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  #1  
Old 11-17-2003, 08:58 AM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
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How Do You MOTIVATE a 16-Year Old Girl?

I am getting depressed about my teenage daughter-she is 16, and has no interest in school. Her world revolves around boys, rap music (she adores M&M), and partying. Her grades are mediocre-she gets Cs and Ds, and seems to have no idea of what career to persue. I've been taking her to museums, plays, music events, etc., in hopes of stimulating her interests in something better.
Unfortunately, as she is now a junior in HS, she hasn't got much time left..if she wants to get into a good college.
The thought of her winding up as an uneducated, unmotivated member of the underclass really depresses me..what can I do?
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  #2  
Old 11-17-2003, 09:17 AM
Julien Julien is offline
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Pay more attention to the example you've genuinely set for her, and not just the superficial 'motivation' endoevers. Have you always set a good example? The odds are that you haven't. It seems more than likely that your daughter is suffering from a psychologic or emotional disorder, which is, of course, either entirely your fault, or entirely genetics fault dependant upon the disorder. Try paying a little bit more attention to what she's interested in. You mentioned "Eminem," She obviously listens to him because she feels like she can relate to his music, why not give it a listen and figure out the message she's trying to convey? And not a "He curses, and uses poorly constructed metaphors. He's bad-kind of listen either. A genuine sit down and try to see the world from your daughter's eyes. Only then can you hope to find a way to motivate her. But it's never really too late. Even if she does poorly in high school she can get a tech job in the military and get into a great college if she decides to go that route later in life.
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  #3  
Old 11-17-2003, 09:34 AM
sugaree sugaree is offline
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Well, keep up what you're doing, because I'm sure she's getting a lot of benefits from the places you're taking her (and the one-on-one time with Dad). But at 16, she may already be in sink or swim territory. She is old enough now that she is intellectually aware of the consequences of blowing off school, and at some point, she and only see can make the decision to do well. You said "If she wants to get into a good college." That is something that she has to want to do.

She may simply not be college material, in which case she still needs you to love her unconditionally. It doesn't mean she will end up an unmotivated member of the underclass--there are places in society for people to succeed without degrees. Perhaps she just hasn't found her niche.

She may simply not be mature enough to set her own priorities and manage her time right now. So she may not get a scholarship to an Ivy League school; she could still get a college education when she's ready for it.

She likes boys and partying? Well then, she'd love college. You could emphasize how incrediably fun college can be; that is, how fun it can be for those who learned how to juggle academics and a social life in high school.
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  #4  
Old 11-17-2003, 09:39 AM
Calliope Calliope is offline
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I think that you need to step back and let her decide what she wants for herself. Perhaps college is not a goal for her right now. Should it be in the future, it is entirely possible to get into a college without a high school diploma, and exceptional grades are not required. Even if she were to graduate with a very low GPA, she could still go to a junior college when she is properly motivated, earn good grades, and then transfer to a "good" college.

Perhaps her lack of motivation is a signal to you that she wants to be in control of her own decisions and not be compelled to meet someone else's defiinition of success. Grades and parental approval are extrinsic rewards. They lose their effect unless and until she become intrinsically motivated.

Truly, you need to tell her you are leaving it up to her whether she chooses to get good grades. She needs to find her own path in life without pressure from anyone else. Once she truly feels she is in charge of deciding where that path will lead, you will be surprised at the level of motivation she will show. Perhaps this won't happen until she has been out of school and in the real world for a couple of years.

But just the same, her life will not be over and her options will not be closed just because she has yet to find her intrinsic motivation.
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  #5  
Old 11-17-2003, 09:42 AM
greck greck is offline
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Re: How Do You MOTIVATE a 16-Year Old Girl?

You don't.

She can motivate herself.

You just set up your expectations for her behavior and productivity, set up the consequences for her potential reactions, and let her find her own way.

Don't worry about her discovering a career, she'll find one. Truly rare is the college bound kid who really knows what he/she wants to do career wise. That's what the first five years of college are for.

