When Adults Don't Hear Kids Asking for Help
I was once that teen—the one who wanted to take rigorous courses but every year the schedule rolled out, it never included the more difficult or honors courses I had worked so hard to be eligible for the previous school year. I would wait for hours to see the counselor, only to be told that because of the late date it was impossible for me to take a higher math or science or honors history course that I so desperately wanted. I would be incredibly frustrated because I knew that those courses were marked on my counseling sheet when I turned it in on time.
I would ask if there was any other way to get in those classes, only to be shot down by the overburdened counselor with a line of equally annoyed students. I left in a huff and went to my next unwanted class less than eager to be there. I spoke with my parents and my dad took the next morning off to accompany me back to see the counselor to “get me in XYZ class” so I could “get in a good college”. Usually the meeting would end with, “Well, Mr. Broocks, if your daughter had only advocated for herself you would not need to come see me! I could have straightened it all out for her.”
This scene plays out year after year because adults don’t know how to hear what kids are trying to express. And kids don’t know how to be heard. Fortunately, we can train our kids to communicate in today’s adult world that gets their message heard and more importantly, documented! In today’s world, adults communicate via email, an incredibly useful tool for not only getting information exchanged but also for documenting for future reference and sharing.
As adults, it is critical that we teach our kids how email is a great tool to facilitate open conversations, allow you to include parents and other concerned parties (teachers and coaches) in those discussions, but also to document in a clear and hopefully unemotional way your wants, needs, and requests. Let’s teach our kids how to write emails that clearly and succinctly express what it is they want in a way that they are heard.
If only we had email back in my HS days, I would have been all over documenting every conversation with my counselor. I was driven to get into the best college possible and felt limited by my high school’s course assignment process. And I was frustrated by the circular manner I had to deal with it each and every fall.
Does your HS student struggle to be heard? To advocate for themselves? Are you worried that they will continue to struggle with standing up for themselves in college? Let me help! My college readiness and admissions coaching program can help them learn these skills and many more so that they are better prepared for the rest of high school, for college, and for life!
Are you ready to help launch your student on a successful path to college? Do you have questions about the process? To find out more about the process, sign up for a complimentary 20 minute call.