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Installment #39-9th Grade/Final Word

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 H20 to Go!

Growing Emotional Resilience and Navigating Through Childhood

with Heart, Humor & Optimism

BY Margo Judge

Updated 2009

H20 to Go! Copyright, 2004
By  Margo Judge

All rights reserved.
All material on this website protected.
Permission granted for reprinting with
Attribution to Margo@MomOpinion Matters (TM)

Installment #39
Chapter 6-High School-Huffing & Puffing to the Top
Ninth Grade-Taking Notes and Playing News Reporter with Your Teen
Final Word: Pulling the Covers Back

Pulling Back the Covers
A parent spoke to me of her 14 year old daughter who did not like to read and was struggling in English. Red flags go up when I hear that a 14yr old does not like to read and is struggling in English. It tells me that this child has learning difficulties–ones that she has probably had since she started school. It tells me that she had become adept at hiding it and now is meeting her moment of truth. It tells me that eventually, her behavior will mirror her sense of inadequacy. And at 14 that is a dangerous proposition.

We parents should know how masterful kids are at hiding and covering up that which they feel they cannot do. They're scared and embarrassed and will use whatever survival skills they can muster, to keep from confronting or revealing. The older they get, the heavier the covers, and the harder it is to pull them off.

I told this parent that I thought she should take her daughter out to a mall, have a fun girls day. At lunch look her straight in the face, and say,

Look. I know you're unhappy about school. It's very hard to struggle through a subject that seems so impossible. But, I also want you to know that what you're dealing with in English is very fixable–we can certainly do something about it, There is no reason for you to be running away from this problem. You're talented, you're smart, and you've got your whole life ahead of you. We can get through what's tough. You can do whatever it is you want to do, if we address this right now- BECAUSE (and this is the most important part of the conversation) if you keep running and covering up, and not dealing you'll create that pattern in everything that you feel inadequate in, or that is too difficult, etc,. It will seep into all other areas of your life. That is not acceptable!! You have too much to offer and share and do to end unhappy and disallusioned like that. So together, we're going to do what we need to do to help you through this, right now.

And then present a plan even if it's only to say- I'm going to get the best advice I can and we will work through this together. You have let her know 1) that you know 2) that you are there to help her 3) that she can come out from underneath the covers 4) that you see a bright future and absolutely believe in her ability to succeed 5) that she can overcome this obstacle.6)  Now, let's go do a little fun shopping!

(Installment #40) Taking Humor Seriously-We're Not In Kansas Anymore!