How to Handle a Bad Report Card

As the end of the year draws near, exams starts all over again and we as parents jump into gear to ensure that our children get good report cards. In my house we work towards this the entire year and not just close to the exams, but even with all the hard work we put in, the results are not always what we wished it would be.

Every parent wants to know that their child is smart, every parent wants the best for their child not matter the age or circumstance.  We all hope that the report cards that come home says that our child is the best and the smartest in their grade, but this isn’t always the reality. Whether your child has one bad grade or an entire report card of bad grades, it’s important that you demonstrate to your child that you still care about them and you are proud that they tried.

Focus on what is good

It is easy for us as parents to jump up and freak about how bad  report card is, but we sometimes forget that for children a report card can be incredibly intimidating and scary. Instead of focusing on the bad, we must try to point out the positive. In my house we make it clear that the first term report card is the ground work to build up from, we still work hard in the first term, but I make sure that my children know the point is just the starting point.

From the second term onwards we work on a system, your grade either needs to stay the same or it needs to improve. This means that by the second term report card, we have something to compare the grades. Now, I keep my freak outs internal and my responses as positive as I can. For instance Amandalynn’s math point only increased from 54% to 56% and instead of asking why not more, I congratulated her for increasing the point. Grades that I am not happy with, I compare those to the grade average and congratulate her on doing better than the average. Now with Amandalynn she generally gets good grades in most of her subjects, so this is a easy task.

Get your child help – do not take it as a personal failure

Sometimes kids just need a little extra help, especially when traditional education is not cutting it and you’re your child really does struggle in school you might consider home schooling, but while for other a little bit of extra tutoring is all that is needed. If you are able to opt for a private tutor or even group session may prove helpful. If you cannot afford private tutoring, many school do over extra classes for free, all you need to do is enquire about it.

For some children you will need to put in your own time and effort to get them through school, help them with their projects and homework yourself. I do realise that most parents have to work the entire day and only gets home last in the evenings and are not able to assist children in the week, but then do make a point of scheduling time in your weekend to sit with your child. Ask the teacher for any projects, orals etc that are happening in the term and chat to them about your home situation and ask to receive those in advance so that you can assist your child over a weekend instead of doing it for them while they sleep at night. You will be surprised at how accommodating teachers can be to parents who really want to help their children.

No one is perfect – no you, no your child

When you child comes home with a bad report card, they will surely feel like a failure even if they do not show it. We all know what it is like to fail at something or at least not get the grade or promotion we wanted. Speak to your child about these feelings. Let them know that you do not expect them to be perfect, but you do expect them to work hard and do their best and that as a parent seeing your child work hard is enough to make you proud. I often tell my children that to me perfection is seeing them work hard for what they want.

How do you handle a bad report card? Or even just your children disappointments?



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