What do you do when your child brings home a bad report card?
a. Lecture the child
b. Restrict their activities such as sports or clubs
c. Use these three ideas to show your child grace while taking action
There’s a time in every parent’s life when you question your child’s motivation–especially when you get their school report with disappointing grades. Now more questions flood in. Do you punish them for doing a poor job and not meeting expectations? Do you let it slide this time? According to Amanda Trople, mom of four, a softer approach is more affective than demands.
“My oldest son (who is now in high school) is attempting to find a balance between managing school work, extra-curricular activities, and his job,” explained Amanda. “But, in the midst of it all there are times when something gives–and more often than not, it’s his grades that give the easiest.”
So, how can you show grace to your student when it comes to their less-than-perfect grades? Here are some ideas from the New York Time’s Motherlode.
Work with them
Instead of pointing out the obvious disappointments, ask your child what’s going on. A good way of doing this is talking less, and asking more. Let them decide on what actions to take. If they get stuck, suggest meeting with their teacher for a one-on-one, spending more time on homework, or finding a tutor. Hold them accountable for their decisions, but show support by being alongside them as they make their journey back to the right path.
Put on their shoes
Of course we aren’t talking literally here, but a lot can be going on in your child’s life you might not be aware of. Report cards often show only a letter, not the story. What may seem small to us as parents may feel like the end of the world to your student. Look at the big picture and see what has been happening both in the classroom and at home.
Love them unconditionally
This is really what it’s all about isn’t it? We love them more than words can write, and all we want in life is for them to be happy and to succeed. When we shout and tear them down for not meeting their goals, we do the opposite of building them up to achieve greater things.
“By showing my son the grace he so desperately needs and deserves, he is re-encouraged to not give up and to always keep putting his best foot forward,” said Amanda.
Taking a softer approach when kids have disappointing grades is not easy; it’s an entire shift in your own outlook. But once you change that view, you will begin to see your child’s actions toward meeting their goals morph into something wonderful.