For parents with children in schools across the GTA, the month of November is when the first report cards are sent home.  The first report card of the year is an important one because it gives you feedback on how your child is doing early enough that significant improvement is still possible.

Here are 7 steps to consider regarding how to properly deal with a bad report card.

1. Has Anything Changed at Home or School?

Before approaching your child to learn what they think the problem was, you should ask yourself as a parent has anything changed at home.  Did you move recently? Did a family member get sick or pass away?  Is money tight and causing a lot of stress?  A change in your home environment can have an impact on what happens to your child at school.  Similarly a change in school can also have an impact.  Is your child being bullied? Did they get a new teacher? These are problems that need to be addressed and together you can work through them to help create a healthier environment for your child.

2. Set the Right Strategy

It can be very easy to just react out of emotions when you see the bad report card.  The danger is that your emotions may be highly charged and cause a negative reaction from your child.  It is important to take the time to think through the right strategy and approach when speaking to your child to ensure the best outcome. 

3. Speak with Your Child

When talking to your child it is important that you try to start off by noticing the positive aspects of the report card.  Point out some of the things that you are proud of first before getting into the negative.

Some of the points to bring up in the conversation can include:

  • Are they aware of the grades and comments that they received?
  • Why do they think they did so poorly?
  • What help did they try to get to ensure they did better?
  • What are the feelings they have towards the report card?
  • What suggestions they have for doing better next time?
  • How you can help them achieve this?

Make sure that by the end of the conversation they know that you care about them and are willing to help be a part of the solution. 

4. Talk to the Teacher

Once you’ve heard your child’s side of the story, it is usually a good idea to speak with the teacher as well.  This is helpful because you can hear the insights that the teacher has about your child and try to ensure that the strategy you are implementing at home will be reinforced in the class room.  It is also always good for the teacher to know that you are actively working with your child to help make improvements in these areas.

5. Create an Action Plan

Now that you’ve properly assessed the situation you can create an action plan.  This plan should include things that your child will do to improve, how the teacher will help and provide feedback, and what you as their parent will do. 

6. Regular Check-ins

Just because you have a plan of action doesn’t mean that the problem is solved.  Schedule weekly and then monthly check-ins with your child to monitor their progress.  Call the teacher to see if they have noticed improvements and adapt your action plan as needed to stay on track.

7. Seek Outside Help if Necessary

Sometimes the solution can’t be solved between you and your child alone.  For whatever the reason that is okay.  As long you go and seek outside help that specifically addresses the area of need.  At Maxi Mind Learning we work with children that have trouble focusing, learning, or controlling their behaviour.  Our program is designed to give them the mental tools necessary to boost their grades and put them back on the path to success.

For more information that is specific to your child, get a free consultation today