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Responding to Report Cards

It’s just about midterm season for high school and college students. Younger children are likely receiving report cards or progress reports. For some students, grades can produce anxiety. Here’s how you can help as a parent.

Straight A Students

Your inclination might be to stick the report card on the refrigerator with much fanfare. Go ahead! Your child earned success, and that should certainly be encouraged. Still, don’t miss the opportunity to engage with your child. Which class do they enjoy most? Do they find classes challenging, or do they need more stimulation? They don’t have to know what they want to be when they grow up just yet, but making grades more about a letter or a number can keep their motivation kindled.

Grades Improving

If your child’s report card reflects more effort or better behavior, let them know you’re proud of them. Ask what strategies helped them improve, and remind them that even small improvements represent progress.

Grades Declining

Lower grades may cause worry or disappointment, depending on your child and your expectations for them. If you feel upset, take a moment to collect your thoughts, and work with them to come up with solutions. Could they be more organized? Are they not getting along with a teacher? Are subjects getting more challenging as they advance? Do they feel disappointed by a grade that you think is just fine?

Good News, Bad News

With some grades going up and others dipping, you may be tempted to focus on just the negative, or just the positive. It may help to ask your child how they feel about the grades they earned.

Health includes physical, emotional, social, and intellectual factors.  Report cards are only part of the picture. Social life, learning disabilities, and physical health all contribute to academic performance. Strive for balance. If you are concerned that your child’s academic performance may be related to a learning disability, a mental health issue, or a lack of nutrition and exercise, your pediatrician can help.

Posted in Blog on October 17th, 2017