Here’s how to deal with the good and the bad at report card time.
- Set aside time to talk with your child. Ask your child why she thinks she earned the grades she did. It’s important to help her see the connection between the things she did and the grades she earned.
- Ask your child whether he did his best. What is important is not that your child be the best, but that he do his best.
- Think about the messages you’re sending to your child. One father was very critical because his son didn’t bring home a report card with all A’s. Finally, the son decided that his dad cared more about the grade than how he earned it—and decided to cheat to get the A.
- If grades are unexpectedly low, you may need to talk with the teacher. Now is the time to find out about, and correct, any problems that may be interfering with your child’s learning.
- If the report card is disappointing, try to find something positive to say. Children need to know that they are loved even when they make mistakes.
- If the report card is especially good, avoid giving your child a monetary reward. Instead, give her a chance to plan a special outing. Or, choose a book and write a note inside the front telling her how proud you are of her accomplishments.
- Set specific goals for the next grading period. Help your child make plans to improve in at least one area. Write out an action plan to achieve the goals.
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