Mom’s Need Assistance TooCherilyn Ashley
I’m a soccer mom. A volleyball mom. A swimming mom. A teaching mom. A Tutoring Excellence mom. The role of a mom has changed dramatically over the years. Many moms today define themselves by their roles, by labels, by the amount of activities they can juggle, by the activities their family are involved in or by their ability to squeeze in new activities. Being a mom seems like it is an endless juggling act with hundreds of balls in the air at once. It can quickly be overwhelming on the best days, but then add all the activities that come with this time of season and balls start to hit the ground.
Therefore, moms need support coaches, mentors and friends to support us in keeping it all together. The same is true for our children. First quarter report cards are in hand and second quarter has started. Classrooms now are no longer reviewing previously taught information and are pressing ahead at a frantic pace with new material and concepts. This means more homework, tests and projects. Some students adjust to this pace. Other students become overwhelmed and frustrated, because they lack foundational skills needed to understand this new material. It can also be that the material was covered too fast for them to understand. Whatever the reason, one’s student is struggling.
As a mom that had a struggling child, it is easy to blame ourselves and internalize their pain. We want to fix their issues and make things better, but too often this creates a household in turmoil where no one is happy. Moms say to me, “We will figure it out when we need to.” The unfortunate reality for many of these students is it has already arrived, and their child needs help now.
If your children are like mine they are starting the countdown for their Thanksgiving and Winter Breaks. My children take after their father, who is a Type A personality. Every year they give us a list of what they want for their birthdays and Christmas for us to choose from. A few years back they found Power Point and started outlining what stores Mom should go to and where the best deals could be found. They didn’t want Mom to stray from their gift plan and choose another. Many moms say to me, “I don’t know how to fix my struggling child.” The answer may seem simple, one needs a plan. Like my children’s gift plan. One needs a plan that addresses your child’s learning issues. One must identify exactly what your child is struggling with. What resources will address these issues? Will a coach need to be hired to assist? Who will insure the safety of your child with this coach? Who will train them to teach your child? Who will be responsible for developing a partnership with your child’s teachers? Who will be included in the evaluation process to make sure one is obtaining the desired result? If the answer to these questions is mom, then mom better get ready to juggle a whole bunch of new tasks.
I hear from parents with struggling students all the time, “We weren’t the right people to help our own children.” My children, like many of yours, push emotional buttons and try to get out of tasks. As moms, we know the excuses they will give, how they will day dream and find things to play with when we turn our backs, how they will find just the right buttons to push to get us angry and, last, how they will get mad and act out when they don’t get their way.
This bad behavior is typically caused because mom blew them off, disrespected them or did not pay enough attention to their needs. Like most moms, my attention was never to disrespect my children. In fact, as moms, when our children hurt and feel frustration it is our nature to want to collect their pain and take it away from them. Therefore, seeking outside help can go a long way – especially when one does it proactively, before it turns into a big problem. Moms tell me quite often, “I am not a soccer coach, I am not a dance teacher, I am not a tutor, and that is why my child comes to you.”
Last week, I was at my son’s soccer game, and a mother came up with her hands full and out of the blue one of her children started yelling, “Mommy, Mommy!” She tried hard to get the items out of her hands, set up her chair, talk to other parents and try to address what her child needed. Quickly the mom looked overwhelmed and responded, “Your mommy is busy right now. You are going to have to wait.” Just because the child had been recognized by his mommy the child stopped asking. The child then asked his big sister who immediately got the child what he needed. As a mom, we are programed to always help our children, so it may seem like a complete foreign concept to ask someone else to take over. But sometime that is exactly what you need to do. It is the best way to help your child overcome their obstacles. The best option is to find someone else to help them.
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