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Problems with 17 year old daughter

(12 Posts)
doglover Tue 14-Nov-17 20:27:57

This isn't a desperate situation. It isn't life or death. It is, however, causing me anxiety and I would really appreciate hearing your thoughts.

Our 17 year old dd is a bright girl who, we think, is unlikely to achieve her wish to attend university next year. She does very little studying at home - constantly on her phone / social media - and spends her free periods at college socialising. She attends all her lessons and does most of the homework but is not currently achieving her (realistic) predicted grades and show little motivation to study independently.

She says that I nag her to work - she's probably right, although I would call it 'trying to support her'! She says that she feels depressed but won't see the college counsellor or the GP. Her bedroom was an absolute tip which I know was upsetting her so I spent 2 days tidying and sorting it, in an attempt to help her emotionally but it's already messy again ..........

I know this isn't necessarily end-of-the-world stuff but I don't know what to do to help her without pressurising her. She has her A level mocks in 3 weeks and just seems to expect to sit them without actually doing any revision. She will probably then blame us for her poor results for making her 'feel bad'.

Do we just button our lips and let her get on with it?
Do we try to continue down the path of attempting to discuss our worries?

Please advise.

Ttbb Tue 14-Nov-17 20:30:01

It may take her a few years to do them...it sounds like she needs to grow up a bit. Just be there for her when the time comes.

doglover Tue 14-Nov-17 20:59:02

Thanks, Ttbb. I think you're probably right. We can't seem to have a normal conversation without tears and that's not doing any of us any good.

missminimum Tue 14-Nov-17 21:13:12

It is difficult and probably a very common scenario for a lot of parents. Possibly having a conversation about any plans she has and trying to excite her interest in going to uni or getting an interesting job. You could then talk about how she would feel on results day if she doesn't get the results SHE is hoping for. How would she feel if this happened and she knew she hadn't put the work in. I suppose it is about her focussing on doing her best and getting the best result she can. It my be that she is disillusioned as she may feel she is struggling with the course, so exploring if this is the case and if she needs help may be needed. She may just need time to realise that effort equals reward

doglover Tue 14-Nov-17 21:26:07

Thanks, MM. This is the sort of conversation that I have tried to initiate with her. She got a D grade for one of her AS levels in August and was desperately upset. We saw her tutor last week to discuss our worries and he is going to (discretely) set up a more structured programme for her learning whilst at college. We're all rooting for her but maybe we need to step back, let nature take its course and see what transpires .........

wonderingstar01 Fri 17-Nov-17 13:23:21

I came on the forum to see if anyone was having similar problems with their DD and here you are!

It's very stressful for everyone when you have to tip-toe around on egg-shells and try not to be seen to be pointing out the obvious. My DD is exactly the same as yours. She has aspirations to go to Oxford and could possibly do that if she woke up and realised it isn't going to happen unless she motivates herself.

She does nothing outside of school besides watch Netflix or talk to her friends on Snapchat. She even has to be prompted to take a wash never mind tidy her room which is an absolute disgrace. She waits until the last possible second to get out of bed in the morning so ultimately we are always late getting her to school. She spends more time applying her make-up in the car on the way to school than she spends doing any homework. She has a really well-paid p/t job which she hates and is constantly complaining about going. She is offered as much overtime as she wants but always side-steps it as she can't be bothered.

I'm not that tactful so tend to say things as I see it because I know if I dance around a subject nothing will change. Nothing's changing anyway though.

I can't take away phone/money/going out etc. as she pays for it herself from her wages and I just wish she would see that without hard work and dedication she's setting herself up for failure. It's hard to watch your DCs throwing away their dreams because of laziness and thinking they know best.

doglover Fri 17-Nov-17 21:11:46

As the person who started this thread, I wanted to reply to you WS01, but don't have any words of wisdom!

My dd has sent her UCAS form off now so we'll see what happens. I'm clinging on to the hope that if she gets the offers she's wants then this will encourage her to use her time more effectively.

This may be blind optimism but let's hope that both our dd start to show some maturity ......

rogueantimatter Sat 18-Nov-17 13:52:44

I get you.

My DC did hardly any studying either. They ended up doing quite well, getting better than predicted grades. As your DD is bright she will hopefully do better than you think once it gets close to the actual exams. So many teenagers seem to be like this. They just can't be bothered doing studying and there are so very many distractions.

Sometimes success breeds motivation. Try to notice anything she does/is that deserves praise. Anything! Eating green veg. being tolerant, doing a good job of her make up. anything.

Otoh, some teenagers unfortunately need to experience the effects of not having a good work ethic for themselves and will only apply themselves once they have experienced the harsh reality of having no money etc.

Good luck. You have my absolute sympathy, it's so hard when you have DC like this.

Timetogetup0630 Sat 18-Nov-17 16:37:32

My DD was like this too. Refused to work for GCSE and scraped through and went into sixth form. More motivated to work for AS and A levels but still, lots of time wasting, game playing, Snapchat, hanging out with boyfriend.
Nothing we said made any difference.
Didn't get the grades she needed for first choice university but went through clearing and ended up doing the degree she wanted at a Russell Group university. I am still not convinced she is in the right place and doing the right thing.
But she is kind, funny, lovely company, has worked several skilled part time jobs and is learning how to find her own way in the world.
When I see all the stressed and mentally ill teenagers our society is creating I have come to the conclusion that many things are more important than exam results. Just make sure she has some kind of a back up plan, and there is no shame in taking a year off while she matures and decides what to do next. Even if that year involves stacking shelves in the supermarket.

rogueantimatter Sat 18-Nov-17 17:36:39

Very wise words imo.

Sometimes I think we forget that if our DC's did all the stuff we wanted them to, they'd actually be our version of a perfect person.....

doglover Sat 18-Nov-17 20:23:08

Wise words indeed. Sometimes we need reminding of these factors. Good luck to all our DC.

rainbowstardrops Sat 25-Nov-17 09:42:27

Blimey, I thought you knew my DS for a minute and you wrote your post about him!!!
Mine is doing 2nd year of A levels but he just can’t be arsed to make any effort. He didn’t do as well as he wanted to last year and he seemed more motivated in September but nope, back to laziness now.
He’s struggling with depression and anxiety too (as do I) so it’s so tricky to know how hard to push.
Walk on eggshells every day here confused

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