What's she doing partying, carrying on with boys, and listening to eminem when she's bringing home such substandard grades?

Here's what you do: You take away all the good stuff she has (assuming you bought it) such as tv, phone, computer in her room, etc. until she can prove she has a good GPA. Let her figure out how to prove it to you (cause it's a long time between grade reports); she may come up with a weekly status report from her teachers regarding her test scores and homework, if she doesn't come up with it, maybe you could suggest it. Either way, be ready to listen to her creative ways of proving to you that she's doing well.
Also: be ready for the notion that she may not want to attend a "good" college. You have no control over that. What you do have control over is the rules of your home. You control those, believe in them, and let her adjust.
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  #6  
Old 11-17-2003, 09:44 AM
SentientMeat SentientMeat is offline
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Not sure GD is the correct forum, but the keyword here is choice.

It is her choice to reject college, which is something you should accept, and she should be confident that you will still love her no matter what choice she makes.

However, it should also be clear that making such a choice now severly restricts choice later. An unfortunate fact of life is that if you don't do what you are told at sixteen, you end up having to do what you are told for the rest of your life. College allows a greater choice of career, regardless of what one studies (within reason). The choice of when one can have a good time, if at all, is definitely restricted if you have to work shifts on minimum wage, and far easier if one's parents provide some financial support which might not be forthcoming if college is rejected.
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  #7  
Old 11-17-2003, 09:48 AM
Rashak Mani Rashak Mani is offline
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Teen who is lost and doesn't like studying ? Seems very normal to me...

Try bribing her into studying ? Get her some poetry books that she might relate to ? Literature helps sometimes.

This might be a phase...
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  #8  
Old 11-17-2003, 10:02 AM
monstro monstro is offline
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Looks like she's not going to live a goody-goody existence for her young adulthood. Although disappointing, it's not the end of the world.

My older sister was like your daughter, except she was enamored with punk. She would cut class and smoke weed in the house and runaway sometimes. She managed to make it to college, but she flunked out after a semester.

College isn't for everyone. College right after high school isn't for everyone either.

My sister's doing great, now. She's a mutual funds advisor and lives a solidly middle-class existence. And she's much wiser than I'll probably ever be. Don't be depressed. Chances are your daughter will come around to some sense of responsibility.
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  #9  
Old 11-17-2003, 10:17 AM
Metacom Metacom is offline
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A "Good" college is possible with bad HS grades

Don't think that her future is hopelessly bleak if she does poorly in high school.

Going to community college for a couple years (after the realization that her life is going nowhere has sufficiently motivated her) and then transferring to a 4-year school is cheaper and gives just as good, if not better (due to class sizes) an education. State schools (even good state schools, e.g., Berkeley) accept a sizeable number of transfers from community colleges.

This is what I eventually did after dropping out of high school as a freshman. My grades were far worse then C's.
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  #10  
Old 11-17-2003, 10:56 AM
Cat Fight Cat Fight is offline
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Never give up. Even when she curses to your face or slams your door, make it known that you will always be there for her (cheesy, I know. Even if you stop taking her to plays and trying to have meaningful conversations, just knowing that you won't get mad when she truly needs you is so important)
In case you've forgotten what it's like to be 16, you might want to rent Ghost World.
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  #11  
Old 11-17-2003, 11:54 AM
Garfield226 Garfield226 is offline
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Coming from a 19 year old, so from a bit of a closer perspective.

Come down hard. Now. If her grades are unacceptable to you, make sure she knows that, and make sure she knows that they will become acceptable within as short a time period as possible.

She's not an adult yet, her "choices" right now should be respected only if they're non-detrimental to her future.

No parties, no boys, no car (even if she's paying for it) until she's meeting or exceeding your expectations. Those things are priviledges, not rights.

You will help her meet your expectations. It sounds like you've been trying, but maybe you could move towards something a bit more tangible, like helping with homework, watching and discussing books and movies, discussing the news, etc.

If she has a job, consider making her quit. She doesn't NEED the money, and it's quite possibly affecting her grades.

