Tips for Reading your child`s report card
When kids bring home report cards, they may worry about how you’re going to react. And you may not always know the right thing to say. The truth is there isn’t one right thing to say. But it is important to look beyond grades. What you say (and how you say it) in each situation matters. Focusing more on effort than on the actual grades can help.
Here are some common report card situations and tips for talking about them.
1. Grades improved, but less than you expected.
You may want to say: “I was expecting to see better grades than this.”
Instead, try saying: “Nice! What do you think helped those grades go up?“
Why: Better grades means your child is making progress. And even a little bit can take a lot of effort. Keeping that in mind lets you talk about what’s working well. It opens the door to talk about what might help bring up the rest of your child’s grades, too.
2. Grades and behaviour “need improvement.”
You may want to say: “You are grounded until your behaviour and grades improve.”
Instead, try saying: “I need to take some time to think about this. We’ll talk about this tomorrow.”
Why: When the news isn’t great, you might be tempted to jump to some sort of punishment. But punishment usually doesn’t help kids do better next time.
Take some time to think what “improvement” would look like for your child. Be realistic and talk it over with your child. Then come up with a plan to help make it happen.
3. Grades stayed the same, but behaviour and effort improved.
You may want to say: “If only your grades were better, too.”
Instead, try saying: “It’s good to see you’re getting the hang of what you need to do to work hard and behave in class. Let’s figure out how to get better at classwork, too.”
Why: When we look at a child’s report card, grades are usually the first thing we see. But don’t forget to look at teacher comments to learn about other progress your child is making. If school is hard for your child, putting in more effort is a big deal.
4. Poor grades in most classes, even though your child is working hard.
You may want to say: “You’re failing everything!”
Instead, try saying: “I’m really surprised by these grades. I’ve seen how hard you’re working. We’re going to figure this out.”
Why: If kids are working hard and still struggling, there’s a good chance they already feel bad. Kids in this situation may be scared that nothing they do helps.
Kindly saying that you know they’re working hard can be a relief for kids. It tells them you know they’re not “just being lazy.” And showing that you’re committed to figuring out what’s happening can be a confidence boost. It tells them you’re in it together.
Find out what to do if your child is falling behind in school. And see what questions to ask teachers about how your child is doing.
·Don’t just look at the grades — read the teacher’s comments, too.
·If your child improved in one area, talk about what your child did to make that happen.
·If your child is working hard but still struggling, make sure your child knows that you see the effort.