Hi, I'm New!!

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2003
Hi, I'm New!!
13
Mon, 04-28-2003 - 11:12pm
Hi,

I'm new to this board, and in general haven't had much experience with this!! So, bear with me ... I'll probably need some help with all of the abbrev.

I have a 15 yo (in May) daughter who has ADD. She is in 9th grade, and we have (including her) had the most difficult year yet. She has always done well in school and is pretty bright. However, this year has been different; she is actually failing a class and is close in a couple of others. She is in honors classes and doesn't seem to have any difficulty in comprehension, it's all about not being organized, lack of focus, irresponsibility and lack of motivation. The most frustrating part is that I don't think she really even cares about her lack of success this year except the fact that we (her father and I) are disappointed.

We have tried everything!!!!! Positive reinforcements, negative consequences, conferences with her teachers, lessons from me on organization, taking away privileges, something big to work for, etc. Nothing seems to be working!!!! The worst part is that she and I butt heads constantly!! There is nothing but confrontations between all of us now. It's very sad and very frustrating. I am not happy at all with the way our relationship is. I don't know what else to do.

Therefore, here I am!!!! I am so hoping for some new and fresh ideas from you all who are possibly experiencing the same things from your children. I am open for any help, PLEASE!!!! I want these to be the happiest years of her life; unfortunately they aren't right now.

Desparate for some advice,

Dawn

Mom of Brittany-14+11 mos., Jordan-5+11 mos, Jensen-22 mos



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iVillage Member
Registered: 03-14-2003
Tue, 04-29-2003 - 2:15pm
Hi and welcome to the board. I'm not familiar with ADD teens, but I'm sure someone here can help you in that area and if not, there is a board that deals specifically with ADD/ADHD teens and adults:

http://messageboards.ivillage.com/iv-psaddteens

Otherwise, please feel free to post about any issues regarding teens. We have either been through it one way or another or are currently experiencing the same.

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Wed, 04-30-2003 - 3:37pm
Hi Dawn!

I'm new here too and not quite up with all the lingo and abrev. I have some experience with ADD as my DS has it. He is 17 and a sophomore. 9th grade was difficult for him also. Actually every year he had to make a change like from elementary to Jr. High or Jr. High to High School was a challenge and very difficult for him as well as us(my DH and I). We had the same problems of lack of focus and disorginization that you talked about. I felt like I was constantly on his back for everything. We even told him no drivers license until he could get the good student discount. We figured he probably wouldn't drive until he was 30! LOL I was very lucky though that DS's school had a special program just for kids like him. It has helped him SO much but the teacher of this class gave me the best advice ever. He told my DH and I that we had to let go. We had to let him fail or succeed on his own. I was really scared to do this and voiced my concern to the teacher. I want my son to graduate from high school and I was afraid he would flunk out or drop out. He told me that he knew it would be hard but if we gave it a real chance he guarenteed me it would work. Looking back on it I now realize that this teacher had more faith in my son than I did. So My DH and I sat down with DS and explained to him that from that point forward we would no longer be involved in his school work. We would attend parent/teacher conferences as needed and be involved in any extra carricular activities but there would be no more helping with homework, asking if homework was done, no discussions about schoolwork, etc. If he needed help he would have to figure out how to get it himself. In short we were going to mention school work to him only when midterms and semester grades came out. We told him that we thought it was time for him to take responsibility for himself as in a few short years he would be on his own and he needed to learn how to cope with that. It was the hardest thing I've EVER had to do as a parent and the first grading period after the hands off approach was not pretty, he failed math. But we stuck with it and I'm happy to report that he is a better student now than he ever has been. Just got midterms on Sat. and he has 3 A's 2-B's and a C that's one point from being a B! This from a kid who I thought had to struggle to get C's. I was afraid he would view this approach as permission to give up but it has been the exact opposite. In fact he mentioned to me yesterday that he hasn't had time to study for his drivers permit because he's had too much school studying to do. I just about fell off my chair! I don't know if this has been any help to you at all but feel free to email if you have any questions. I'd be happy to try and help. Good Luck to you and your DD.

Gerri

Mom of Sarah/18, Stephen/17 and Elizabeth/14

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 12:05am
Wow! That's great! Thanks so much for the advice. I kinda tried that approach last marking period at my daughter's request. I backed away and didn't micro-manage her school work. Unfortunately, her grades showed it!! So, I got scared and I think so did she. Through a serious discussion with her, we decided for me to help her to stay on top of things again. The difference right now, is that I am making sure that she is taking her medication by watching her. I found out that she wasn't always taking her meds. She seems to be more focused .... unfortunately she only has 3 more weeks of 9th grade left - so it's do or die for this school year! It frightens me to completely let go, I'd hate for her to suffer the consequences. However, I know it makes sense and is probably best. I will give it serious thought and see if I can somehow incorporate more of that.