I concur with the previous posters that college isn't for everyone. I was top %10 of my highschool class, and I'm struggling in my second year right now. HOWEVER, that doesn't mean that good grades and being successful in highschool won't help her be successful in whatever she chooses to do afterwards.

More information about specific problems she's having, and about your family life in general would've been desirable in making the above observations, and in some cases, could change my advice, but as it is, there it is.
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  #12  
Old 11-17-2003, 12:34 PM
SnoopyFan SnoopyFan is offline
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I don't think a 16 year old should be expected to have any idea of what kind of career they want. Not that I'm implying that you're trying to pressure her into making a decision like that yet or anything -- I'm just saying don't worry about it.

I was 25 before I knew what I wanted to do, and before then I was just wasting my time trying to go to college. Now that I'm focused, I'm kicking ass! Maybe your girl's a late bloomer, but she'll bloom

And I'm with whoever said to yank the goodies till the grades come up.
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  #13  
Old 11-17-2003, 12:53 PM
Mr Jim Mr Jim is offline
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How about signing her up for some regular volunteer work? Even if you have to enforce her attendance it might help her see things from another perspective.
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  #14  
Old 11-17-2003, 12:57 PM
scotandrsn scotandrsn is online now
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Re: Re: How Do You MOTIVATE a 16-Year Old Girl?

Quote:
Originally posted by greck


What's she doing partying, carrying on with boys, and listening to eminem when she's bringing home such substandard grades?

Here's what you do: You take away all the good stuff she has (assuming you bought it) such as tv, phone, computer in her room, etc. until she can prove she has a good GPA. Let her figure out how to prove it to you (cause it's a long time between grade reports); she may come up with a weekly status report from her teachers regarding her test scores and homework, if she doesn't come up with it, maybe you could suggest it. Either way, be ready to listen to her creative ways of proving to you that she's doing well.
...What you do have control over is the rules of your home. You control those, believe in them, and let her adjust.
I'll second everything I just quoted. If you are trying to establish that good grades are a priority right now, why are behaviors that you both know are not going to result in good grades allowed to continue? Some solid discipline is in order, and you're the one who has to oversee it.

If you are so devoted to spending time with her, why not take her to some of these colleges you hope she can aspire to? Let her get a view of campus life, and work together to decide where she might like to go.

Remember, a teenager is neither a child, nor an adult. She doesn't have the knowledge or life experience to make mature decisions yet, but she is also no longer a naif who hangs on your every word as gospel. You have to acknowledge her increased ability to accept responsibilities without abdicating too many of your own.
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  #15  
Old 11-17-2003, 01:31 PM
badmana badmana is offline
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Wow, a rather wide spectrum of thoughts on how to bring up a 16 year old.

It's probably not possible to get help in this from the internet. You know your kid, you should know what' going to work or not. Suddently coming down like a ton of bricks when your daughter is used to a different style of parenting will definantly back fire and if she wants to, she can totally destroy her life by running away (something my sister did). Do not underestimate your 16 year old. My sister ran away for 4 years before coming back and she was 18.

I say keep doing some light encouragement. Make her see your efforts in getting her to care, because if you brought her up well she should at least want to make you a happy. At 16 life is rather confusing, having solid parents is what all children want and need.

BTW I like eminem music but I would be slightly worried if your daughter is a huge fan. A lot of his music is rather dark. She might either feel the music matches components of her life, or just likes the beat (who knows). It might be rather akward but you might want to ask her about it.
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  #16  
Old 11-17-2003, 02:19 PM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
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Thanks for the helpful comments..however, I am divorced (I am the Non-custodial parent). So, I don't have much control over my daughter's life. Anyway, I always wanted her to be a doctor or professional. She just isn't on the right path, and it hurts. My ex-wife doesn't seem to want to do anything about it, and I've given up talking to her about it.
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  #17  
Old 11-17-2003, 02:25 PM
Helen's Eidolon Helen's Eidolon is offline
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My advice, from a 21 year old:

1) Don't try to force her into anything. That'll just make her stick her heels in.

