A bad report card can devastate children and parents alike. It is
also a message -- that it's time to take action. But, as you have
discovered, grounding and other forms of punishment rarely give kids
what they need to get better grades. Children need hope that they
can be successful in school in the future.
The best way to instill hope is to help your son plan for
success. When your son can picture himself being successful and when
he has concrete steps for improvement, he will be more likely to
succeed. Use the information from his report card to evaluate how he
To help your son turn poor grades around:
Treat a bad
report card as a sign of a problem that can be fixed.
First focus on
the positive. Find something on his last report card that
your son can feel good about. Your goals are to show your son he
can be successful and that you truly care about his
to better understand why a grade is low. Was the work too
difficult? Did your son not complete homework? Did he do poorly
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solutions. Your son's answers to your questions will likely
indicate steps to take. Be sure to talk with his teachers at the
first sign of any difficulties he may have at the start of the
next school year. Get their views on needed improvements and how
you and the school can help.
Don't forget to
recognize successes. Praise your son when he makes
improvements. When the grade is good, never ask him that awful
question, "Why don't you do this all the time?"
Make sure your
son knows he's loved and accepted -- regardless of his
grades. Note that grades are not an evaluation of him as a good
or bad person.
For more information about helping
children learn, go to
http://www.parent-institute.com. To submit your own question,
use the form at
howitworks.php. All questions will receive
a prompt answer by e-mail.
Copyright 2006, The Parent Institute
from The Parent