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How to React When Seeing Your Child’s Report Card

We’re sure that you can remember being a child, bringing your parents your report card and either being afraid of those low grades or happy to show off your high marks. How did your parents react? Now that you have children of your own, how are you reacting when less-than-stellar grades are recorded on their report card? How about when they show major improvement?

We have a few tips to help you gauge a reaction to several different scenarios that we hope will be beneficial for both you and your child.

Failing Grades

No parent wants to see failing grades on their child’s report card, but there may come a time when you will, and how you handle the situation is very important. Firstly, STAY CALM and don’t lose your temper without hearing your child out. You may not know what issue they went through during that grading period that resulted in those grades.

If there are any grades that are above failing, focus first on those and ask how your child achieved them. In fact, focus on whatever you can that is positive. Then it’s okay to explain that you aren’t happy with their failing grade and ask why your child believes it happened. Get a discussion going about your child’s failing grades instead of a lecture or berating session. Is there a specific subject they are finding too difficult? Are they having trouble with friends? Have you noticed any behavioural signs? What is your child’s perspective of the teacher in that class?

Tell them that you believe in them and their ability to do better (if this is in fact the case).

Consider if they are going through anything outside of school that’s interfering with their education, and if so, let them know that you both can work together to improve their situation. Focus on your child’s strengths, what they are doing that’s working, and how they can use their strengths to perform better. This has proven to be more effective than focusing primarily on areas of weakness and failure.

Somewhat Improved Grades

If a grading period has passed and you have noticed that your child’s grades have improved slightly, but not to the level you were expecting, don’t come down on them for not doing better. Remember, even the smallest amount of school grade progress is still that – progress. Ask your child what they did differently to get better grades and encourage them to continue doing that. And tell them that you are proud of what they’ve accomplished, even if it was something little. This will show your child that you are looking at the entire picture, not just the negatives.

Significantly Improved Grades

If your child brought home low marks during their last grading period but surprised you with A’s and B’s during this one, then be sure to express your happiness with their results. Be cautious with your praise, however. You don’t want to say something like, “See? If you try harder, you do better.”

The issue with this is that perhaps your child did something differently to score those high marks instead of doing the same thing with more effort. This goes along with our previous point. Maybe what they did differently was easier for them. By doing the old thing with more effort, it can be harder for them to achieve good grades. Instead, you can say, “Great job! Keep up the good work and keep doing what you did last time to get these scores.”

Fantastic Grades

If your child brings home straight A’s, then be the proud parent that they deserve. Congratulate them on what they have achieved and be sure to avoid language that can instil caution in them. “This is great! But you better keep these scores up or else!” is something your child doesn’t need to hear. “I’m so proud of you, I knew you could do it! With grades like these, you’re paving a great road to the future that you want for yourself.” is much more appropriate.

A Game Plan

If your child’s grades have yet to improve after several grading periods, then don’t be afraid to reach out to their teachers. Perhaps there is a subject that’s much too difficult for them, or maybe your child is exhibiting a behaviour that they disguise at home that the teacher has noticed that’s been causing their poor grades. Whatever the case, it’s best to sit down with your child and ask what they feel needs to be done to get better grades. Don’t be afraid to include their teachers as well to develop a game plan to ensure that the next report card will be one you’ll be proud of!

Here for You and Your Family

At Biolink Attention Training, we want nothing more than to see your child be successful, just as much as you do. If you feel that you need some help in guiding your son or daughter with their academics or address a cognitive issue that’s affecting their school life, then contact us today or find a center near you.

Lizaan Spangenberg
Biolink Attention Training Head Office