2) Encourage her to read, talk to people about careers etc.

3) My most valuable advice: get her to get a job. A minimum wage job. A crappy one. One she'll hate. She'll realize pretty quickly that she doesn't want to be there forever, and she'll take steps to make sure of that.
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  #18  
Old 11-17-2003, 03:17 PM
Ravenman Ravenman is offline
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I've never raised a kid, so feel free to disregard my thoughts.

I, too, was a pretty aimless 16 y.o., with mediocre grades and all that, until I get a teacher who got me excited about history and politics. I left HS early, went to community college, transferred to a four-year school, and did great. All I needed was to discover what direction I wanted to take.

I'm not too in to others' advice to come down on her like a drill sergeant. Put me in the "she's gotta open her eyes to the world" camp.

I'd suggest getting her to get a job, and to get her to travel outside the country on an exchange trip or something. The world can appear pretty small to a high schooler with no real long-term goals, and maybe seeing something new will snap her out of it.

Or, she'll just spend two weeks in Paris rolling her eyes at her Dad who is just, like, SO dumb, or something.
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  #19  
Old 11-17-2003, 03:46 PM
Chicago Faucet Chicago Faucet is offline
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I have to agree with a lot that has already been said here. I would like to elaborate.

At 16, I cared about little else besides cars and girls - and that was before cell phones and the Internet ever existed.

My family was middle class, but I felt that I was spoiled, so I joined the military. I was as clueless as your daughter, but atleast had the insight to know that college would have been a massive waste of my parents' money. I decided that a little punishment for myself was needed, for the long term benefit.

Four years later, my friends were still floundering in college with half of a Liberal Arts degree completed.

I'm not saying send you daughter off to a military school. I'm saying that a little deprivation in priveledges really makes one realize what they really need, and spawns an appreciation of these same privledges.
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  #20  
Old 11-17-2003, 04:56 PM
greck greck is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ralph124c
Thanks for the helpful comments..however, I am divorced (I am the Non-custodial parent). So, I don't have much control over my daughter's life. Anyway, I always wanted her to be a doctor or professional. She just isn't on the right path, and it hurts. My ex-wife doesn't seem to want to do anything about it, and I've given up talking to her about it.
non-custodial, that changes things.

You want her to be a doctor, but you can't make her one so don't try. If you feel you absolutely must give her unsolicited advice, make sure you're doing it humbly.

Have no covert agendas with her; she'll probably sniff them out and see you as a manipulator. Strive for nothing in your relationship with her other than a good relationship. Then maybe your advice will mean something.
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  #21  
Old 11-17-2003, 05:26 PM
Sterra Sterra is offline
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I think that helping her get a job would be the best thing you can do. Generally in those places you have people who didn't go to college and regret it and who will encourage you to do your best.

Don't try to encourage her to be a "professional". Remember that lots of people have useless degrees that they don't like.

Also don't worry too much. I graduated highschool with a 3.3 and enrolled at a community college where some of the honors students I am around were straight C students or were kicked out of highschool. And generally the ones that really work for their grades are the ones who didn't go straight on to college and worked for a living or went into the military.
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  #22  
Old 11-17-2003, 05:31 PM
Rashak Mani Rashak Mani is offline
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hhmm... I might be an opposite example. I went thru high school with very good grades. Studied a lot and now I am in a not so good job... lacking in maturity too.

I lack ambition thou... but still good students don't translate into good professionals always. The fact that I wasn't a rebel during my teens also means I developed less maturity perhaps...
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  #23  
Old 11-17-2003, 06:59 PM
Magiver Magiver is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Rashak Mani
hhmm... I might be an opposite example. I went thru high school with very good grades. Studied a lot and now I am in a not so good job... lacking in maturity too.

I lack ambition thou... but still good students don't translate into good professionals always. The fact that I wasn't a rebel during my teens also means I developed less maturity perhaps...
lacking in maturity? That is the last thing I would say about you based on your posts. And ambition is but one yardstick you can measure yourself by. I've deliberately traded money for quality of life. Good working hours and lots of vacation time mean more to me at this time of my life.

