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Old 07-05-2007, 11:52 AM
3,634 posts, read 9,231,775 times
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It may take some work but here are some good suggestions to get your step daughter out of her exile at home.

Talk to every animal shelter and volunteer animal group you can find. Check petfinder.org for all the groups in your area. Try to find a group that needs dog walking, puppy work, kitten feeding, educational opportunities. It is often the smaller groups that can use a hand. Find out if you can take her to a shelter that needs and allows people to socialize their animals.

Find out if she is interested in riding. Girls of that age often make a good connection with horses and even a stable that needs someone to help groom or would be willing to train her for some money might help you out.

How about swimming or diving lessons? How about lessons in something physical or unusual?

At that age, she will listen to what you tell her so long as it is not nagging. Talk to her about goals and what she wants to do when she gets a job. Talk to her about jobs and what it takes to do well. (Dont go to much over her head). Talk to her about earning a living and pay per hour. Discuss working at McDonalds. Maybe have her read Nickel and Dimed. The Bill Cosby exercise with play money can work well. May get her thinking about the "next step" in her life and making plans. Will take a lot of repeating in various ways and various times. She will not instantly get it but when she is 25 you want her to look back and say you were a good influence and a good friend. Not a nagging negative step parent.
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Old 07-06-2007, 10:22 AM
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Thanks, again, everybody for your advice!

sweetana, next summer, I will check out the humane society. (She went to horse camp a few years ago, but "it was too hot" and "there was so much work.") She has to go back home next week, then she & her dad leave for vacation in 2 weeks, then back to school, so it's too late this year to do anything.

sun queen, you're absolutely right about the legal issues. But since nobody else seemed to realize the severity of failing classes, I felt I had to try to do something. I have no choice now but to back off. Her father expects ME to make sure she's doing what she's supposed to, but I should not have to be the disciplinarian, she supposedly already has enough of those and I can see nagging has no effect. Nobody MAKES her do anything, which is obviously the problem.

So, we're right back at square one. With the exception of going to the math tutor & the gym if I take her with me, she does nothing but watch TV all day. I tried everything I, and you all, came up with that was feasible, to no avail. Guess I was expecting a miracle trying to get her motivated. Maybe next year she will have matured enough to start thinking about how her actions now will affect her life.
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