33 3

I'm currently parenting a teen in the age of social media and instant gratification. She seems to think that a well paying job will land in her lap at the age of 18 because she's cute and has a lot of Instagram followers. No matter how many different ways I try to motivate her to succeed in school, she is simply not interested. I am at my wit's end. Anyone have experience and suggestions?

Lani 5 Apr 13

Enjoy being online again!

Welcome to the community of good people who base their values on evidence and appreciate civil discourse - the social network you will enjoy.

Create your free account


Feel free to reply to any comment by clicking the "Reply" button.


Stop paying her phone bill.

I asked her Dad to do this. He pays her bill. He's a crappy coparent...the phone is still on.

@Lani remove the SIM card while she’s asleep.

@Gatovicolo Lol, great idea!


At the "very mature age OF 12 Y/O" my brother told my parents he was quitting school and going to work. My mother told him "OK, but also find a place to live because we don't like freeloaders. " My mother knew he would go to my grandmother's home. My mother called my granny and told her what was going on. Granny, wise as ever, said not to worry.

Yes, my brother went to granny's....three hrs away, by train. From the go she gave him work in exchange for food/shelter. My brother had to paint the entire fence, go into town to get the newspaper and other necessities -every day before 5 am, help the ranch's foreman and few other things.... After a week he was back home and ready to return to school.


Remember being an 18 year old?..did you really listen to your Moms advice?...I sure didn't. . Cause she didn't "know Anything"..after all I was going to be a "Famous" artist by age 25.

Yes I remember 18. Already had a full-time job for two years and applied to college.

At 18 I hitch hiked cross country twice. What's a job?


I am a college instructor. Have her talk to me.

True that. I tell my students the same thing and they don't listen.

@farmboy2017 We know!


She's 18? She's an adult. You did your job, now its time to to focus on yourself.

She's 15.

Ah. Yes, 15 is too young to give up on school. Instagram is a viable path, but she will need 75k followers before the big brands start taking notice. She needs to build the fan base while staying in school, until the hobby becomes the job.
My neighbours son has 300k+ followers for his dirtbike videos, but it took him six years to build the profile.
I hope you can find a solution that works for you both.


Let her fail.


Be there when she crashes and burns. Once. After that. she's on her own. Your worse mistake will be to keep her feeling she's entitled to succeed without actually working for it.


Let me know how it goes, I have a 14 year old daughter who thinks Instagram and Snapchat are the only things she needs to get by in life. Told her if she likes the life she's living now, to get to work and study

This girl is making me wrinkle early...

@Lani so that's where my wrinkles are coming from! Being the father of 3 girls! At least they'll pick a good home for me...


15 is still pretty young. I work in a school as the Director of I.T. and teach some programming and technology classes and am a parent myself. I've seen some students really mature between 15 and 18, while for some others it takes longer. Who her friends are can make a big diffrence. Encourage her to get involved in athletics, band, robotics, clubs, or drama. Those activities keep them busy but also foster being part of a team, setting goals, setting deadlines, being more responsible, and developing a good work ethic. Also, students in those activities often have college in their future. Also remember that the daughter you see at home may be very different from the young woman she might be out of your sight. While teens often rebel against parents, teachers and coaches can be seen as mentors.

I'd suggest being supportive and honest. Let her know what things cost. Set limits. My parents would provide the neccessities, but if I wanted something beyond that I had to work for it or pay for it myself. Kmart sneakers were fine by them, but if I wanted the Nike or Converse sneakers I had to pay the difference. I was the oldest of four kids. When it came time to drive, it was up to me to buy the car and pay for the insurance which required me working. (Of course driving is not what it used to be for teenagers today.) First it was babysitting, then mowing lawns, then bagging groceries and stocking shelves. I've been working ever since I was 14 one way or another.

Here is a video you may appreciate, it is titled, "A Millennial Job Interview":


I run an afterschool tutorial program with a majority of at-risk students. There are two things that make a difference. First is parental commitment to education and your child. Second is consequences. You have to be tough because she is not mature enough to see her future. Take away her phone, computer, sports, etc. Whatever she loves make her earn it back with grades. As an adult she will have to earn money by going to her job daily, no one is going to give her money for no effort. You have to model that same system. You want wifi password? Earn it. You want your phone back? Earn it. You want to go out with friends, earn it. The biggest hinderance is parents feeling bad, feeling guilty or giving in because kids push back.


Welcome to the club. Drown the little brats as we should have done at birth.

Ha. I wish!

As babies we love them to death, as the reach thier teens we wish we never had them.

Bless them, we myst blame ourselves for thier attitudes.

hilarious......totally hilarious...

Remember, all said tongue in cheek ? Lol


To late to start training now. Should have held her accountable starting grade one. Why does she even have a phone if not producing for school? If you don't pick her up after she falls on her face at 18 she might move in the right direction.

She's actually 15. The issues in school started this year, so it's a little fresh. I'm asking for advice because I've never had this issue with any of my three kids. She has a phone because I'm a single working parent and we don't have a landline. Her father pays for the phone and doesn't coparent well, so getting it cut off for a period of time falls on deaf ears.

@Lani I have been raising my son alone since his mother's suicide when he was three. He's 14 now. I'm a believer in "tough love" but if both parents are not at the same level of commitment then things become way more complicated. Sorry if my comment was a little trite.


Smack her. ?


Wishing you the best in your complex and difficult task.


It sure will. McDonalds


Cut her off from the internet, except as it pertains to her school work.


Some kids take longer to grow up. I took the long view with our rebellious teenage daughter. "This is temporary," was my mantra.

