When you need help, just ask

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It seems that report cards will be sent home to parents shortly. Kiddo came home from school yesterday and immediately warned me that she may or may not be receiving three Cs on the upcoming report card. She wanted to know how much trouble she would be in.

Firstly, let’s set the scene: she’s 13 years old. She is in the seventh grade. She is in a magnet program – not drama, not journalism – not whatever else fun magnet programs there are – she is in the Zoological Science program. Being a part of that program means that all of her academics are advanced classes. Her electives? Science class. She did get lucky this year and was able to take two electives – the other being chorus. Last year, her other elective was Argiscience. Poor kid.

Anyway, my point is that she has a tough workload. I get it. Cs are understandable – as long as you are trying your hardest and putting forth maximum effort. Being that her classes are more difficult than last year, it’s understandable that she is having a hard time. But to get Cs in half of her classes? Hmph. That doesn’t fly with me.

I checked the cell phone records. Not really any school time text messages or emails on her phone. What the hell is she doing?! We sat down and had a talk and it seems that she is having a hard time keeping up in her math class and her science classes. That’s fine. But why the hell didn’t she tell me that she was struggling and needed help? If she doesn’t receive good grades this year, her current teachers will likely not recommend her for the advanced classes next year, nor the magnet program, period.

Do you want to know WHY she didn’t bother speaking up about her troubles with these classes? She didn’t think I would be able to help. Well, no shit, sherlock, thanks for pointing out the obvious on that one. English, History, Psych, Economics – I took AP classes and aced them all. Math? I passed Algebra by the skin on my teeth and begged my way into a D (hey, it was still passing back then) in Geometry and Trigonometry. Science? I did fine all the way through Biology, and completely fell apart when we got to Chemistry (they should have never put me in honors science classes, that was a huge mistake). I tried so hard to learn that crap that the teachers felt sorry for me and gave me easy extra credit assignments in class that they helped me with. Math and science just aren’t my thing.

Side note: Do you remember in high school saying, “I will NEVER USE THIS again!!!! Why do I have to learn this?!?!” – well, you will use some of it again. But with a freaking calculator, and in my 15 years in the workforce, no one has ever asked me what the 3pie. Or whatever the hell that symbol was. Screw math!

Anyway, she didn’t bother to tell me she needed help because she knew I wouldn’t be able to help. Um, duh, that is what tutors are for. The thought never occurred to her. She just figured she’d receive her Cs, be embarrassed, get in trouble, and go on living her life. So now she is at her friend’s house, getting tutored. The kid is getting an A in the classes that kiddo is receiving a C in, and she offered to help her for free. I’m paying $10 for her to once a week with that week’s agenda. The kid is ecstatic that she is going to make a few bucks, and kiddo is happy she will hopefully get out of the doghouse.

Why don’t kids ever see the obvious? You aren’t doing well, ask for help. It’s a lesson adults need to learn as well.

If you need help, if things are overwhelming, if you need someone to talk to, etc – just ask. Often, the issue that you feel is insurmountable is quite easily solved when looked at by an objective party. And if its not solvable, chances are that just talking it out with someone else will help ease your mind.

Don’t be afraid to ask for help.

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