To address the subject. I suspect ralph124c is seeing the writing on the wall and does not want to raise another family because he suspects (gender assumption) that his daughter will go forth and multiply with no regard for the child.

I'm assuming "college" was meant to convey "career training" so ralph124c should continue to harp. Garfield226 makes sense to me, quite honest for a 19 year old. Kids may not know what they want to be they need to know who is responsible for their future.

My mother told me 2 things in life: "don't come home a daddy" and "If you are not in college when you are 18 then rent is $200 a week". She started "harping" when I was about 12. Of course there were other sayings but they reinforced the first 2. I knew what she meant: take responsibility for your own actions and prepare yourself for the future. As is usually the case, my parents got smarter as I grew older.
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  #24  
Old 11-17-2003, 07:41 PM
msmith537 msmith537 is offline
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Re: How Do You MOTIVATE a 16-Year Old Girl?

Let's face it. For most people, school (and work) sucks. It is tedious, boring, institutional, mind-numbing work. If it were up to most people, they would spend their time partying, dating and having fun.

Unless school is something that comes naturally easy, something must DRIVE a person to put in the effort to get good grades.

Usually drivers tend to be:
-Desire to go to college and pursue some field of interest
-Desire to improve one's station in life
-Fear of poverty
-A genuine intellectual curiousity
-Some pathological need for perfection

It sounds like your daughter hasn't made that connection yet that at some point, she is going to have to provide for herself. She may have a career path in her mind where she lives at home until she gets married and then becomes a housewife.

I'm basically speaking out of my rectum, but I guess you could tell you daughter that if she wants stuff, she's going to have to get a jobbie job and pay for it herself. If you feel work is interfearing with school, maybe give her an allowance based on grades - basically letting her earn money by bringing home good test scores and such.
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  #25  
Old 11-17-2003, 09:59 PM
Garfield226 Garfield226 is offline
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The whole job thing in a case like this scares me, and let me tell you why.

I think a lot of kids get jobs in highschool and are mesmerized by a $50 or $100 paycheck every week. They don't have bills to pay or food to buy, so there's $100 of purely disposable income a week. A job in the summer, sure. An allowance to learn how to manage money, sure. $100 of disposable income a week for a sixteen year old? Completely unnecessary and even moreso when it would interfere with schoolwork that's already subpar.

What then happens is that the kids figure, "Wow, I'm only working 10 or 20 hours a week, and they said I'd get a raise in a month...if I work more, I can pull in $500 of spending money a month!" Voila, highschool dropout.

(not that this always happens, of course, an ex-girlfriend of mine has worked probably 20 or 30 hours a week at least, and more in the summers, ever since she was a freshman in highschool. I think it's easy to see what could happen though...)
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  #26  
Old 11-18-2003, 07:11 AM
ralph124c ralph124c is offline
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The other thing that hurts..my niece is taking extra course, and is preparing to major in computer science (while she is in HS). Meanwhile MY daughter (who goes to a nice suburban HS) hangs around with losers who think that "Puff Daddy" is a figure worthy of emulation.
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  #27  
Old 11-18-2003, 07:19 AM
gex gex gex gex is offline
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Quote:
originally posted by badmana
BTW I like eminem music but I would be slightly worried if your daughter is a huge fan. A lot of his music is rather dark.
Worried? Come on! No one would be worried if she was into the Velvet Underground or Joy Division or something, and they're twice as dark as Eminem. Eminem (though I think he's got talent) is cartoonish and bouncy. It's like calling Roadrunner v Coyote dark.

Best way to paint yourself as old-fart-without-a-clue is to express concern about the Eminem. He's just a long line of performers that are nowhere near as extreme as they're portrayed, whether that's Elvis, Rolling Stones, the Sex Pistols or whatever.

