Sharing the Walk

William Livers ... School Social Worker ... January, 2022


It is easy to respond to a report card that has all good grades. But what is the best way to respond when our child brings home lower grades than we expect?

How To Deal With a Poor Report Card

If your child brings home a poor report card the first thing you should do is breath. Take a deep breath and repeat the phrase, "It's going to be okay."

Grades are important. They provide you with information regarding how your child is doing with the subjects taught at school. Are they reading, doing math, and writing at the level expected of a child at that specific grade level. If there are areas that need more attention, there are a few ways to discuss the grades with your child.

First, look for any positive things you can point our first. Although some kids might struggle with some academics, many times they are doing fine with the specials classes: art, P.E., and music. By talking about these, your child will know you are looking at everything, not just the negative.

Next, you might ask your child what their reactions are to the grades. Getting their thoughts can help you gauge what your stance might need to be. Your child, especially if they are older, will often note that they are not happy with the lower grades. This opens up the discussion for solutions and what their plan is to bring them up.

Calmly share with your child your reactions to their grades. This is a great time to share your expectations. Each parent will be different. Some will expect all the grades to be at a B or better. Others may look for 'Cs' are above. Wherever your expectations are, they should be clear.

Then, ask your child if there is anything you need to do for them that can help. This lets them know that it is going to be a team effort. If that means looking over their homework to make sure it's done, you'll do that. Others might need more help with spelling practice or math facts review. Your child may have some thoughts but don't be afraid to suggest something and let your child decide if that would be helpful. The idea is to develop a realistic game plan so things can be in place to help make sure the next report card has improvements.

Finally, don't hesitate to contact your child's teacher. The classroom teacher can provide additional ideas that might help. Plus, they may have additional pieces of information that can put you at ease. Some times a subject has had few grades. The teacher may let you know that, with the exception of one poor test scores, your child is doing okay. A discussion between the two of you can put things into a clear perception of your child's needs.

Always remember that our children are constantly developing and learning. Some subjects come easier than others and others might take more effort and time.

The bigger the challenge, the greater to opportunity. Author unknown.