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What You Must Do When Your Child's Report Card Arrives

Many good parents are concerned with how they should respond when their children receive their report cards, particularly when grades in subjects such as math or science are revealed. With SAT and ACT scores looming in their child’s future, the report card reveal can be an emotionally loaded occasion for both child and parent alike. Parents are usually aware that consistent high grades in math and science should be seen throughout high school to reach the college of choice. Report cards are, of course, a valuable indicator to show any weak points for students where they may think about extra tutoring.

It is right to take care to respond in the best way when viewing your child’s report card, as it is often these moments that can shape how a child thinks and feels about education. Responding well when your child is young will pay dividends when your child reaches high school.


You Must Stay Calm

Punishments, lectures, anger, or even insults will only serve to humiliate and discourage your child from making future progress. Recognize that low grades are indicators where extra help is needed and not an indicator of failure at parenting.

You Must Be Positive

Closely and thoroughly read the report before responding, making sure to highlight even the smallest positive. Maybe effort improved, or perhaps attendance was good, there should be something that you can praise, however small.

You Must Show Discernment

Try to see the story behind the grades. If the grades stayed the same but the work was harder, this can still signify great effort from your child. Ask your child questions, to help understand the situation. Were math lessons suddenly moved to the first period, when your child is less than a morning person? Could you help your child to get more sleep, or get up slightly earlier on days when math is first? How does your child best learn? Can problem subjects be brought to life by educational number games or at-home science experiments?

You Must Show You Care

Help your child to see that you love them no matter what and want to help them. Reassure them that no one is perfect, and their best is good enough for you. Tell them that you will do your best to figure out a plan to help them with any trouble subjects. Ask them for their ideas on how low grades could be improved upon. Highlight improvements and ask what your child thinks helped them. This goes far to dignify the child and helps them develop important critical thinking skills to solve problems for themselves in the future. Punishing bad grades is not conducive to improvement, as feelings of fear block the brain from learning. When the time comes to take SAT and ACTs, a child in fear may struggle to remember anything they learned.



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