My 8 year old daughter is struggling at school. She just wants to have fun and be creative mostly...Anyway she has failed two tests so far and now her teacher is asking me to sit down because she has concerns. My daughter is very smart but doesn't like to do the work to get the good grades. How can I motivate her to get better grades? Or if there is some sort of learning disability how can I get to the bottom of it?
Hello, and thank you for writing. Allow me to borrow a page from Dr. Rosemond's manual, as there is no reason to reinvent the wheel.
Please understand that if you try to solve your daughter's problem for her, you will fail. She is the only one who can motivate herself. She is the only one who can control her behavior, both at school and at home. You have to put the burden of the situation squarely on her shoulders, where it rightfully belongs.
Meet with her teacher and listen carefully to what the teacher has to say. If you are able to rule out any obstacles to your daughter's learning that are beyond her control, then address them first. For example, if her schooling last year was inadequate, she may need a tutor. However, if her classroom performance seems to both her teacher and you to be completely within her control, institute the following rules.
Every Friday she is to bring home a checkbox form that you have provided her teacher which will indicate her levels of respect and responsibility. You and her teacher can determine the top 2 areas she needs help with so you can tailor her Friday Report to reflect them. She will retain her freedoms and privileges as long as the report comes home every Friday showing some progress in at least one area. She will lose her freedoms and privileges until the following Friday if there is no progress noted or the report is missing.
The key to presenting this program to your daughter is to be calm, concise and confident. The hard part will be following through, but follow through you must. Tell your daughter her behavior is her choice but the consequences are your choice. Make sure she knows that whether she chooses freedom or no freedom is up to her.
Please write again if you need further support and guidance.
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