DEAR ABBY: My mom is mad at me. I have been a little bad, but I always do the dishes, sweep, clear the table and take out the trash. Every day when school is finished, I wait for Mom to get off work so she can help me with my homework, but when I do, she gets upset, mad and frustrated and stops talking to me. She tells me to do it myself, but I don't know how to do some. She says I'm smart, but I don't know if I am. Please help me because I want my mom happy. -- STUCK STUDENT IN NORTH CAROLINA
DEAR STUDENT: Of course you do. When your mother becomes frustrated while trying to assist with your homework, the reason may be she is stressed about something else after a hard day at work, or she doesn't know the solution. Please take that into consideration, because I have no doubt you are smart and want to please her.
When you get stuck, ask your teacher for help if he or she is available. If that isn't workable, another solution to your problem may be as simple as your mom finding someone who can tutor you in areas you are weak in. High school and college students do this (online for now) for extra money. You may also find help online with Khan Academy or other nonprofit educational organizations.