What’s the most important thing to you about your teen – her or his happiness, right? If you found your child in an insufferable situation, you would do everything in your power to remove them from that environment. There will always be people in the world waiting to take your kid down, whether it be a pessimistic coach or an unsympathetic teacher. You have to be ready to take action and defend your teen.
A toxic coach
Consider yourself lucky if your kids have only had angelic coaches! Not too long ago, I discovered that my daughter was in a toxic situation on her sports team. Her coach was so negative towards her that she became anxious and stressed. The first sign that made me realize something was wrong was when she started biting her nails. No matter how many times I told her to stop, she wouldn’t! I wondered what could possibly be making her so nervous that she was biting her nails incessantly.
Eventually I realized that the source of her stress and anxiety was her coach. We put our kids in sports to provide them with an activity that is fun, keeps them fit, and lets them be part of a team. In this case I found my daughter having no fun at all. In fact, she was terrified to mess up. The coach had told the team that making a mistake meant you couldn’t play. This is crazy – we all know that mistakes are the only way to learn!
I was so used to sports being a positive part of our lives that it took me a while to figure out that I needed to take action. My daughter’s self-confidence was slowly diminishing. I finally removed her from the situation entirely. I found her a new team and a new coach, where she was happy and started learning again. The nail biting ceased. By taking action I managed to bring myself and my daughter much less stress and anxiety and much more happiness and joy.
An unresponsive teacher
Once our kids hit high school, it may feel like we’re pretty removed from their school experience. They have multiple teachers throughout the day and many such teachers expect high school students to be more independent from their parents. I thought that there wasn’t much that I could do if I found my child in a toxic classroom. I was so wrong. If you find your child in a classroom where they not successful, there is always something you can do.
What do you do when your kid is struggling in a class? The first step is to talk to the teacher. Our teens do their best, but sometimes involving a parent is what it takes to sort out miscommunication and find a solution. In our case, my daughter had repeatedly asked the teacher to check her grade on an assignment. The teacher said the same thing every time: “it would only make a one percent difference, so it doesn’t matter.” Perhaps this is true in many cases, but my child had an 88.7 in the class! That one percent difference would bring her grade to an A. Once I realized this, I knew I had to intervene. If you ever find your kid in a classroom where they are not learning well, and the teacher is not cooperative, it is best to go above and try to find a classroom where your child’s education will improve.
Taking action does not only apply to sports and school. Any situation where your child is not reaching their full potential is a situation where we parents can take action and help find a beneficial solution for our kids.
Have you taken action for your child recently? What was the situation? How did it go?
(photo by Vanessa Bumbeers)