Sense & Sensitivity by Harriette Cole

Friend Asks Unemployed Reader Not To Apply for Job

DEAR HARRIETTE: My son has one class that is causing him a lot of stress. He is in high school and trying to be independent in terms of doing his homework and fending for himself. But I see that he is terrified of how he is managing in this class. I want to support him more actively. Because I am not good at the subject he’s struggling in, I want to get him a tutor. How can I convince him to consider it? I could force him, since he is a minor, but I don’t think that’s the right approach. -- Accept a Tutor

DEAR ACCEPT A TUTOR: Some students mistakenly believe that getting a tutor is an indication of failure. Your job is to encourage your son to recognize that a tutor can help him to understand what his teacher has failed to impart effectively to him. Since you are unable to clarify this knowledge, your job is to find someone who can help him. There is no shame in getting help. This is true in school and in life.

Make sure your son knows that it is a sign of strength to ask for help when you need it. A tutor can help him to master his understanding of a subject so that he can achieve whatever is before him. Encourage him to embrace the opportunity to have that support.

(Harriette Cole is a lifestylist and founder of DREAMLEAPERS, an initiative to help people access and activate their dreams. You can send questions to or c/o Andrews McMeel Syndication, 1130 Walnut St., Kansas City, MO 64106.)