As the parent of a young girl who is struggling in school, it’s easy to get frustrated when you don’t have all the answers. The worry and stress on your family can stem from many different sources. Many parents understandably worry that the daughter they love isn’t going to fulfill her potential and will be left behind as her peers succeed. Although this worry is universal, it’s important to realize that line of thought is unproductive.
BY Ramita Anand
Instead of dwelling in the shame, fear,
and blame you feel when you think about your daughter’s progress, it’s important to realize that these emotions are a product
of unrealistic and impersonal expectations. When parents can see their daughter’s progress, measured only by her own past performance, they will likely realize that she is progressing well. She’s just on her own trajectory, which is equally deserving of support.
Many parents work hard to understand their daughter’s learning profile and feel confusion or defeat when this work doesn’t contribute to the outcome they would have wanted. At this point, many parents commit a common action mistake, and take their anger and frustration out on their daughter. This type of blame can lead to negative consequences including their daughter withdrawing, and her confidence in her abilities dropping as her parents blame her for problems that are out of her control.
Here are some thinking mistakes that can cause us to unfairly take our anger and frustration out on our daughters when they aren’t succeeding academically.
The 7 Thinking Mistakes Parents Make When Dealing with Their Daughter’s Education
- The comparison trap – It’s really easy for parents to get caught
in the trap of comparing their daughter to her siblings, peers, or friends. This may cause her to believe that there’s something inherently wrong with her because she can’t meet these unfair expectations.
- Wrongly attributing her drop in confidence – Parents who are struggling to understand their growing daughters often attribute their drop in confidence or ability to mitigating factors like social media, friendships, or bullying.
- Expecting someone else to ‘fix’ her problem – With the plethora of specialists available today, many parents become frustrated when professionals like teachers, tutors, or therapists aren’t able to ‘fix’ their daughter’s problem. This can lead to parents blaming their daughters for failing to thrive even in an expensive, specialized environment.
- “Just a phase” – All children go through phases of development, where tastes change, new abilities are gained, and their personality adjusts. However, learning challenges aren’t typically something children can outgrow. To avoid prolonging the problem, girls need to be taught to cope as soon as any learning issues develop.
- Generalizing her condition – Even parents who have gone out of their way to research and read about learning issues and developmental delays may inadvertently generalize about their daughter’s condition.
- Assuming that this is just the way she is – It’s no question that you love your
daughter. However, this love and affection can sometimes cloud your judgement,
and cause parents to assume that their daughter’s learning struggles are an unchangeable element of her personality. When she exhibits these tendencies, anger and frustration at her unchangeable nature don’t just damage her confidence. They can hold parents back from seeking a solution.
- Assuming you know what’s best – Parents often assume that they know what’s best for their daughters, and may stubbornly refuse support from outside professionals. While this may be the case with many other elements of your daughter’s upbringing, it never hurts to consult educational professionals and work with them to create the best possible path forward for your daughter.
Avoiding Anger and Frustration When Dealing with Learning Issues
The thinking mistakes mentioned are not uncommon. It’s easy for tired, worn-out parents to get caught in the trap of these thinking mistakes and become frustrated with their daughter.
The next time you catch yourself in one of these mistakes, take a step back and reset your thinking. Easing tensions and creating a more open environment to explore your daughter’s learning issues will benefit her in the long run.
Elevate.RA is an educational mentoring company dedicated to empowering young girls, especially for those whom life challenges have led to barriers in their learning journeys. Creating opportunities for girls at the vulnerable ages between 9 and 13 years old, to have the guidance, counsel and dedication of an educational mentor can result in remarkable breakthroughs and set them up for long-term success.
Ramita Anand is the founder od Elevate.RA . She was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, and spent her first few years of teaching as part of a bigger adventure by moving to London and working in inner city state schools. She has had almost 15 years of classroom- based teaching, of which 5 have been within the Learning Support departments of diverse schools and in different cities internationally.
Her aim is always to work from an approach that is child-led and to engage with your children from a unique perspective on the multitude of pressures that may face them at school, at home and socially. Her mission has been to create a learning framework that will guide children to foster their superpowers by using techniques that she has used in her classrooms, in her one-on-one teaching, and in her role as a parent.