Is your dd on medication? What kind, what dose? Does it make a difference??

Thanks so much for your input. It helps so much to hear others in the same situation!!

Dawn

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 1:44pm
Hi Dawn!

Glad I could add another view point. My DS struggled at first also and as I said he failed math for the second semester of 9th grade so he is retaking it this year. I think the biggest thing I had to learn was that 20 years from now no one is going to care how high is ranking was in high school, but what I do now will influence how he handles himself for the rest of his life. I just didn't want him depending on me to fix things for him when he's 30 and I think alot of that starts with how much we try to *help* them in school. He has found his own way to cope and his self esteem and everything about him is so much better than before when I thought I was helping him. We've given him control of his destiny and I think that he appreciates that. I *know* how hard it is and believe me there were days when I just wanted to give up and give in, but I am SO glad now that I didn't. I see the rewards everyday.

On the medication issue...we decided against meds early on. I just have never been in favor of medicating, but that's a personal opinion. I know lots of kids who take meds and do great on them. My DS is not hyperactive but has been *labled* ADD for a lack of a better term. It was the best way to get him the extra help he needed in grade school. His attention problems come from having a cord around the neck twice at birth. The doctors sermise that it caused damage to a small part of the brain that controls attention and tasking. You can't give him a verbal list of things to do like "take out the trash then feed the dogs" because his brain can't process it. So, we do LOTS of lists in our house. We have learned to deal with it and it's worked for us.

I wish you and your DD all the best of luck in whatever course you choose. My thoughts and prayers will be with you.

God Bless,

Gerri

iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 2:32pm
Hi, I'm new, too.

Pls forgive me if I've posted this incorrectly. My dd is 16. She doesn't have ADD, but we've had similar problems w/school. She went from an avg to above avg student until gr. 8. (This was the yr both her father and I remarried.) Her grades dropped considerably and keep dropping. She's in gr 11 now, and failed 2 classes last semester. We, too, (my dh - her stepdad) and I have tried everything, and a teacher also said to us that it was likely time to let go. I don't have any happily ever after stories to share, but what I have accepted is that it is her choice to fail. Now that we've let that go, we are much happier, and don't fight about it anymore. I've had to accept that it's her failure, not mine. I do not want her to drop out of school, but if she does, we've been clear to her that she will either attend school or work and pay rent. She still has dreams of being a vet, which is almost a joke considering she currently has a 51.2 avg. But, I won't squash her dreams because I know she is capable of so much more. I feel that something or someone somewhere is going to finally give her the motivation she needs to get her school work back on track. Maybe it's just going to take maturity.

Emotionally, she's come a long way since that bad yr that we both remarried. I can have enjoyable conversations with her and truly enjoy her company. That's going to have to be enough for now.

Kathy

dd 16 yo

dd 14 yo

ds 1 yo

iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 3:53pm
Hi Kathy!

IMHO you are doing exactly the right thing and sometimes it's SO hard to do but we have to love our kids enough to let them fail. I know that sounds stupid but it's so true. And so what if she doesn't make it to vet school until she's 25 or 30? Some kids take longer to mature than others. My ds is 17 but more like a 14yo. As soon as I realized this aspect all our lives changed for the better. I come to him on his level rather than the level I expect him to be. As long as you are supportive of her emotionally and let her know you'll always be there for her to give advice or moral support then I think that's the best job you can do as a parent. I think at some point we need to realize that we've done all we can do and now it's up to the child to take over. I've come to realize that what type of person I'm raising is much more important than grades and as long as they are happy, healthy, moral people then I've done my job.

I will keep you and dd in my thoughts and prayers. Good luck to you all.

Gerri

dd/18

ds/17

dd/14

Avatar for yuccabugg
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-26-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 8:41pm
You should be getting counseling for your daughter, and have a 504 set up in school for her. A lot of honors students have had to deal with obstacles and a 504 should help.
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-28-2003
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 11:46pm
Yes, I agree with the counseling and we are in the works of finding someone new!! What is a 504????????????? I keep seeing that, but I have never heard of it. Also, what is and "IEP"?????????????????????

Dawn

Avatar for sabrtooth
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-03-1999
Thu, 05-01-2003 - 11:49pm
Dawn, go back to Add Teens & look in the folder 504/IEP Discussions. I answered you there!
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-28-2003
Fri, 05-02-2003 - 2:27pm
Dawn,

My DS is on an IEP(individual education plan)and that is one of the reasons he is doing so well. Well worth checking it out. Good Luck.

Gerri

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