Hi and welcome back to Coffee with Clare everything Thursday! I am so glad you are here today!
My youngest daughter, Jenny, is 16 years old and is a junior in high school. Up until about 4 – 5 months ago, she was a straight A student, had wonderful girlfriends and was in a photography club as well as a Spanish club. Now, she has dropped out from these clubs, has started hanging around with some what I would call “undesirables”, and her grades are slipping. We have put our oldest two children through college, and thankfully they both had partial scholarships. We are counting on Jenny to have a partial scholarship as well and financially need this. My husband, Joey, and I are “banking” on Jenny getting a scholastic scholarship, but if things keep on, we are concerned this will not be a possibility. We are concerned about her new ‘friends” as well as her dropping grades and disinterest in her clubs. What can a mother do?
Signed – Frantic in Philly
I have often said when I was raising teenagers “can’t we just freeze dry them between the ages of 14 and 25???” (Just kidding, just kidding).
All joking aside, the teenage years are difficult, and it’s difficult for the kids at this age as well. But you can get through this, you did twice before. I would suggest some more “structure” for Jenny as it seems like she has a lot going on. Sit down with Jenny and don’t accuse her, but see if she will talk with you about some of the things that are bothering her.
At the same time, I would be in regular touch with her teachers through e-mail (and whatever other means) to help her get back on track. Make sure she has a routine on school days where she can’t go out and must have “quiet time” to do her homework until she brings her grades up. Meet with the school guidance counselor and see if he or she will devote some time with Jenny to find out what some of the underlying issues might be. See if you can talk to some of her old friends’ moms and see what they know about why Jenny may have stopped hanging around with their daughters.
You will get through this, but with all the changes and challenges of this age, it is day by day, moment by moment.
Readers – any suggestions for “Frantic in Philly”?
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Until next time~