Facing Your Child’s Report Card

Every parent wants to be proud of their child, but what happens when your child’s report card is less-than-amazing? What do you do when your kid brings home a report card that is full of terrible grades? How do you express yourself, your anxiety, and your frustrations to your child without making him feel bad? What do you do? No matter what your child’s report card might look like, it’s important that you face his grades with dignity, grace, and compassion. There are a few ways that any parent can handle even the worst of report cards.

Keep calm

First off, remain calm. If you become upset or start yelling, your child is going to emotionally shut down. This is a defense mechanism and it’s a natural response to feeling threatened. Try to avoid shouting things like, “What were you thinking?” or “What is wrong with your teacher?” Instead, take a few deep breaths. Remain silent as long as you need to. Then, once you’ve gotten your bearings, you can speak with your child in a calm, relaxed voice. If you’re too upset, by all means, take a few minutes to collect your thoughts. Just remember that you should never shout about your child’s grades unless you want to damage your relationship.

Talk to your child

Next, talk with your child about his grades. Ask him if he knew that he was struggling in an area. There is a chance that your child may have thought he was doing fine. If a teacher didn’t address your child’s progress, he may have assumed that his grades were fine. If, however, your child knew that his grades were poor, you need to ask him why he didn’t come to you sooner. Is there a specific concept that your youngster doesn’t understand? Did he have difficulty with the assignments in class? What exactly caused your child to get poor grades?

Make a plan

You’ll also want to create a plan of action. What are some steps that you and your child can take together to improve his grades? Remind your child that his next report card is going to be amazing. Explain that you’ll help him achieve his goals and do better than ever. If there is a specific subject that your child struggles with, you can help supplement his education at home or you can hire a tutor. If your child simply didn’t know that he was failing, consider speaking with his teacher or asking for more frequent updates. Remind your child that you’re in this together and that you’ll do anything necessary to help him succeed. Why? Because you love him.


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