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