them. But she told us that, since she's trying not to associate w/ those kids (other than polite conversation at school), she really wants to stay there, cos her grades have skyrocketed since she started there, working at her own pace, & she wants to keep her good grades up, & maybe catch up to her age group a little more closely. She wants to continue doing lessons via the computer over the summer, so she can catch up even faster. We told her again how proud we are of her school work this yr, cos we knew she was smart enough to get decent grades....but we still have some reservations about the other kids at school, & asked her if she understood why it was such a touchy topic. She said she did understand, but she said that she just didn't care about the other kids, & just wanted to be able to concentrate on her school work, in the way that she discovered is the best way for her to do it & understand it all.

So, we ended up drawing up a contract w/ her, which she thought was a great idea. The deal is, IF she completes the chores she's supposed to do during the summer, IF she does it w/out arguing, & IF she works on maintaining her temper when we discuss things w/ her, we will allow her to stay at her present school. If she doesn't follow the contract, she will start losing things, including her cell phone, & her voice in the decision making process concerning school. In return, we have to give her a chance to stop & formulate what she wants to say to us when we talk, so she can express herself clearly w/out getting frustrated & mad at herself or at us. She thought this was very fair, & we all signed it. We will pull it out & evaluate our ability to stick to the contract, or make any changes we feel need to be made, as we go along, since situations change, & she won't actually be in school w/ these kids for the next few mos, which hopefully will have a calming effect on her behavior.

The ideal situation would be if there were some way she could do her school work the way she is now, which is working so well for her, but be able to do it in a public school situation. But, as of now, nothing like that exists. She's still adamant that she does NOT want to go back to the public middle school, where she was bullied so badly that she couldn't concentrate on her work, & was required to work at the speed everyone else in class did, which wasn't working for her. She also realizes that, at some point in the future, she may change her mind & want to try it again. We said we'd cross that bridge if we came to it, & she was fine w/ that.

Her behavior today was excellent. She did the things she was asked to do, did some extra stuff to keep busy (her brother's still in school until Tues), & even asked us to all sit down together & play a game after everything was done & before it got too late in the evening. So we did, & we all had a great time together.

We'll see what happens.

 
Old 05-29-2010, 08:37 AM   #13
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Posts: 969
justmel30 HB User
Re: 15 yr old daughter - what to do?

I think that sounds very productive and positive! I do not have teenagers.....my oldest is 8. But I go through problems with "effective communication" with them two. Like your daughter....my oldest has only spoken english for about 6 years! lol. Sometimes I forget the limits and it can be frustrating......very frustrating. But I think knowing that this is part of the problem is a great start at going about fixing it. And dont worry too badly if you dont remember and fail, it takes a lot of intiative and dilligence to make new habbits and keeping them. If you get it wrong........that's what appologies are for. At least we can be big enough to admit when we make a mistake......and if your anything like me and hate having to appologize and admit you were wrong, I imagine you will only have to do it once or twice before it begins to kick in.

As for her schooling.....there are some WONDERFUL home schooling programs out there. I dont know if that is something that you may be interested in...you may want to check into it. You can work a little more at your own pace because it takes a lot of the mumble jumble out of the day. there arent 30 other kids in her class so that alone cuts down on the time necessary, and there arent things like gym that also take up time. On the down side, there arent any extra curricular activities either like band or sports....but if you have a YMCA or a rec department in your area, you can still get her involved. I dont think I would worry about the lack of social since it seems like she isn't really persuing it to begin with. And with some of the programs, for instance calvert, you can even have access to teachers 24/7 that can help if you hit a sticky spot. They send tests and you mail in your work, then you get an actual grade and school transcripts that become available for applying to colleges and what have you. Anyway, it's just food for thought. Good luck!
Melissa

 
Old 05-30-2010, 11:57 PM   #14
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Join Date: May 2010
Posts: 2
cjickenplucker HB User
Re: 15 yr old daughter - what to do?

Sounds like a combination of being 15 and the school environment. Perhaps you should explore home schooling. Many public schools have such programs and assist you all the way in teaching your children at home. There are also private home schooling groups that assist and offer extra curricular activities which provide thae students with social interaction. We home schooled our son from 7th grade on and my Sister home schooled all 7 of her children from kindergarten through high school.
They are all well adjusted and fairly successful.

 
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