Daughter fighting at school - FamilyEducation
Daughter fighting at school
12/11/2007 at 16:07 PM

My daughter started high school in Sept.  She has steadily gotten worse grades.  Her attitude to her Dad and I is awful, just disrespectful and refuses to help out at home.  She has everything she could ask for (problem??) and we do tend to give in to her because we hate to see her grounded and not enjoying life.  Today she went to school after being off for 2 days sick, I got a call saying she is now suspended for 3 days for fighting with another girl.  I can't believe this is my daughter - she is well brought up and a pretty, clever girl - I have no idea where this horrid person is coming from.  If anyone has been through this, i'd love to hear about it because (apart from sticking to my guns and removing all privileges) I honestly dont know what to do. 

There is something going on with your daughter.  Bad grades, bad attitude, bad behavior.  I'd get real aggressive, search her room/backpack for evidence of drugs, interrogate her friends about what is really going on at school.  She is on a downward spiral and it can get out of control really fast.


I pretty much agree with Gail. I went through much of the same thing with one of my daughters. I did not think to check for drug use... and now that she is older, she has admitted to me that at that time she had been using numerous street drugs. At the time I thought it was middle child syndrome and really over-compensated.... to no avail. If it is not drugs, it could be depression, a problem with not fitting in at high school... or any number of things. You should try to find out by talking to her and see if she will open up to you. If not, ask her if there is an adult that she feels comfortable talking to. One thing I do disagree with Gail about is violating her privacy. If you feel the need to go through her things, tell her you feel the need to look through her backpack, drawers or whatever. If she sees that you espect her privacy enough to let her know you are going to look, and she can be there while you do it, you can then keep a level of trust between the two of you. On a side note.... A friend of mine was going through this same kind of thing with her daughter recently, although her daughter is is middle scvhool... anyway... it came out that the girl's Grandma's boyfriend had been molesting her for years, and no one had any idea. My point is, it could be any number of things causing this behavior. I'll keep you in my prayers!


I say that you should not punish her for fighting unless she starts it first. If somebody is to hit or put thier hands on you, you need to fight BACK but the attitude and grades i would punish her for that because she will not get anywhere in life like college with bad grades. I know it is hard because it was hrad on me my father never gave me a break on anything like school problems.


Schools are getting bad with kids smokeing pot and fights. Something that will probably take a lot of work on her part is not always focusing on the social part of school.


My heart goes out to you.

As the other parents have suggested, there are many possible reasons for this behavior.  So, the most important thing you can do is continue to maintain a conversation with your daughter and let her know you love her.  

Highschool can be an awful time for kids and parents.  I suggest that you figure out what you're willing to permit from your daughter and what you're willing to let slide--and get your actions to match your words.  Don't threaten punishments you're not willing to carry out, because for teenage children, your actions speak as clearly as your words--and you want your daughter to know that you're willing to do whatever is necessary for her to be happy and successful.  It's just a question of what you're willing to do.

I think teenagers are much smarter than we acknowledge--and I think they realize early on that there's not a lot parents can do to "make" them do anything.  If you know you can't ground your daughter, don't ground her; but if her behavior really worries you, you should tell her how you're feeling.  And if you're willing, you could engage her in a problem-solving conversation--but you'd need to be willing to take the time to really listen to her; and that can be painful for everyone.

Good luck.


Well....when reading this I am thinking that there is little communication between you other than what is now perceived as negative.  I also think there is a trust issue.  Perhaps the connection between you is in need of repair.  I have  14 year old daughter.  She has issues...but our communication is good.  We know how to talk....although attitude is naturally there with a teen.  I learned how to pick my battles and remember because they are teenagers does not make them wrong.  Your daughter seems to hold a lot of anger.   You need to find out what that is about whether through you talking or a guidance counsellor.  Your situation is repairable.  How badly do you want it?