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Why is my daughter becoming careless?

Q: My 18 years old daughter has passed her senior secondary exam this year. Earlier, she was good in her studies but for the last three years, she was not doing well in her studies. Her performance was not very good in her secondary and in senior secondary exam, despite home tuitions. Yesterday, I came to know that she has a boy friend and their friendship has been continuing for the last three years. When we asked her about her close friendship, she refused. I have no objection about her friendship but I think her friendship is ruining her studies. Now, she has become careless and never assists her mother in house-hold jobs.

A:If your daughter admires a class fellow (a boy) or spends time dreaming about him, it is not the same thing as having a "boy friend" I think you should be more careful in your use of words, if you really want to help your daughter.

It is surprising that you as parents have not observed her or talked to her in an intimate way. Perhaps she has her own room and her own cell phone and computer. Whatever the level of wealth or technology, a lack of communication and warmth between parents and children cannot be justified. It is this kind of attitude which will make her seek sympathy outside the home.

It is quite natural for adolescents to have imaginary or real attraction to the opposite sex. It is often one-sided and not expressed in any way. Instead of condemning it or punishing her, you should talk to her nicely that it is a phase of growing up. She will get over it in due course. It is also possible that an adolescent attraction could mature into a stronger relationship as they become adults. There is no book of rules. But affection, tenderness and understanding from the parents will help the girl to handle her situation.She will be grateful to you for being human, not for being a policeman.

If you live in a city where family counselling is available, it might be a good idea for all of you to go together. If not, close friends who have children the same age could be consulted. As you can see, I am suggesting that the problem many not be centered only in one person but in also in the nature of the relationships.

Both parents should talk to her and make her see that her short term perspecives may not take her to the success she would wish to have in the future. But everything needs to be handled sensitively and with love.

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