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Old 05-03-2018, 08:40 PM
1 posts, read 789 times
Reputation: 15


My daughter is 16 and stopped doing school work this year. She instead writes essays about how she's going to become the president, famous, etc. and lots of other topics not related to the things the teacher wants her to do. She also gets easily distracted in class. I thought maybe she was anxious about the school work but she knows she's smart and says it all the time she's smarter than everyone. Her teachers say she is always laughing and smiling. At home she sometimes has mood swings like all teens, otherwise she is also laughing and smiling all the time. In fact this summer she talked about her idea to invent teleportation and some other innovative technologies. She said all of America will change the constitution so she could become president in 10 years. I tell her it's great that she's so ambitious but she won't reach those goals unless she does her school work. She is bright and can talk about many different topics at once. Yet is refusing to do school work.
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Old 05-03-2018, 10:07 PM
Location: San Antonio, TX
10,860 posts, read 18,883,731 times
Reputation: 25110
Time to talk about her high school grades affecting what college she'll get into and scholarships and things like that. Some of school is boring, it teaches you how to get work done that you don't find terribly interesting, which is a good life lesson. She may have big dreams for the future, but she needs to stay on the accepted path of finishing high school and college if she wants to achieve her goals.

Her teachers need to give failing grades and demand she do those essays over, until she realizes she has to do what they want in order to move forward in her classes. And you need to back them up when they do it. When she says she's smarter than everyone else, tell her that means she should be able to knock out her schoolwork without a lot of fuss.
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Old 05-04-2018, 05:05 AM
Location: Brentwood, Tennessee
39,043 posts, read 37,675,762 times
Reputation: 73653
She sounds VERY naive for a 16-year-old. Does she have siblings? Does she participate in extracurricular activities?

Does she watch a lot of YouTube videos?

Tell her you will have the school counselors change her schedule and put her in remedial classes since she apparently cannot do the work assigned in her current classes.

Most kids would rather die than be on a different schedule than her friends.
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Old 05-04-2018, 05:18 AM
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
6,298 posts, read 3,477,426 times
Reputation: 14916
She may need to be evaluated by a mental health professional. What you’re describing sounds like the manic phase of bipolar disorder, and bipolar disorder generally first manifests in the teen years.

Last edited by Aredhel; 05-04-2018 at 05:27 AM..
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Old 05-04-2018, 06:00 AM
2,477 posts, read 1,295,805 times
Reputation: 2795
Easy. Take away her things until she starts doing her school work. Most teenagers aren’t going to be without their phone or car for very long. Or without seeing friends or going out on the weekend.

But ditto the mental health person who can help you sort through what’s really going on too.
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Old 05-04-2018, 07:25 AM
12,425 posts, read 14,553,508 times
Reputation: 14122
She's probably just bored with the school work...so much unnecessary nonsense is included.
Help her find a job.
She's obviously a bright young lady...maybe tired of putting time in a school where she doesn't feel she's learning anything of value....happens a lot...and has nothing to do with mental illness.
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Old 05-04-2018, 07:58 AM
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
6,298 posts, read 3,477,426 times
Reputation: 14916
Common symptoms of mania/hypomania from this website are listed below. (I've bolded the ones that can be reasonably inferred from the OP's original post. )

"Common signs and symptoms of mania include:

Feeling unusually “high” and optimistic OR extremely irritable
Unrealistic, grandiose beliefs about one’s abilities or powers
Sleeping very little, but feeling extremely energetic
Talking so rapidly that others can’t keep up
Racing thoughts; jumping quickly from one idea to the next
Highly distractible, unable to concentrate

Impaired judgment and impulsiveness
Acting recklessly without thinking about the consequences
Delusions and hallucinations (in severe cases)

Hypomania symptoms:

Hypomania is a less severe form of mania. In a hypomanic state, you’ll likely feel euphoric, energetic, and productive, but will still be able to carry on with your day-to-day life without losing touch with reality. To others, it may seem as if you’re merely in an unusually good mood. However, hypomania can result in bad decisions that harm your relationships, career, and reputation. In addition, hypomania often escalates to full-blown mania or is followed by a major depressive episode."

Talking about becoming President one day is ambition. Saying that the people of the US are going to revise the Constitution so a 16 year old can be elected President before she's 32 (because she's just so brilliant and marvelous!), or that she's going to invent teleportation (despite no training in physics) is something else. If the OP's daughter is hypomanic, she may not be ABLE to concentrate long enough to do her homework, and no amount of discipline will help (any more than it would help a child walk on a broken leg). Please, OP, take this seriously and get her evaluated!
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Old 05-04-2018, 08:22 AM
Location: sarasota
960 posts, read 1,194,698 times
Reputation: 840
i'd pick up some brochures for her about hair dressing, waitressing, and nursing room orderlies.
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Old 05-04-2018, 08:33 AM
Location: southwest TN
8,175 posts, read 14,253,018 times
Reputation: 14776
Get her evaluated ASAP. There are so many possible issues, that supposing one from another is best left to a professional. Barring a specific diagnosis, behavior modification.

You cannot ignore (ignore is a specific technique) but you can reward and withhold current rewards. A child is not entitled to anything more than a bed, clothing, and food. Beyond that, it's rewards. Have a talk with your child and let her know that she will no longer be rewarded for not doing what is required of her - school work, school attendance, house chores, following the rules. Then set out what the rewards are that she's been receiving - designer clothes/shoes, a cellphone, use of the car, being driven places, social activities, an allowance, etc. Make it clear those rewards will no longer be given without her earning them by doing what she is required to do.

Make up a list of chores, rules; and a concomitant reward. DO have a family conference so you all are on board and the rules are clear. Be willing to adjust and modify; take suggestions from her.

Even if you are given a diagnosis, discuss the above concept with the psychologist. Behavior modification techniques work.
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Old 05-04-2018, 09:37 AM
Location: Cape Cod/Green Valley AZ
781 posts, read 1,945,545 times
Reputation: 1775
The young lady sounds like me when I was 16. Didn't do any work in high school. Graduated with around a D average. I was a real dope!!!

72 now. BA from John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CJ), Masters from Western New England in CJ (3.97GPA). My point? Young people do grow out of their foolishness. Four years in the military helped me, not sure what route to take for the young women.

Best of luck,

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