sarah reasoner grey

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Dear Sarah

2017-02-06
By: sarah reasoner grey
Posted in: Advice

Dear Sarah,

 

My husband and I are having this ongoing conflict about our 15 year old daughter. We pay over 35K for her to attend a private academy and so far this has not been a good investment. She doesn't study, her grades are very poor, she smokes pot, and she has had gotten her only warning (first and last) about using that substance on school grounds. I think we should forget about sending her there next year, and her father disagrees. He feels she needs to "cut the crap" and study harder, which means that I have to come home from work and play the heavy with lots of yelling and aggravation while he comes home later and makes nice with her. I work primarily to pay for her education and I feel that this is not fair to me. She could go to public highschool, still give us grief and we would have that money for other things. We could go on yearly family vacations and spend more valuable time with her than constant nagging and fighting. We don't want her to be expelled, but I am pretty sure she will be. She goes to a shrink, as been tested for all kinds of learning disabilities, it is just that she gets lazy on that weed and could care less. Her father thinks he can talk with her about this and straighten her out. That has not worked for a year so far. I say let her fail and pick up the pieces in public school. Her father says give her a chance to grow out of it.

 

Signed,

 

Tired of it

 

------------------------------------------------------

 

Dear Tired,

 

This is not a good time to be getting into problems at school as it stays on her record. She sounds very immature as young teens often are, and needs to figure out that she is causing all kinds of problems with herself and her grade history and also within the family. Hopefully someone will be able to listen to her and ask the right questions to find out what will motivate her to do better, to find a reachable and enjoyable goal.

Often teenagers self medicate to find an emotional or psychological balance. Make certain that she does not need medications. Take her to a different doctor if the one you see doesn't satisfy; see if this works for her.

Too often we think that once children become teenagers and out of the baby gate and pretty much on their own that now we can relax. Wrong! Consider her friends and contacts, clean house if you must. 

Sometimes a child pushes the envelope to see how far she or he can go. I think you and your husband would benefit from parenting counseling. I am not suggesting that you both become 'helicopter' parents, but loving attention at the right times can go a long way towards a happier child.

Good luck to all of you.

 

Dean Moriarty
link 02/10/17 03:10:14AM @dean-moriarty:

If she's getting lazy on the weed she is probably smoking an Indica strain. Tell her to switch to a Sativa and she will get a more energetic buzz. Ask her to switch from smoking to edibles she will be less likely to get caught. 

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sarah reasoner grey
link 02/10/17 06:52:14AM @sarah-reasoner-grey:

Thank you for your informed suggestion; it is always good to know these things.

Randy
link 02/09/17 04:34:56AM @randy:

Of course she smokes pot. It would be much more surprising if she didn't. It's harmless unless it affects her grades (it never did mine) or makes her act out socially (staying out late or all night, etc.), other then that don't make too big of deal about it. Let her know that you wish she would not and then let it go. The more YOU turn it into an issue, the more of an issue it will become. Don't turn a small problem into a big problem unless she does with too much use. Other then that, let it be.

sarah reasoner grey
link 02/09/17 11:18:23AM @sarah-reasoner-grey:

The issue here is about her grades, the cost of her schooling and the poor return on this family's investment, and that her parents believe that her pot smoking does indeed affect her ability to function clearly and well as a student. The writer, who is the primary financial support of her schooling, feels her substantial efforts are wasted.

PJ
link 02/09/17 11:26:57AM @pj:

The issue here is that she is married to a man who is NOT her partner financially, emotionally or in parenting.  

Both are enablers.  He enables his daughters behavior and the wife enables the husband's behavior by allowing him to set the rules on how to parent the daughter.   If the enabling works for them then who cares but it apparently isn't otherwise she wouldn't have written the letter.

They need to sit down together and come up with a plan on how both husband and wife can feel their worries and objectives for the daughter are being met or being met as close as they can be and execute it as partners.  Otherwise the resentment will grow and not with the daughter but between the husband and wife.

sarah reasoner grey
link 02/09/17 06:03:38PM @sarah-reasoner-grey:

The writer is looking for permission to keep her salary for other family things. Her daughter is screwing up at her expense and she seems done. I hope she follows her own heart, whatever that may turn out to be.

Sometimes all of our efforts to keep things going as they are cease to satisfy. When that happens it is best to make changes that do.

 

PJ
link 02/10/17 05:45:08AM @pj:

The writer is looking for permission

That's not how I read her letter.  Her letter reflects her exasperation with how her husband has handled the situation leaving her playing the heavy while he maintains a good relationship with the daughter.  That reeks of resentment.  She also has made a point that she is the breadwinner which also suggests the issue is not only that the daughter isn't applying herself in college.

If she were simply asking for validation and permission then she could have kept the issue generic rather than outline several points about the husband falling short in his roles as a husband, father, and provider.  

sarah reasoner grey
link 02/10/17 06:49:53AM @sarah-reasoner-grey:

That's not how I read her letter

Please reread the letter.

Her letter reflects her exasperation with how her husband has handled the situation leaving her playing the heavy while he maintains a good relationship with the daughter.  That reeks of resentment'

You read exasperation and resentment. I read the writer's decision to stop putting good money after bad for a privilege the daughter cares nothing about, a mother who thinks that money could be spent as a family more wisely.

She also has made a point that she is the breadwinner which also suggests the issue is not only that the daughter isn't applying herself in college.

Not so. Her salary is paying for private school, a luxury.

...the husband falling short in his roles as a husband, father, and provider.  

I see a man who wishes to delay his wife's judgement at this time, someone who would rather be gentle than harsh and give his daughter more time to adjust. He also wants her to 'cut the crap'. I also see a man who comes home later from work than his wife.  

PJ
link 02/10/17 06:57:26AM @pj:

okay

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