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How DO you get the message through to your teen that THIS IS IT they have ONE CHANCE to try their hardest at school

(234 Posts)
cyb Fri 19-Aug-11 13:46:46

<Hangs head in hands>

Because my D (nearly16) just does not get it.

La la la , yes I'll do it tomorrow, no on else is doing it, it DOESNT MATTER MUM, I've got ages before it has to be handed in, I'll do it when I've finished that other thing,I've lost the piece of paper la la la if I hear ONE MORE airy fairy wafty reason why she can't do her work .....

She's a clever girl, really clever and I think that's part of the problem, she can coast in subjects and do well but others are slipping.

She's part of an intervention programme her school have initiated to support girls who aren't achieveing their potential and even serious chats from head of years or Deputy heads only seem to elicit the same nods and 'yes I' will's' that never materialise.


CaptainKirksNipples Fri 19-Aug-11 13:50:43

Why does she only have one chance? What does she want to do when she leaves school?

cyb Fri 19-Aug-11 13:52:09

She has one chance to try her best at secondary school doesn't she.

Mandyville Fri 19-Aug-11 13:53:47

Hate to say it, but do you think there's anything you CAN do? Would anything your mum said have convinced you at 16?

Also - as CaptainKirksNipples says, it's not her one/last/only chance. She's young and, annoyingly for you, she knows it!

Are you worried that she'll end up living at home until she's 30? If that's the kind of thing that's on your mind, make a resolution that it won't happen. No need to tell her about it right away, but it might help you disengage. If, on the other hand, you have existential worries about her future life and happiness, this isn't going to help at all! Sorry...

Mandyville Fri 19-Aug-11 13:55:10

cyb x-posts, but this isn't her one chance at success. I'm 35. No-one cares whether I tried my best at secondary school - they care how I am right now.

wadadlis Fri 19-Aug-11 13:55:47

can you afford to bribe her??
Enough GCSE courses are modular these days that you should be able to offer bribes for decent results??
would have worked for me...

cyb Fri 19-Aug-11 13:57:46

I'm not woried about her living at home at 30, those thoughts havent even crossed my mind.

I just dont want her to get average marks which might impact on her later choices in life, because she would rather lie on her bed watching a DVD on her laptop.

And she does only have one chance to get recent GCSE results, unless she wants to be doing resits later in life

I just want her to 'get it' the way we 'get it' ,because we are older and been there; that if you put the work in, you get results


cyb Fri 19-Aug-11 13:58:27

Hmm, bribes, hadnt thought of that

cyb Fri 19-Aug-11 14:00:40

Mandy I dont want her to be thinking 'Oh ,no one will care what grades I got when I'm 35' even though you and I know that's the reality of the situation.

didoreth Fri 19-Aug-11 14:01:36

It isn't her one chance.

I did no work at all at school, due to a complete lack of motivation, and got rubbish A level results. I am now in a high status and well paid profession which is extremely academically competitive to get into.

Why not be bold and suggests she leaves school and works in a dead end job for a while, until she sees for herself the utility of good qualifications?

wadadlis Fri 19-Aug-11 14:02:50

the other thing you could do is to try to get the school to help you more. if you stay in really close contact with them (head of year/subject teachers/form tutor) and let them know that you are 100% behind them in every effort they make to motivate your child to succeed they will almost certainly help her more. as a teacher i know that it is so demoralising when you are doing all this intervention but there doesn't seem to be anyone at home who cares.

meet the teachers face-to-face, find out what the real issues are, ask them for advice. they may also have a student in the 6th form who is like your daughter and now regrets not working...can she talk to that individual and learn from them?

nightmare, not looking forward to my 3yo son being a teenager - i'm sure i'll look back at this advice and shout 'silly cow, what did she know??!!'

cyb Fri 19-Aug-11 14:03:08

ohh ohh that would be fantastic to do that! Wish I could

And humph to all you lot saying 'I only got 2 D's and I'm President of the IBM' grin

cyb Fri 19-Aug-11 14:04:45

Perhaps I am overegging the 'one chance' thing, you seem to be correcting me on that. (Altho I still think she has one chanceat secondary to do well)

Perhaps I meant I want her to start good study habits so she doesnt blow it

cyb Fri 19-Aug-11 14:05:17

And by 'THE IBM' I meant, 'IBM'

AMumInScotland Fri 19-Aug-11 14:05:57

Unfortunately teenager don't just "get it", and they also think they know everything so won't listen to what older people tell them. I have always told DS that it is far easier and more convenient to get good results first time round, rather than having to redo them later when you maybe have a lot of other committments on your time and energy. I think that has worked better for him than me trying to convince him that it is his one and only chance. Because, basically, it isn't their only chance, and their lives will not be ruined if they don't get good results at this stage!

