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Daughter bombing AS levels, her mum making it worse.

(47 Posts)
Emu1969 Sun 08-Feb-15 08:37:30

I have 2 daughters from my first marriage. They're 17 and 14. I've been divorced from their mum for nearly ten years now and now live with my wife and 2 yo adopted little boy. I see the girls on a very regular basis and they stay once in the week and every other w/e. My eldest scraped through her GCSEs with last minute efforts and said he would learn lessons for AS levels. She recently got 4 U grades in mocks.

She has a very shouty relationship with her mum and does no work there. I've talked with her college and we all agree that things need to change. I think she should come and live with us during her studies. I have a calmer relationship with her and can supervise her working. Im also a teacher. Her mum is taking this all personally though and refuses to let his happen just saying that it would be disruptive. She wants her to stay there and get into better study habits - something she has failed to do despite our efforts so far for years - and me to supervise. Clearly, I feel I can't do this properly as I don't live there! She'd be much better off at ours. Help! Advice? Her mother is VERY tricky to talk to and doesn't listen.

afreshstartplease Sun 08-Feb-15 08:39:07

What does your dd want

Emu1969 Sun 08-Feb-15 08:43:11

She wants to come and live with me. But also doesn't want to upset her mum. She knows she needs a new start

agnesnott Sun 08-Feb-15 09:13:57

You obviously care about your daughter but remember raising teenagers is hard. You might find you have a calmer relationship because you don't have to deal with the daily issues that can cause "a shouty relationship" . Trust me raising teenagers can be hard! Throw in relationship breakdowns, new siblings etc etc mix with hormones.
Think hard about her moving in it might unsettle her move. But whatever you do you all need to talk openly and not behind her mum's back because she is doing the hard stuff too.
Also when you do don't sound like you are blaming her mother because it comes across like that and you need to telling your daughter her study is her responsibility. She is 17 and needs to be mature enough to study.

lljkk Sun 08-Feb-15 09:21:20

Her mum sounds pretty upset already!

DishwasherDogs Sun 08-Feb-15 09:24:53

At 17 I don't think she should have her work supervised, she should be doing it herself.
Perhaps A levels aren't for her.
I'm not sure you can be so sure that she will always be calmer and easier for you, once she becomes used to you being the main parent that she lives with, things might shift to the more shouty again.

Emu1969 Sun 08-Feb-15 09:33:32

Hmm. I don't blame her mum. You're right- it is my daughters responsibility and she needs to make it work. Am just trying to set up a better atmosphere and ethic. I am a calmer and more rational person than her mum though; but the focus needs to be on the work improving rather than where she lives I guess. Thanks for advice.

lljkk Sun 08-Feb-15 09:41:10

I'd be delighted to hand my stroppy teen over to live with another parent...
Do you have a bitter relationship with your ex?

titchy Sun 08-Feb-15 10:25:28

Actually both you and your Dd are blaming her mum for her lack of study - but the fault is your Dd's. She thinks everything will magically become ok if she lived with you - you would wave a magic wand and she's auddeny become more studious with no effort on her part at all.

In fact unless she WANTS to change simply moving to a different house won't fix things. And I'm guessing also that unless she changes the things that makes her mum irate, you'd end up being the irate one too when she's left her clothes in the washing machine again, or thrown a strop because you said no to picking her up at some ungodly hour!

Emu1969 Sun 08-Feb-15 10:26:48

grin Throw 'em all my way! Bitter? It's had its ups and downs; but have increasingly less to do with her as girls get older. Like I said though, far from easy to talk to. Although she may well say same about me!

MaudeLebowski Sun 08-Feb-15 10:26:53

To be honest, if she only scraped through GCSEs, A Levels are not for her.

Living with you wouldn't change that, sorry.

titchy Sun 08-Feb-15 10:27:43

And yes at 17 she certainly shouldn't need a parent to cajole her into studying!

I also suspect having scraped GCSEs doing four AS is simply too much. Maybe she should look into a vocational alternative?

