I do have an issue to ask you about. I have custody of my 17 year old granddaughter and school is definitely a challenge with her. M___ has been with me for just under 2 years. She is from __________ and after 2 years of grade 9 had only 4 credits. As of February 2007 she had 13 1/2 high school credits and requires 30 credits to graduate. Her problem is socializing, skipping and not handing in her homework - so of course she does not do well in school.
After talking with the vice principal at the school we decided to move her to a __________ School where she does not attend school for the entire day. She only goes to school for 2 hours per week per course and she does her homework on her own. This often works for students who have problems in the regular school stream. When we moved her to the Alternative school, I talked with her and told her this was her last chance to try and get a high school education, which is very important for her future.
I have been trying to find out how she is doing, but don't get much information. The school is not very responsive to parents because they treat the student as an adult, responsible for their education. Recently the vice principal has indicated in a voice mail she will talk with me - but we have not yet managed to connect.
M___ has indicated everything is fine and that she does not get a report card in this school. She has told me she has an 85 average and everything is great. Unfortunately, I have heard this story before so am a little cautious. When the actual marks come in she is often failing or barely making a passing grade.
Yesterday, I was gathering some laundry in her bathroom and found the report card sitting on the counter. M___ gets upset if she thinks I read her papers so I can't let on I have seen the report card.
The good news is that she has passed her 1/2 credit Civics course with a 61. The other 3 are full credit courses and so far she has 77 on her parenting course and 76 on her Sociology course - excellent for her but ...both teachers indicate that this mark is for unit 2 or 3 out of 10 and that she is not handing in her home work consistently. At this stage she should be on about unit 5. On her math course she has a 45 and the teacher has commented that she should attend school on a more regular basis and do her homework. So it sounds like she is not even attending the math class.
I'd appreciate some advise on what to do.
All of my adolescent clients are either in alternative school or working on their GED. None of them attend class with the frequency that teachers find optimal. But these kids get the work done eventually. Continue to do what you’ve been doing (i.e., stay out of it …schoolwork is your granddaughter’s job).
The Strong-Willed Out-of-Control Teen
The standard disciplinary techniques that are recommended for “typical” teenagers do not take into account the many issues facing teens with serious behavioral problems. Disrespect, anger, violent rages, self-injury, running away from home, school failure, hanging-out with the wrong crowd, drug abuse, theft, and legal problems are just some of the behaviors that parents of defiant teens will have to learn to control.
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