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I am having a difficult time with my very bright 10 year old daughter. She is barely getting a "c" average at school, although she is smart and really knows the work. She is unmotivated, turns things in late to get zero credit, or forgets to write her name on her work, thus getting another zero. She says she wants to go to college, but, I don't know how to get her to focus and get organized no matter how hard I try.


Naomi Drew Replied: Have you met with your daughter's teacher yet? If not, I would strongly advise doing so now. When you do, ask her to honestly share what she sees in terms of your daughter's performance, attitude, capacity to attend, and motivation. Ask also what she thinks you cand do to support your daughter in improving. There are many reasons kids might not be working up to their potential. Here are some questions to consider: - Are there any problems going on at home that might be a source of preoccupation or distress? - Is she able to focus in on a task and complete it, even if it's something that doesn't interest her? - Is she getting to bed on time and getting enough sleep each night? - Is she eating a nutritious, protein rich breakfast before going to school each day? - Is her study area quiet and well-organized? If not, help create a setting at home that's conducive to learning and concentration. - Are you checking her homework over each night to make sure it's completed properly, and guiding her to do this for herself when she's in school? Start with these questions and see if they provide added insight for you, and good luck!
Posted On 2009-09-22 09:44:26
Rahul Gupta Replied: That sometime happens with kids who are very smart and they do not see any challange in the work that they are doing. The lack of challange may lead to them being unmotivated and put things on "cruise control". If she is a bright child, perhaps you can talk to her teacher to see if she can get some more challenging assignments where she sees a sense of accomplishment in what she does and that may motivate her to be more alert and focused on making sure she gets credits for her work.
Posted On 2007-11-19 11:09:24
Trish Booth, MA Replied: It is hard for a ten year old to have college as the goal or reward for today's actions. Instead, try focusing on the present. You can use behavior modification and reward her for turning in her signed homework. Decide on a reward for this behavior. It should be something your daughter wants and that can be easily and immediately accessed. This doesn't have to be a large reward, but it needs to be something she is interested in. Create a point or star system and give her a point each day for the desired behavior. After ten days or so of the desired behavior, give her the reward. After that you can try just praising her for the desired behavior. However, it may take several cycles of immediate reward to change her behavior. If your daughter is really bored with school, talk with her teacher about what she can do for extra credit. This activity should not just be more of what is expected. Instead it should be something creative or more analytical so that she gets involved in the process. Re-engaging in learning because it is fun and challenging can change your daughter's attitude. If you can't get her engaged in the schoolwork, consider an extracurricular activity that requires dedication and commitment, such as a sport. This way of following the rules will help her become more disciplined. She can then transfer this skill to her schoolwork.
Posted On 2006-03-29 00:41:56
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