Your child’s first report card of the school year, and each one thereafter, can bring feelings of excitement, bliss and pride; it can also cause disappointment, frustration and concern. In either scenario, each reporting period is a time to reflect on the good, and/or not so good, and prepare your child for a fresh start! Here are some tips to get the conversation going:
- Make it a game of high-low! Ask your kids what they feel is the “high” of their report cards, and let them know you are proud of their hard work. Secondly, ask what they feel is the “low” of their report card and have a discussion about how that grade was earned. Then discuss ways to improve on the “low.”
- Talk to your kids about their work habits, goals and challenging subjects. From there, try setting short-term goals for the next quarter and long-term goals for the end of the school year.
- Stay positive! Be careful not to overreact to low grades or grades you deem unacceptable. It can be damaging to children’s confidence and have adverse effects of improvement. Find something to praise, even if it is just perfect attendance or a small improvement in a certain area.
- Have an open dialogue with your children and let them tell you how they think they did. This gives them an opportunity to be transparent and sets the tone for parents. By talking openly, you can identify the issues and determine the best steps to create solutions.
During report card time, the most important thing for parents to do is to keep the lines of communication open with your children, as well as their teachers, to create a plan to further your children’s academic success.
Remember that a report card is only a snapshot of how your child is performing in school and does not speak to all of their potential. Progress is key, and if you keep that in mind, you will be able to offer the support your child needs to be successful in all of his or her academic endeavors.