I also think if you do manage to convince them its their only chance you then risk serious stress and depression when it comes to exam results time - if you then have to backtrack and say "the world isn't ending" then it won't be very convincing.

cyb Fri 19-Aug-11 14:06:45

Bloody teenagers

piprabbit Fri 19-Aug-11 14:07:03

I'm 40(ish) and know several men and women who are returning to education. They are working at all sorts of levels, GCSEs, A-levels and degrees and all seem to be enjoying themselves.

It's not that they have spent the last few years since school as some sort of failures or social pariahs - they just have a clear idea of what they want to be doing in the next phase of their life.

I know school is really important - but your DD will find her own path in life and it is best if you can support instead of condemn her.

PonceyMcPonce Fri 19-Aug-11 14:08:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

cyb Fri 19-Aug-11 14:08:49

Not condemning her. Just want her to TRY

I've just done a GCSE in Biology for a course I want to do and it was bloody hard so I know these exams are not the walk in the park some peple think. Getting good results does take a lot of commitment

KeepingUpWithTheCojones Fri 19-Aug-11 14:10:44

I coasted through GCSE with no work.

Then failed my AS levels.

It was a massive wake up call and luckily I could retake them all in the January. It took that to make me realise. With hindsight, I should have listened to my mother and I could have saved me and my family a lot of stress. But I was clever and I'd never failed at anything (much like your DD).

Failing was the best thing to happen to me, though unpleasant. On the other hand, some friends who sailed through GCSEs and A-levels barely passed their degrees. It might be a lesson that she needs to learn, although it will leave you wanting to bang your head against the asphalt...

TheReturnoftheSmartArse Fri 19-Aug-11 14:11:03

I don't think there's anything you can do, to be honest. I have a 16 year old with an IQ of 154 which is apparently high. The teachers are always banging on about it (they had her tested, not me) but I'm afraid that is only an indication of potential. So yes, if she pulled her finger out she could potentially do very well, but I'd bet my bottom dollar that her GCSE results next week will be fairly average!

I think it's a question of maturity, and some mature faster and "get it" than others. I think my DD will shine at A'level - she's nearly there now but not quite!

I share your frustration, though.

Thistledew Fri 19-Aug-11 14:11:10

It is not the end of the world if she does not do as well as she really could at school.

I didn't do as well as I should have at A levels, partly through undiagnosed dyslexia, and partly through not applying myself as hard as I could. The same happened for my degree.

I now work in one of the most academically demanding careers having found my motivation to do well in a series of professional qualifications.

It has taken me longer to get to this stage than my peers who did come out of school and uni with great results, and I have had to work harder to prove myself through relevant work experience, but I have not been disadvantaged in the long run.

All you can do is tell her that she will only achieve what she works for and that she is making it harder for herself to achieve later on the longer she puts off applying herself.

Then try not to worry. She will always have the chance to reach her potential at any point she decides she wants to.

supadupapupascupa Fri 19-Aug-11 14:14:53

i think there comes a point where you lose control of your kids. you can tell them your opinion but ultimately it is their right to fail at exams or not reach their potential should they choose to.
if you have parented right, you will have given them the ability to succeed when they are ready to. if you haven't it's a bit late at this stage.

i messed about for years, but eventually sorted myself out because my parents brought me up to have confidence and self worth. i was just a lazy messed up kid at that time......

twinklytroll Fri 19-Aug-11 14:15:29

Has she been on a work experience placement, for many of ours that is a huge wake up call. For some of them they get to do their dream job and that motivates them to work hard to get the qualifications. For others they end up doing something really dull, probably because they could not be bothered to return the forms quickly or arrange something and they realise that if they do not start trying it will be their life.

Other kids need to experience failure. Some students can get A grades without really trying at GCSE, for some the first feeling of failure comes at A Level and this is the first time they have to try they sink before learning to swim very fast.

cyb Fri 19-Aug-11 16:42:07

Hey something must have sunk in after my ranty lecture! She did an hours Physics study and came and asked if I woudl test her

<thunk> grin

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