Report cards. Whether you wait for your teen to bring the printed copy home or view it on-line on the parent viewer, it can be a surprise to all parties involved. The best thing to do is STAY CALM.
If your teen shows up with a poor report card, here are a few tips you can follow.
- Review the assignments and grading scale to ensure accuracy. Most high-school teachers provide a syllabus that includes major assignments, grading scale and class objectives. Just because they neglect to read the rules, they are not exempt from required assignments.
- Communicate rules, expectations and consequences to your teen in an effective and clear manner. Create a goal chart that states the desired outcomes in certain classes. Have your teen review these goals regularly so that issues can be addressed the moment goals are not being met.
- Be consistent with discipline. Discipline is not punishment, rather than a method of doing things in a constant manner. Being firm and establishing guidelines and consequences early.
- Talk your teen and most importantly ask questions. Find out the reason why they have received such a grade. Allow them to be advocates for themselves by encouraging to ask their teacher for explanations and support and set specific study time (without the phone).
- If you are unsure how you can support your child or why the grades are not good, request a teacher conference. Yes, you can request these at the high school level too. Write your questions down, prior to the meeting
Be mindful not to connect the grade to the child’s identity. For example, a child who earns a D in math might not “bad” in math. Dumb? Lazy? NOPE!
He or she simply needs support in that area. A child who earns an A in English, isn’t a super smart kid, either. It all comes down to how much a student applies themselves.
The most important thing to remember is, although we care a lot about our child’s grade, a grade does not make a child. It’s a child that makes the grade. Don’t be afraid to show your child some compassion. School can be very stressful sometimes and this can lead to the feeling of anxiety and in some cases depression. Open conversation with your child can promote good study habits as well as healthy habits that lead to your teen’s future success. Above all, don’t forget to take a deep breath and SMILE.