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How can I change my daughter’s behaviour?

Q: I have two daughters and live with my parents in a joint family. My elder daughter is mentally challenged and the younger one (15 years old) is normal. Of late, there are frequent quarrels between my wife and my younger daughter regarding studies and scoring marks. When she was about to have her first Board exams, my wife restricted her from watching TV, which she did not like. She is weak in studies but still wants to waste time watching TV. She is capable of scoring good marks but does not concentrate enough on her studies. She treats her mother like an enemy and wants to do everything on her own. She also does not listen to anyone's advice. How should I change my daughter’s behaviour?

A:The younger daughter is in mid teens and this is the age when a teenager feels that he/she is at par or has as good understanding as any grown up / elder. In this case there is an additional factor besides teenage and that is a differently able sibling. Since childhood the younger daughter must be experiencing both parents' special attention towards her sister and by now the consolidated effect of all the years must be hitting her all time high that she has been deprived of parents' love and care. The presentation of a rebel attitude and neglecting studies is one most common method to seek attention by following this route. Since both the parents are working, it is difficult to squeeze out time with a differently able child, but still you need to plan an outing or a movie of the younger daughter's taste. She needs pampering but not of toddlers level and a sit across the table session when she is in best of moods, to discuss the importance of creating one's own identity and the role studies can play in accomplishing that. The best can be achieved when either of the parents becomes a friend to her and she has an outlet to talk to, amongst you only.

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