Have I’ve Failed As A Parent If My Child Needs A Tutor?

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Author Bio: Dr. Becca Ballinger is a child psychologist and a modern mom to 2 awesome teenagers who helps parents create the family of their dreams on the Parenting The Modern Family blog. For more modern parenting education in the areas of smart discipline, kids & technology, nontraditional families, and family/life balance you can sign up for the free Parenting The Modern Family newsletter at www.ParentingTheModernFamily.com.

As a child psychologist and a modern mom to two teenagers, I have encountered many parents who tell me that they feel a powerful sense of guilt and failure when their child struggles academically. The decision to seek help for their child’s academic problems through tutoring is oftentimes internalized as an objective sign that they have failed as parents.

Let me reassure you that seeking outside help for your child’s academic problems is NOT a sign that you are a bad parent, but, rather, that hiring a tutor is actually a sign of good modern parenting!

Let give you 4 important reasons why.

1. Every child possesses individual strengths and weaknesses that even the highest quality of parenting will not be able to solve. According to the National Center for Educational Statistics, 2.4 million children are diagnosed each year with a specific learning disorder and these learning disorders require specialized treatments that only trained professionals know how to administer. Just think about it this way, if your child had a medical illness, you would take them to a medical specialist for treatment, right? Educational problems are no different.

2. Sometimes parents just don’t make the best tutors – kids tend to listen differently to strangers. In my experience, many parents find it difficult to take on the task of helping their child with their academic work – especially if their child is REALLY behind in a certain area. Parents soon discover that they don’t remember as much about the subject matter as they thought they did and, most importantly, they dread the arguments, hurt feelings, and frustration that often accompanies tutoring your own child. By hiring a tutor, kids are more likely to pay attention, argue less, get their work done, and feel proud of themselves for accomplishing this difficult task.

3. Hiring a tutor provides structure for your child while encouraging independence and reinforcing organizational skills. Sometimes the reason kids struggle with their schoolwork is because they never developed the necessary study skills in the first place. One of the additional benefits of hiring a tutor is that your child will receive one-on-one instruction in the areas of organizational skills, study habits, and test-taking techniques.

4. Hiring a tutor is more than just getting help to improve child’s grades – it becomes an opportunity to teach your child some important life lessons. The fact that your child needs a little extra help to complete their academic requirements doesn’t mean that they are bad kids or that they will not end up with a successful future. By seeking the help of a tutor, it shows your child that EVERYONE needs help at some point in their lives. Don’t make the new routine with the tutor a big deal to your child; instead, share with your child a time in your life when you sought help for a problem and it turned out to be a good thing.

So I want to leave you with this advice: stop judging yourself negatively for not being able to solve your child’s academic problems on your own and, instead, give yourself credit for taking charge of the situation in a responsible way. By seeking out help for your child’s school difficulties, you are setting your child up for a lifetime of success!

One Response to Have I’ve Failed As A Parent If My Child Needs A Tutor?

  1. Valeri says:

    I would never have guessed anyone would think this. In fact, it sounds arrogant that any parent would be surprised that at some point along the way they can’t meet every-single-need their children have. We aren’t all doctors, or coaches, or math teachers. We don’t need to be. And letting our kids know early on that its a good idea to get help when you realize you need it, is a good lesson. I have one child that loved the 1:1 tutoring attention, another that was the last one in her class to learn to read. We aren’t all things to our children at all times.