5 Ways to Handle Your Child’s Report Card:
- Stay positive and find a point of praise: Effort does count if your child is doing their best. Respectfulness and conscientiousness are important character traits to praise as well.
- Don’t compare: All children learn at their own pace, and comparing them to others does not resolve any deficiencies but only builds resentment and diminishes their self-worth. Unnecessary pressure from parents only adds to the stress students feel daily.
- Talk to your child, do not lecture: Asking your child, “How do you think you did?” or “Why do you think the teacher feels that way?” invites them to express victories and difficulties. Yes, setting expectations with consequences is important, but a calm discussion about strategies for improvement will bear more fruit than criticizing their shortcomings. Always find a window of opportunity for your child to brag a little bit about one of their victories.
- It takes a village to succeed: Find a quiet spot and discuss the reports. What is the root of the poor performance? Together, write out resolutions and share and amend them with the teachers. At home, stay consistent with routines. Keep an open dialogue with school officials.
- Feedback matters: When your child earns an A, do not say “Great job” because it expresses little. Instead, try, “I had a feeling you would do well because you went after school for extra help and had group study sessions.” Encouragement helps your child develop good habits.
Michael Schleer has worked in secondary education for 25 years, specializing in the teaching of social studies, psychology, sociology and leadership. Since 2015, Schleer has served as a social studies faculty member at Pope John and has been the Assistant Principal/Eighth Grade Administrator of the school for the last four years.