Your child comes home with a report card that is less than impressive. You want to punish bad behavior while ensuring that this problem doesn’t happen again. However, that can be a fine line to walk. Here are some tips for dealing with a less than perfect report card.
1. Stay calm
As difficult as it may be, you need to stay calm. Getting visibly angry or sad will only cause the child to react with similar strong emotions. It is best to look at these things in a clinical way, taking your emotions out of it if possible. When you remove your emotions, you can have a better talk with your child about the problem.
2. Work with the teacher
Your child may not be the best person to talk to about their problems at school. A teacher may be able to give you a little more insight as to what happened. They can tell you if they have failed to turn certain assignments in on time or if they have tried but struggled with a particular subject. You can set up a line of communication to check on progress in the future so these things will not come as a surprise to you.
It’s important to work with your teacher and not against your teacher. It is not the teacher’s fault that your child did not get a good grade. Do not project your anger onto them.
3. Punish the child
Your child doesn’t have very many responsibilities outside of helping at home and going to school. They should understand that it is their job to come home with acceptable grades. To ensure they understand that these grades are not acceptable, there should be a punishment.
Create a punishment that fits the problem. If you think they play too many video games instead of doing their homework, take away video games for a week. Stick to your punishment but assure them that with good grades come rewards instead of punishments, such as the ability to stay up an extra hour.
4. Create a plan of attack
You and your child need to work together to come up with a solution to the problem. They need to get better grades, so ask them how they plan to do that. They may decide to do homework right after school or study more on the weekends. Check up on the progress to make sure they make the appropriate changes. If they truly are struggling, talk about getting a tutor. Explain to them that it’s their responsibility to tell someone if they need help so that it doesn’t get to that point.
5. Show them love
Even if your child is not the best at school, you still need to show them love. That doesn’t mean they won’t be punished. However, you need to make it clear you still love them and always will.
Children might make mistakes and slack off a bit while they learn about the other things in life. Get them back on track so that they can make something of themselves.