Think about it. Would anyone post "And she likes reading Edgar Allan Poe" in a thread like this? Then what does Eminem have to do with anything?
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  #28  
Old 11-18-2003, 08:38 AM
sugaree sugaree is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by ralph124c
The other thing that hurts..my niece is taking extra course, and is preparing to major in computer science (while she is in HS).
Don't even look at other kids, just what your daughter needs. Your neice is not your daughter; your daughter is not your neice. It doesn't matter if your neice robs a bank or stumbles across a cure for cancer in her spare time--it's not going to make your daughter's situation any different.

Gad, I this brought bad memories flooding back. "Why can't you be more like S and R." "S and R always clean up after themselves." "S and R are both on the honor roll." Well, bully for S and R.
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  #29  
Old 11-18-2003, 12:02 PM
greck greck is offline
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Puff Daddy ran a marathon
If that isn't an expression of EXACTLY the kind of motivation and discipline you'd like to see in your daughter, I don't know what is. He funds a social service agency in New York IIRC.

BTW, insulting her music taste is a really good way to alienate your daughter and negate your opinions about things in her mind. It makes you sound closed minded.
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  #30  
Old 11-18-2003, 06:04 PM
Pedro Pedro is offline
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ralph124c 21 year old chipping in here, who caused his parents some amount of heartbreak. I think the problem is she doesn't know what responsability is and she is used to the easy life. And that's normal. I was like that when I was 16 too. One needs personal motivation to truly excel. I had none. Pleasing the parents doesn't really work. The main motivator is a goal in life. There are others like msmith pointed out. Not many 16 year olds have a goal other than boys/girls. When I was that age I never worried about supporting myself one day. Forcing her to study will never make her a doctor. You SHOULD enforce strict rules to get her grades to go up but hopefuly that will fuel her desire to study if she is a smart girl. When she sees that she can get results and feels good about that and finds an interesting subject, that will put things in motion so to speak. But she is a minor and her duty right now is to have acceptable grades and work hard at least. For me my intelectual curiosity boomed when I went through a period of intensive study to pass some exams to graduate in highschool after I dropped out of some classes during the year. Now I'm in college doing well.

About her taking a job, I'm of two minds. I voluntarily took a job once to know what hard work was like. It wasn't so hard and I still hated it, even though the paycheck felt nice on my pocket. I realised that it was not what I wanted to do for the rest of my life and I had to grab my chances while I could. On the other hand I completely agree with what Garfield226 said.

For a plan: not much you can do actually. It's a personal path she has to take. 16 is a good age to start. Try to stimulate her but she should earn her privilegies after she fulfills her duties. She's not free to do whatever she wants because she isn't providing for herself. If she feels like the victim of a huge injustice try talking to her like an adult and make her see that she should be doing it for her own good, even though she doesn't have any choice, because she obviously isn't mature enough yet. Fast forward a few years and what will happen? Is she happy doing some menial task every day earning a low income? Is she going to depend on her parents forever? Does she have a track for her life at least since she seems uninterested in continuing her studies? These are important questions she should ponder. Anyway even if it's a chore, it's her only obligation in life and it's not much to ask.
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  #31  
Old 11-18-2003, 11:30 PM
Calliope Calliope is offline
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Your goals for your daughter should have nothing to do with this. Has she ever expressed and interest in becoming a doctor or a professional? Have you sat down with her and, rather than telling her of your goals for her, asked her what her goals for herself might be?

Listen, really listen. Don't judge. She might tell you she wants to be a grocery clerk, and there is nothing wrong with that. Your job as her parent is to find out what will make your daughter a happy and fulfilled person and do everything you can to encourage her and help her to find the resources to make that happen.

Perhaps if she felt really listened to and knew that you would support her in whatever she wants to do, she would become excited about something and work to make her dream a reality. But I've got to tell you, feeling like her only option is to live your dream would certainly be a good excuse to slack off and not get the grades required to get into Med school.
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  #32  
Old 11-19-2003, 08:13 AM
Pedro Pedro is offline
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Heh, "don't judge". At least you didn't capitalize it, thanks. I shudder at the thought of a daughter of mine saying she dreamt about becoming a grocery clerk. And really meaning it!

