Hearing the phrase, “reach out if you need help”, often seems overly simplistic and it is not always easy to put it into practice. As our kids struggle in school or social situations, we often want to provide help for them, but we are not sure who, how or where to get the right support. 5 Tips to Help You Find the Right Help It is important to mention that while we are discussing this under the scope of helping out children with their school struggles, these tips can also be applied on a personal and professional level, and at all ages. 1. Decide who you should talk to Once you have identified that your child’s circumstances are worthy of getting help, you need to understand who is the right person to reach out to. Sometimes we are more comfortable asking family or friends for help, other times there’s comfort in the anonymity of an outsider, such as a coach, tutor, or professional. Ask your child, is it easier to sit down with a friend who is the same class doing the same homework with the same teacher and ask them for help? Would you rather sit down with your parents who can support your through your academic shortfalls? Or is a professional, such as your teacher or a hired tutor the right fit for your circumstances? 2. What outcome are you after? If your child is struggling in school, what is the desired outcome or result for their present, and future, circumstances? It is important not only to consider current struggles but also future opportunities, such as how their academic performance may affect their college admissions or sports involvement in future grade levels. 3. What type of help are you looking for? Does your child simply want general advice on what course of action to take? For example, talking to a school councillor or principal to drop a class, change the teacher, or move to a lower level of the class they are struggling with. Alternatively, do they need someone to walk alongside them over the long run to help them improve or change an outcome? In this case, it can be receiving ongoing therapy to work through a difficult social situation or continued tutoring support to help them understand concepts and improve their grades. 4. Put words to it Before your child can ask for help, they need to practice putting words to how they feel about their situation. Do they blame themselves and their lack of effort, or do they feel their external circumstance (teacher, curriculum, schedule, etc) are to blame for their situation? Can they honestly say that they are putting forth their best efforts yet still falling short? Or do they lack motivation, time or the right tools to achieve their desired outcome? Encourage them to spend some time sorting through their situation and exploring the reasons why they are where they are. Writing things down can help sort through the feelings and can be helpful for future reference. 5. Reach out, get help, and reevaluate Finally, be courageous enough to get the help that is right for them. Afterwards, it is important reflect and evaluate whether it was actually helpful. If you find that it wasn’t the right help for your child, don’t worry; just go back to the drawing board and choose a different path.
Are you brave enough to reach out? If your child needs support in their academics, we are here for your family. Reach out today!