We have all heard the saying, “it takes a village” when referring to raising children. Whether your village is family, friends, your child’s school staff, church members, daycare, babysitters, anyone else hired or otherwise; this village comes together to help you and your children get through your busy weeks.
But what happens when your village shrinks or changes?
There are a hundred reasons why a village might shift, and we have all been part of a big one recently. I imagine many people have had their support systems change in the last year; I know mine have. A lot is going on that none of us, as parents, grandparents, or caretakers of any kind, were expecting this year. Life is different. Our kids are home from school, and parents are scrambling between work, helping our kids with virtual learning, and life in general. We are mad, confused, worried, frustrated, and, let’s face it, in some ways, just lost. We need to ask for help. But is that ok? Can we ask for help?
I know that asking for help isn’t always easy and might even make some of us feel weak or incapable. I like to think of asking for help as a sign of strength. Knowing that we can’t always do this parenting thing alone and that we are strong enough to look for something to help our children get through whatever they are struggling with. So, is it possible to ask for and find help even during a pandemic? The answer is yes! Many people out there want to help and are finding ways to push through the obstacles to make it work.
Creative Ways to Find Assistance
One of the things parents fear right now is how their kids are doing in school. Are you afraid that your child is missing out on vital academics and they are getting behind in math, reading, or another subject? You are unmistakably not alone.
Relief from trying to be a parent and teacher is available. Consider asking a tutor for help. Tutors are getting very creative with online sessions. There are also some tutors meeting students in-person with masks and other precautions to keep everyone healthy. If tutoring isn’t an option for you, reach out to your child’s teacher and ask them for help, or a fellow parent who may be more well-versed on a subject than you are.
I decided to reach out to a reading tutor for my oldest son, who was starting to fall behind in reading and spelling. The big secret – I’m a reading tutor myself! I needed the comfort of a village member to help me stay his Mom. I knew that I could not do it all and needed to ask for help. Our tutor worked with my son in-person, and then we moved to an online format when things started shutting down (PS. He tutors at Brainspring.) I am also very lucky to have a neighbor who’s a teacher who has given me ideas for what to work on additionally at home with my kids.
Assistance is out there (not just academically), and I really believe that as hard as this year has been on everyone, more people out there want to help than we realize.
Asking for help could be, and probably is, what we really need right now, not only for our children but for ourselves. We need the break, the help, the village.
Written by Katie London, M.A.
Katie is a Director at Brainspring Learning Centers.
Brainspring has proudly supported the educational community for more than 25 years.