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Lessons from homework

I don’t understand what I’m supposed to do!!

This is spoken through barely held back tears by my 10-year-old.

Computing homework.

Oh god. Computing. Why can’t it be long multiplication. I might have some chance at helping with that.

OK. Let’s have a look. And I draw a blank. I have no clue. And I can feel the anxiety rising. I am immediately transported back to being that 10-year-old who doesn’t understand what’s wanted. How am I supposed to do this if I don’t understand what you want from me? How am I supposed to get it right? How am I supposed to win at this?

And then I breathed. And came back to the room.

Oh, I said to my very close to a wobbly 10-year-old, I have no idea! And I smiled the biggest smile I could smile.

She looked a little confused. Great, came the sarcastic reply.

OK, I said, so you’re stuck and I can’t help. What’s the next step?

She looked at me a little quizzically – ask the teacher?

Right, I replied. Great. Ask the teacher. We don’t have enough information here to figure it out so you need a bit more help.

Oh. OK.

It’s ok to ask for help. It’s ok to not know. It’s ok to be a learner.

I wish I had learnt this lesson sooner in life.

I bash up against it all the time. What if I get it WRONG! What if I say the wrong thing, give the wrong answer, upset someone, fail at something, mess up?

Well, what if I do? No biggie. The world will not end. I will not be cast out.

Even though my inner critic may tell me otherwise.

I often have to remind myself of all the things I teach my girls. This is how we learn. You aren’t expected to know it all yet, that’s why you are learning. Getting it wrong is a great way to learn. Have a go. Keep trying. Ask for help.

Learning isn’t generally comfortable. Accepting that we don’t know yet and still showing up, still giving it a go, takes courage and vulnerability. And it is how we grow and develop and engage with life and all it has to offer.

Where is the learning feeling uncomfortable for you? Where do you need to ask for help?

|| Caroline Doran || Coach | Facilitator | Trainer || Book a call here ||


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