Necessary disclaimer: there is nothing wrong about being a grocery clerk. I respect anyone who works to earn an honest living. But having a calling to be a neat and efficient bagger of vegetables or something like that is setting the bar way too low.

I wanted to had something to my previous post: it's nice if she decides to become a doctor (as in winning the lottery nice) but don't make the mistake of pushing for that. Your requirements should be, IMO, that she works hard for something she enjoys. Good luck ralph124c.
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  #33  
Old 11-19-2003, 11:10 AM
Calliope Calliope is offline
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Ah, but Pedro, it's her bar to set, not her parents'. That is my point. Her goals are the only thing that will motivate her. Living to fulfill someone else's goals is disheartening and unfulfilling. Personally, I'd rather my daughter be a happy and fulfilled grocery clerk than a sour, disillusioned, and unfulfilled doctor. Not everyone finds fulfillment in a career, and perhaps her goals require only a paycheck from a less demanding profession so that she can spend her energy on something else that gives her life meaning. A career is very often the last thing to do that.
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  #34  
Old 11-19-2003, 12:35 PM
Pedro Pedro is offline
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Quote:
Originally posted by Calliope
Ah, but Pedro, it's her bar to set, not her parents'. That is my point.
Ah, but Calliope, is it really her choice to make? When you're 16 years of age, there's always food on the table, no rent or mortgages to worry about, when all that really matters are personal relationships and life revolves around the closed environment of highschool? When you think you know it all yet you're still developing your personality and values? When you live with unfair parents who don't understand anything and are always nagging for good grades, who cares about that? I don't think so. It depends on the individual but I'd be worried too. So my guess is that she lacks the maturity to make that choice. The fact that she isn't putting up the effort does not mean that her choices are elsewhere. Her dreams at 16 years of age are likely to be different from her dreams when she reaches 20.

In hindsight I'm grateful for all the effort my parents put up for me, even if at times it was misdirected and counterproducive. I only wish they had begun earlier and made me do all the homeworks before I could play when I was little. Unfortunately they didn't and it took me a long time to develop good working habits.

Quote:
Her goals are the only thing that will motivate her. Living to fulfill someone else's goals is disheartening and unfulfilling.
I agree.

Quote:
Personally, I'd rather my daughter be a happy and fulfilled grocery clerk than a sour, disillusioned, and unfulfilled doctor.
She can be happy doing both, or neither. My bet for fulfillment is on "competent in an interesting professional field". Anyway if the time comes I'll be disappointed as a parent if my offspring settle for mediocrity. That means not putting up the required effort to be sucessful and lacking any desire to learn stuff.
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  #35  
Old 11-20-2003, 02:01 AM
Quartz Quartz is online now
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Silly question: are you sure she isn't studying? It may simply be that she is not as intelligent as you think. And social and artistic skills are much in demand in fields like advertising.
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  #36  
Old 11-20-2003, 06:43 PM
scotandrsn scotandrsn is online now
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Quote:
Originally posted by Garfield226
The whole job thing in a case like this scares me, and let me tell you why.

I think a lot of kids get jobs in highschool and are mesmerized by a $50 or $100 paycheck every week. They don't have bills to pay or food to buy, so there's $100 of purely disposable income a week. A job in the summer, sure. An allowance to learn how to manage money, sure. $100 of disposable income a week for a sixteen year old? Completely unnecessary and even moreso when it would interfere with schoolwork that's already subpar.

What then happens is that the kids figure, "Wow, I'm only working 10 or 20 hours a week, and they said I'd get a raise in a month...if I work more, I can pull in $500 of spending money a month!" Voila, highschool dropout.

