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11 yr old daughter not interested much in anything incl school

(7 Posts)
baahhumbug Mon 10-Dec-12 11:18:08

My dd aged 11 doesn't seem very passionate about anything ... She doesn't really have any hobbies, she likes reading but won't stretch herself with "better" books, only reading rubbish teenage fiction. She is learning to play an instrument but won't practise at all, doesn't seem to care much about it, although she wanted to learn and does seem to enjoy the lessons (once a week). She has a hamster and fish but doesn't check they have food and doesn't even look at them really. She only does homework when asked and to the bare minimum it seems. She's on As and Bs at school in year 7 but is fairly quiet we think (based on what teachers have said now and in the past). She has friends and is not unhappy at school.

I'm finding this very frustrating. She doesn't do her chores unless nagged repeatedly, and not even then somtimes, even though she has the opportunity to earn extra pocket money for doing more.

I am worried she won't do as well as she could at school, because she can't be bothered to do more than the bare minimum. I want to fire her with enthusiasm for school, work and hobbies but don't know how.

I'm not a pushy parent, I just want her to make the best of her life and school and have a good time too.

I should maybe add she is like an only child as her siblings are much older and no longer live at home.

Anyone got any tips or been in a similar situation?

baahhumbug Mon 10-Dec-12 23:08:12



ItsRainingOutside Mon 10-Dec-12 23:28:32

My daughter is exactly the same but I really believe it's just a phase. Going up to senior school means girls especially are focused on making and maintaining new friends and being accepted. I'm hoping that once she is more confident in her relationships, she will start to expand her interests in the knowledge her friends will still be there at the end of the day.

Elegantlybasted Mon 10-Dec-12 23:37:51

Hi, this will be a bit of a run by posting as I'm just off to bed but saw you had bumped this....
I have a DD of a similar age, also an only. In terms of her general lack of interest, I'd say its quite usual at this age. Reading - be glad she is reading, I remember just wanting to read crap at that age, wasn't interested in stretching myself with more demanding books, I love reading now. DD will only read a book if it really grabs her, she hasn't the patience to give a book a chance and sometimes you need that with more complex books. You say she is getting A's and B's at school, are these attainment grades, what do her teachers think she is capable of? Do you think her levels of attainment have dropped off after moving from junior school. If these are attainment grades then she sounds like she is doing pretty well, how much higher could she go than an A? I would take the opportunity to talk to her teachers and see how they feel she is doing, don't wait for a parents evening if you are concerned.

If she won't practice her music maybe you should take a stand and tell her that the lessons will stop if she doesn't make more effort, also her music teacher could be asked to stress the importance of practice.

baahhumbug Tue 11-Dec-12 10:57:59

Thanks for your replies smile

tbh she has been like this for quite a while, so I don't think it's the move to high school that has caused this.

Yes she is on target with her grades so far. But I think she is quite clever, certainly very good at English when she makes the effort and she could do so much better, she shows no pride in how her work looks, i.e. tidy handwriting (and she can do it when she chooses), her spelling is and always has been exceptionally good and yet she makes silly mistakes in her homework. A few effort grades at school are Bs so she could be trying harder. We had a parents consultation day yesterday at school (only with her form teacher so not that useful) and she is adamant that Charlotte can be happy with her progress.

I'm not giving her a hard time, have praised her for her good tracker report on Friday etc. But I know she could do better.

But also I find the lack of interest in music lessons, her pets etc. frustrating.

Elegantlybasted, I AM glad she's reading, she has always read lots but used to read more challenging books, now it's "candyfloss" stuff, boyfriends, makeup, that sort of stuff.

We have told her that we can't continue to pay for her music lessons if she doesn't practise and show an interest but she doesn't seem to care. I care however and want her to continue! LOL. We have also spoken to the music teacher about this and he is trying to encourage her to practise but it doesn't seem to make much difference at the moment.

ZZZenAgain Tue 11-Dec-12 11:06:19

it is always a problem when you are naturally able to cruise and do reasonably well at things to make yourself work at these things in order to do really well. She just doesn't have the motivation, she has probably never been really stretched either in school or out of it. If you can get her to work hard at one thing, it teaches an attitude and trains a self-discipline which can carry over into other areas (except perhaps tidiness). Work daily with her on a subject she gets B in until she gets A? Be calm and no nonsense like in manner and show some enthusiam for it yourself. Tell her that the aim is to get an A.

baahhumbug Wed 12-Dec-12 11:11:17

Not a bad idea. Maths is one of my main worries as she has a B in effort there and is still very slow in mental maths, e.g. times tables. She HATES practising them though.

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