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Seventh-Grader with a Bad Attitude
Q: My 12-year-old seventh-grader is failing. She has a very bad attitude and this affects all her work. She has been suspended several times this year already. She has a very explosive temper and gets very loud. She cannot take responsibility for her actions and she blames everyone else. The school has no other suggestions than suspending her. I have called about getting her academic help, but no one will help her with her displine problem.
A: A seventh-grader who has already been suspended several times and is showing such a temper is in desparate need of some tough love. Have you talked with the school counselor about resources in your town? If the school has no resources, I suggest you contact juvenile corrections and/or family services. These state organizations often have resources such as parenting classes for out-of-control teens.
If your school does not offer parenting classes or you can't get assistance from the above institutions, call a reputable licensed professional counselor in your area who works with adolescents or can refer you.
It is important that your daughter learn where the limits are now. My guess is she frightens herself and doesn't really know how to get herself out of the mess she is in. Good luck.
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Connie Collins, professional school counselor, worked for 35 years in public education as a teacher and counselor at the middle school and secondary levels. Collins worked daily with the parents of the students in her various schools, and has facilitated several parenting groups.