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Will changing my child's school alter her bad behaviour?

Q: I have two daughters. One is 13 years old, studying in class 8th and the other is 4.5 years old. The elder one is very careless in studies. She does not even do her homework. When she was in class 2, I changed her school. Since then she is studying in the same school. Her performance is going down day by day. Now I have decided to change her school again in the ninth class. Her behaviour at home is not good either as she always tells lies. She just shows that she is studying but the output is zero. She avoids writing. Since we are a working couple, we cannot afford much time with her and all the time we have to sit with her for her studies. We request you to kindly advise whether we should change her school and what type of treatment should she be given so that she learns not to waste time?

A:Your tone is so censorious and harsh, in describing your daughter who is 13. It seems as if you consider it a duty to bring her up rather than a joy. Some of it could be due to her lack of interest in studies, but I think some of it, at least, is due to your attitude towards her. You seem to be expecting a formula solution from an expert (rather like medicine from a doctor), which when given, will 'cure' her. I think a fundamental change in your attitude to her is necessary. Talk to her nicely and find out what her difficulties are. Change her school if she is agreeable, but do not force a change against her will. Adolescence is a difficult time of growing up, when children have many questions in their mind. If parents are too busy or distant, she will start looking elsewhere for the answers. Do not forget that she is only 13 years old, not 18. Treat her like a child and be affectionate with her. Also try and see why she 'always speaks lies' (your words). Perhaps she knows that if she speaks the truth she will be punished. Children do not automatically grow up into well-mannered and pleasant adults. They need to feel good about themselves. They need to know the limits. They need to trust and be trusted. Its time for parents and child to introspect and work out a way of being happier and more satisfied.

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