Emu1969 Sun 08-Feb-15 10:29:47

Scraped through as in did reasonably with minimal effort apart from final weeks. She's in a levels now, so we need to try to make it work, not give up. She does seem to want to make it work having had the shock mock results.

coalscuttle Sun 08-Feb-15 10:32:45

If scraping through her gcses didn't teach her anything then living with you will change nothing. Is she planning on uni? There won't be a parent there to manage her studies or yo blame the other parent when she messes up. At 17 she needs to take responsibility for herself. And you sound like you dislike her mother and want to blame her.

Emu1969 Sun 08-Feb-15 10:33:53

Well I've seen kids I teach turn it around from this stage, so I have to believe that she can do the same. She is my daughter after all!

MaudeLebowski Sun 08-Feb-15 10:33:53

Effort is a big part of academic success though - GCSEs and A Levels to not measure intelligence. They measure a combination of cleverness, memory, work ethic and effort put into it.

She's not going to put the effort in at A Level, if she didn't at GCSE, sorry.

You could really help this girl by exploring her other options.

MadderPink Sun 08-Feb-15 10:37:02

Does she live far away? Maybe a good compromise would be to arrange some times for her to study at yours, times to suit her, perhaps an extra night at yours that is devoted to getting homework done. (Though I agree "supervising" shouldn't be necessary, but giving her a calm atmosphere and encouragement.) If it works, you may have a point. If she still can't motivate herself and things get shouty with you, it may help you to see your ex's POV.

Lonecatwithkitten Sun 08-Feb-15 10:37:27

Having been the person who didn't do well at GCSE and then did come through at A-Level what changed me.
Yes someone did need to show me how to correctly organise myself, but having got the plan the drive to complete the plan had to come from me.
Yes you can help her by drawing up study plans together, but the follow through on the plan needs to come from her and if she has the right drive she will do it at Mum's house.

figginz Sun 08-Feb-15 10:50:14

I don't agree with the pps saying she can't turn it around. I'm sure she can, but only if she wants to.

Have you considered being her "study-partner" (can't think of a better term). Help her draw up a study plan, and maybe she comes over to you for some study evenings where she can discuss the work she has on with you. That way you avoid becoming the lived-with parent who gets all the shouty behaviour, her mum gets a break too.

Just try to avoid becoming her teacher. From my experience with my dad, that won't end happily!

figginz Sun 08-Feb-15 10:52:05

Forgot to add - what are her friends like? Doing ok or also bombing?

Emu1969 Sun 08-Feb-15 10:57:09

You guys are good! I've only just joined MN. She lives v near Madd, but fear too much to-ing and fro-ing may be counter-productive and that she could use as excuse for procrastinating. Some good ideas Figg. I do try an stand back a little as teacher/parent, as hate pushy parent syndrome. Am calling ex in 5, so will update!

Emu1969 Sun 08-Feb-15 10:58:18

Some friends doing well,'others bombing.

PeaceOfWildThings Sun 08-Feb-15 11:03:03

She us the one who needs to turn thus around and not you. You might be right, if she lives with you she might get better AS and level results, but that would have been with your support. She wouldn't have learned to work out her own routine and work on her own work ethic, develop self discipline and be a self starter. These are essential to survive at university. She needs to learn to manage this herself without interference from either of her parents. If it helps any my DC is in a similar situation and is turning things around, developing better sleep habits, regular study times and times out with friends, hobbies and new job. We were occasionally allowed a glimpse into aspects of this, but only when it was clear we did not expect to be in control were we trusted with more, and there was massive improvements all round.

PeaceOfWildThings Sun 08-Feb-15 11:05:03

*She is the one who needs to turn this around and not you.

Emu1969 Sun 08-Feb-15 11:23:34

These are wise words ,Peace. Trouble is, that's not going To happen at the moment and she can't afford to fall further or she'll be kicked out. Have now spoken with ex and we are going to listen to D tonight and let her say how she sees it going best. As long as a decision is made, we can move it on. Also helps that the present Mrs Emu very sagacious and supportive!

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