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Teenager Lying, Manipulating, and Flunking Out of School

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I really don’t know what to do. My daughter is 14. It all started when she got her first phone at 12 when we caught her sending pictures she had no business sending. So the phone was taken away. Her grades started slipping and she was without her phone for about a year. Now she is a freshman in high school, since she plays for the school Softball team I was hoping she’d straighten out so she can play. But that’s not the case.

She had a boyfriend this year and come to find out he demanded that she send him nudes or he’d break up with her. He dumped her but then she went right back to him. He demanded sex I but she keeps going back to him and now he follows her and won’t leave her alone. My daughter’s friend tells me this boy calls her a sl*t, b**ch, and wh*re and pretty much dictates who she can talk to. I’ve explained this is abuse but she keeps going back.

Her phone has been confiscated since August and she has repeatedly been caught with phones her friends give her so she still has one. She installs and deletes apps she’s been told no about so I don’t even know the conversations or pictures she’s sending.

 She has failed every grading period this year so far. She acts like she’s upset about failing but does nothing to fix it. She won’t turn in her work or bring home homework. She claims she loves Softball and wants to play but that’s not going to happen with her grades.

She constantly has an excuse for what she’s doing, or tries to manipulate the situation to play on pity. She just says, “I don’t know why I won’t learn my lesson”. Last Friday she threatened running away after school so she ended up at the mental hospital for evaluation. All they said was get therapy.

I’m at the end of my rope. I’m watching my intelligent and talented daughter throw everything away and I’ve found nothing that helps!

Teenager Lying, Manipulating, and Flunking Out of School

Answered by on -


I can appreciate the difficulty you are facing. I think it may be time to go another route. The state you are from has some pretty serious laws about bullying, and at her age and the boyfriends behavior I’d think you’d want to talk to the school’s guidance counselor to find out about making a formal complaint. His behavior would seem to warrant that discussion. You don’t have to battle this alone.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Teenager Lying, Manipulating, and Flunking Out of School

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Teenager Lying, Manipulating, and Flunking Out of School. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 2, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 1 Feb 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.