(not that this always happens, of course, an ex-girlfriend of mine has worked probably 20 or 30 hours a week at least, and more in the summers, ever since she was a freshman in highschool. I think it's easy to see what could happen though...)
What you must realize though, is that the idea of "finishing" your school career and going on to a life with no further education is already becoming a charming anachronism, like job security. She is likely to continually need to change career paths and become retrained. This will necessitate a life of constantly balancing school, work, and social life. The earlier she gets used to the juggling act, the better
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  #37  
Old 11-21-2003, 01:25 PM
Malthus Malthus is offline
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I was drifting as a teen, and what my parents did was set me down and say something like the following:

"We can't force you to do anything; you are too old for that now. Nor will we ever cut you off - you are our son.

However, we will not always be here; we could both die tomorrow. What will you do then? You have no particular career goals, and that is understandable - you are still young; but you are not on the path to any, either.

Being poor is no fun. You have to beg jerks for shitty jobs, or humiliate yourself to petty bureaucrats for hand-outs. Wouldn't you rather work at a good job, and have lots of money? It is just as much work to wash dishes for a living, and lots less rewarding.

I know that when you are young, time seems to stretch out endlessly. But in fact, you don't have very much. Soon, school will be over. What will you do then?

We have some friends who dropped out of school. Why don't you talk to them about how easy they thought life was afterwards?"

Scared me, anyway.
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  #38  
Old 11-27-2003, 04:33 PM
FUTBOL! FUTBOL! is offline
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Re: How Do You MOTIVATE a 16-Year Old Girl?

By using a 17 year old BOY?

* * * * * * * * * *

True Blue Jack
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  #39  
Old 11-27-2003, 08:40 PM
sajwalke sajwalke is offline
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Give her an allowance then treatan to take it away if she doesn't do what you say. Worked when my parents pulled i on me.
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  #40  
Old 11-27-2003, 09:38 PM
spingears spingears is offline
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Basically you are 14 years too late to start setting the stage for academic success.
As of today you will have to get her attention with a serious talk along the lines outlined by 'malthus' above.
Good luck, you'll need it.
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  #41  
Old 11-28-2003, 01:22 AM
MyOld85MG MyOld85MG is offline
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Listen and listen and listen

Quote:
Originally posted by Calliope
Have you sat down with her and, rather than telling her of your goals for her, asked her what her goals for herself might be?

Listen, really listen. Don't judge. She might tell you she wants to be a grocery clerk, and there is nothing wrong with that. Your job as her parent is to find out what will make your daughter a happy and fulfilled person and do everything you can to encourage her and help her to find the resources to make that happen.

Perhaps if she felt really listened to and knew that you would support her in whatever she wants to do, she would become excited about something and work to make her dream a reality. But I've got to tell you, feeling like her only option is to live your dream would certainly be a good excuse to slack off and not get the grades required to get into Med school.
I have to agree with Calliope 100%. If you were the custodial parent, I would encourage a combination of listening plus "tough love" to enforce some minimal standards of performance. But as the non-custodial parent, you don't have the leverage to do any "tough love" stuff. Period.

So, you need to express that you really want to know what she thinks her future holds, because you care about her. You just want to hear what she has to say. You'll have to bite your tongue or do whatever you need so that you don't jump on what she says with your opinions about it!!!

In fact, she probably won't open up the first or second or third time you try... you just keep on trying, thinking of ways to let her know that you care about her and not about your plan for her to go to med school. And when she does open up, you'd better (I'll say it again) keep your opinions to yourself!!!

After she does give you some idea of where she thinks she's going, you'll have to come up with a response. Responses like "I'm glad you shared that with me" are good to start with.

You'll probably at some point need to express your worries about her plans, and that's not going to be easy. I certainly can't tell you here how to do it... I'd need to know the specifics when it comes up.

Frankly, and I'm surprised I haven't seen it so far in this thread, I think you need to consult with a therapist who deals with kids, because you don't have a clue what to do when she does tell you what's on her mind. And because it can be a delicate situation, your best bet is to let her talk, then consult the therapist for your next step.

Or, at least check out some books on the subject of father-daughter communication. Maybe another Doper has some cites.
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  #42  
Old 11-28-2003, 06:17 PM
The_Peyote_Coyote The_Peyote_Coyote is offline
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Tell her that if she doesn't get her act together, she'll grow up to be like me.
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