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How To React to Report Cards

The end of the school year is fun and exciting time for everyone!  Play days, graduation ceremonies, parties, class outings, outdoor lunch, and a laid-back vibe at school — it’s one of the best times of the year.

BUT, final report cards come at this time too…..

That may NOT be so fun for some kids — for some families!

What is the report card conversation going to sound like at your house?

Do you post the report cards on the fridge, for siblings to compare?  Do you discuss marks over the family dinner?

To start, there are many kids who will bring home a fabulous report.  For these kids:  reward the effort, not the results.  The child can feel a sense of satisfaction on her own.  She knows how it feels to work hard and to achieve good marks.  An inner sense of accomplishment is a wonderful reward for exemplary work.

So then what do you do if your child’s marks just don’t cut it?

Your first reaction may to to freak out and punish your child.  Pause.  Then:

take note of the good comments, and the good grades (start with the positive);listen to explanations for the poor grades, and talk about it all; make a plan for the new school year – but save the details for September.  We all need a break.  If your kid has not made the grade this year, this report card is likely not the first time you heard about her problems; and, if necessary, set up supports for the summer if your child can’t afford to take a break from her studies.  Get a tutor, or speak to your child’s teacher to get some advice.

The summer months provide a bit of space from the classroom for kids.  During this time, you and your kids can play — and then, later, set new goals for success and great efforts in a whole new school year.


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