Getting bad grades on a report card can ruin a kid’s day, especially if they’re a high-performing student. But what many parents don’t realize is that a report card isn’t just a summary of their child’s academic achievement; it’s also a critical teaching tool. Here are a few ways to help your child take away positive lessons from their report card:
Discuss grades with your child
As a parent, it’s important that you understand why your child is struggling to achieve good grades in school. Are they having trouble understanding the reading materials? Do they find it difficult to study at home? There may even be underlying causes for poor performance that are outside your child’s control, such as external stressors or learning disorders. Whatever the reason may be, don’t try to guess it on your own—have an open discussion with your kid about their grades, and leave any judgement at the door.
Develop strategies to improve
Remind your child that while bad grades aren’t forever, learning and growing are. Sit down with them and help them develop smart strategies that’ll aid them in effectively retaining information in the future. If study habits are the issue, brainstorm together ways they can make better use of their time. If it’s tests they’re struggling with, teach them how to cope with testing anxiety. See to it that they follow through with these strategies by providing your support and assistance when needed.
Focusing too intently on your kid’s bad grades and neglecting to acknowledge their triumphs is a recipe for academic stress, school anxiety, and toxic perfectionism. Maybe they had perfect attendance this quarter. Maybe the teacher wrote glowing praises about their classroom behavior. Maybe they didn’t do well in math but excelled in science and reading.
Point out the positives so that your child doesn’t get too hung up on their failures, and when the hard work they put into improving their grades pays off with the next report card, celebrate that, too!
At Lake Forrest Prep, a leading private school in Orlando, we recognize that success comes in many forms. We pride ourselves on an accelerated curriculum that focuses not only on academic achievement, but also on instilling good character values. For more parenting and education resources, check out our blog.