Problem with 10 yr. old daughter

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-22-2003
Problem with 10 yr. old daughter
Mon, 10-27-2003 - 1:00pm
I'm new to this board and have some major concerns about my daughter. I'm a divorced mother and have joint custody of my children. My daughter will be 11 in Dec. and I'm really concerned about her school issues. She is in the 5th grade and is struggling in her schoolwork. She brings her work home and I'm seeing F's on her graded papers. Sometimes she will get A's & B's and other times D & F's. She is lying to me about things at school and she also has had 3 detention notices. She has several incompleted homework notices and doesn't show them to me. I have a hard time getting her to do her homework at night and she waits until later to start doing it. I am getting phone calls from her teacher and I'm almost too embarrassed to return them. I feel like I'm failing at being a mother. She won't listen to me and she is starting to worry me. I don't know what to do. She isn't a problem child and she gets along good at school with her friends. I was living with my xhb for the last two yrs. and moved into a house the end of May. I don't know if that is having any effect on her. I need some good advice here before it gets out of hand. I don't know what to do. It's hard enough trying to raise them on my own and I feel like I'm not being strong enough.
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-27-2003
Mon, 10-27-2003 - 1:23pm
I'm on my way out the door so I'm gonna make this short. Give yourself some credit! I have three kids 10, 11, and 2 and the older two I raised myself for 8 years. So, I know where you are. It's hard, you dont' know what effect your relationships problems will have on your kids but you have to be happy too. More than likely these problems at school have less to do with that than you think. Just talk to her and let her know that she can talk to you. Maybe you can set asid time to help her with her work. That will show her how important it is to you. And how important she is to you.

With my older two I make it very clear that homework is a priority, they come straight home, sit down to the table and do it. Nothing is allowed until homework is done. That has worked for me for years and now they are at the point where even if I"m not home when they get here they do it.

I hope I have helped a little, give it some time and know that you are doing your best. Good luck

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-22-2003
Mon, 10-27-2003 - 2:29pm
I feel like I'm not doing a very good job. I'm afraid my x will think I can't handle it. He's already threatened to get full custody of them. I know that will never stand up in court b/c I'm not an unfit mother. It's a very hard thing to do. I try to work all day and come home and I don't feel like doing much, too tired. I just know that she's getting to that age of pre-teen and I'm not looking forward to it. I also let her do other activities besides school which involve dance once a week and baseball and soccer. Now she started playing the clarinet in school and I don't think she wants to practice that, either. My main concern is I want my children to succeed in life and not end up like me. My parents never really supported me or gave me any direction. I ended up pregnant after H.S. and dropped out of Beauty school and got married, which only lasted for almost 3 yrs. They never came to watch me at games and cheerlead. I'm trying the best I can to be there for my kids and show them that I care. Thanks
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-02-2003
Mon, 10-27-2003 - 2:33pm

Hello and welcome.

Sherrie Rainbow

Avatar for cl_janetlh
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-19-2003
Mon, 10-27-2003 - 7:28pm

Welcome. Once again, I'm going to echo Sherrie. I *know* this is tough for you, and it *is* hard at the end of a long day of work, but you need to set up a specific homework time. Let her have a short break when she first gets home, and then have her sit at the kitchen table while you sort the mail, pay bills, read the paper, whatever. Keep her company in case she has questions. Ask specifically - What is your English homework tonight? Math? Science? etc. Where is your spelling list for this week? When is the test? Show me where the instructions are for the assignment. Did you follow them all?

Even though you are embarrassed, it would be a good idea to meet with the teachers for information about their homework expectations, if you don't have that information already. Is there an assignment book they write in every day? It's not private! My children have certain assignments for vocabulary and spelling that are the same each week, with a different word list of course. Find out if that's the case for your dd. In other words, you need to teach her to be responsible before you can leave it to her to get done on her own, so you need to know what her homework is each night.

I also think a conversation with the school counselor would be a good idea.

Hang in there! Please let us know how you are doing. I'm glad you found us and posted.


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