BY BOB SHENEFELT
My middle school daughter had a bit of a meltdown last night. She was a bit overwhelmed with all the homework she had, and all the activities she's committed to. She got frustrated, got angry, and was ready to give up. One of the biggest lessons that I'm here to learn and teach is, it's okay to ask for help.
As I explained this to my daughter, and helped to coach her through it, and to reward her for asking for help, she had my attention. She understood that she wasn't alone.
We listed out all the things that she had going on. What was really due tomorrow? What could she let go? Which part of the homework was she having trouble understanding? Could she send an e-mail to her teacher? Ask for clarification? Maybe even ask for another day to get this done? Since she's built up such good will in getting her work done on time, and being focused, and great at follow through, and has a good attitude, perhaps her teacher would give her some leeway.
By prioritizing, she was able to realize that there weren’t 20 things she had to do. There were really three. She started to ask me what I thought some of the answers were. I didn't understand the lesson. I didn't understand the answer, but I threw out a possibility anyway. She responded with, “no, it's really this”. Just by getting it out of her head asking me what I thought, and having that conversation with me, she was engaging her brain. Getting it out of her head.
She finished the homework she had to get done. Was much more relaxed, and apologized for a minor meltdown. I reassured her that it was no big deal. “I'm here for you. Thank you for asking for help.” A lot of people feel they can't ask for help. They may think: I'm not smart if I ask for help; I can't take care of it on my own if I ask for help. In fact, it is quite the opposite. If I have the courage to ask for help, I feel that the respect and connection I develop with people grows immensely.
Start using those great relationships. Asking for help is a great way to deal with this crazy and awesome time that we live in.
I'm Bob Shenefelt
This is iMatter.