“Hey, guys! Can one of you help me find my way back to the house?”
We were sitting in the children’s room of a local library waiting for Big Girl to finish a program. Little Girl was sitting at a newly-installed pod of iPads playing Minecraft. She didn’t know the four other boys who were playing, but in the span of 20 minutes she asked for help about four or five times, at one point relinquishing her screen so one of the kids could get her back to where she wanted to be virtually.
I sat there watching, impressed at how easily she interacts with strangers. Amazed and happy that she not only asks for help but takes it willingly. At one point I caught another mom’s eye and we smiled at each other. How cute was it that she wanted to know if any of the boys wanted to come and help her pick the “pretty flowers” in the game.
She didn’t learn that from me. I don’t ask for help. I could give you all sorts of psychological reasons why, but the point still remains that — in the past — I would suffer alone rather than ask for help. Even though I have seen time and again how freeing it is to ask for help, and how the people around me really want to help.
This weekend was not the best weekend. My mother was in the hospital. I had a car accident. My friends were right there for me. The offers of support and help pinged into my cell phone. Texts from friends asking if I needed anything, offering to drive me anywhere or stay with my kids so I could go see my mom. I turned everyone down. I didn’t want to put anyone out.
My little one, she’s got this accepting help thing down. The big one, not so much. In order to help her, I need to help myself. I need to model good behavior, letting people help and accepting help willingly and with gratitude instead of feeling like I am bothering people or letting them down by not being perfect. Can someone help me figure out how to do that?