In high school, my daughter, Claire, did Running Start in WA State. She got a two-year Associates degree with her high school diploma. She had a 3.5 GPA.

Unfortunately, she wasted our college savings, partying and drinking in Central WA University. After being raped in college at age 19, we set Claire up in Seattle and told her to earn a living. Her dad paid for her car payment, medical insurance with counseling, and car insurance.

"I didn't know you could get a 1.7 GPA," I told her dad, a teacher with a master degree. "Kathy, at 19, I had a 1.5 GPA when I flunked out of college," he replied. "I spent two years traveling in Europe before going back to become a teacher."

For six years, Claire worked as a caregiver for severely mentally ill women in a home care setting. Living with dysfunctional roommates, she had a series of dreadful boyfriends.

My message to Claire was consistent: "I love you and believe in you. You are strong and intelligent. Your inner strength will help you say no to alcohol, drugs and negative people, and finish college."

Good news! While working, Claire took college classes part-time. Last year, the Univ. of Wshington gave her a full ride scholarship.

In March 2018, Claire, 28, graduated from the University of Washington with a 3.9 GPA and a bachelor degree in Health Studies. Claire and her boyfriend, Matt, bought a house together. Matt proposed to her last New Year's Eve at the Seattle Space Needle. They are engaged.

The Univ. of Washington identified Claire as one of the top 50 graduates in her program. They sent Claire's contact information to medical recruiters. Claire was recruited by Fred Huchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle for a full time job. She is very happy.


The truth is more frightening still. She might be responding to truths we adults are not privy to. Like, college no longer helps you get a good paying job, and in fact will more likely just landed you in overwhelming debt. Most kids today graduate with over fifty think in debt they will never pay off, and their degree will not really help them unless it is inath or science. The chances of home ownership are practically nil. If they do secure a job, it's likely to not provide a living wage. Most successful people are those who create their own jobs, as content creators and who network online. Sure, it isn't enough to just be cute and have a ton of intlstagram followers...or is it? Content creators are eliminating the middle man and taking money directly from sources like monetization and patreon. Stores like Etsy and Amazon allow people direct market wears and crafts. Web creation and ad revenue has made millions of people who make a living wage just chatting into a camera. The world is changing band our formula doesn't exist anymore. Maybe you should encourage her to take better classes, like adobe and web design. It's a different market for them. With my kid, I'm trying to learn it and help him make decisions that prepare him for that world. He knows it very well, but I'm clueless. Good luck.

She's very creative and appears to be musically gifted. Wondering how to go about maybe focusing on that while still emphasing the importance of not failing Math. It's giving me a headache.

@Lani Yes, isn't that the trick? My son had a habit of saying, I just learned something and I reply I hope it's math. ? Gabe is sixteen and has a paid gig as a playwright. It's only twenty bucks a month, but it's paid and he has a fan base. Here are some tips. Work with her school. Find a guidance counselor and get her into the school musical and arts community. Have her join the chorus. Next, call the local community colleges and out if they have any or know of any extension programs. Also, local community theater can help. Don't freak out if she just takes basic math. As long as she can pass. Find out what she's interested in and help her focus her high school experience on that. The new world is very specialized. Pass math, Excel in music. Local music stores or the school chorus direct will be invaluable. They can help you find tutors, classes, colleges, agents, parts, and connections. Finally, make sure she has a good quality camera on her phone and encourage her to take video of herself singing, talking about music, etc on YouTube, Instagram etc. Set her up a patreon and make sure she mentions it on every video. You go online And research monetizing and watch her content and protect her from the morons out there. Participate in this instead of railing against it. Message me if you have more questions.? It's a brave New world ?

@Lani Music is math. The Circle of Fifths and scales. 3rd and 5ths and 7ths etc. There is symmetry in music. Maybe you can connect the two for her.

@Fanburger []. I'm not saying college isn't important. I'm saying not everyone is a physicist. I'm saying Julliard is every bit as reputable as MIT. And that these days we should prepare our children for a life of happiness instead of a life of wealth. With luck, soon this crippling debt might not be attached to college graduation and an education will again mean prosperity, but these day's it's not necessarily enoigh. I know too many people with Masters who work outside their fields Ms can't make ends meet. It's not like when I was a kid and a degree meant success.


The "good paying job" for unskilled labor is pretty much a myth...unless she becomes a porn star, stripper, etc.

@Morganfreeman Most famous actors spent years becoming skilled at their trade. Acting is NOT unskilled labor.


Ah, the first reality check of life. Those hard knocks will come!

BillF Level 7 Apr 13, 2018

Give her a roof over her head, let her do her own washing, ironing, preparing her own food and no pocket money. See how she fares. She will soon tire and understand what you are trying to teach her. Don't be soft.


Yes, let her bounce real hard against the walls of reality. She'll have to get a job where cuteness counts and lots of Instagram friends can help her succeed, like working at McDonalds. Make her pay you rent if she gets a job.


When she is done high school she needs to start paying rent and her other expenses or move out. A reallity check or two never hurts anyone. If she elects to go to collegy or university at your discretion you may decide to reduce the rent or even assist her, but by then you have set the ground rules.


on this site it is useless to say "pray".....!! hyn-sight is 20/20......she'll real life....


At this point, her epiphany may not come from you, but from hard lessons she learns herself. Her motivation has to come from within her. If she isn't working in order to operate her most prized posession herself...her phone...perhaps start squeezing her to perform before you continue providing it. Might as well get a little tough. Teenagers are going to dislike you anyway!

Write Comment
You can include a link to this post in your posts and comments by including the text q:57077
Agnostic does not evaluate or guarantee the accuracy of any content. Read full disclaimer.