Discussing Your Child’s Report Card: TLC’s 7 Helpful Tips


Although report cards are important, it is only a snapshot of your child’s progress in school both academically and behaviorally and measures how your child is doing at one particular time.  Be sure to continue to motivate and encourage your child in the areas they are doing well (even if that isn’t a tangible grade observed on a report card).  Positive motivation from parents is a great way to build your child’s confidence and lead to a more successful experience in the future.  We want to continue to foster a positive learning and growth mindset in all children.  Below are 7 tips to help you meet this goal.

  1. Set aside enough time for a relaxed discussion. Your child deserves your attention without interruptions.
  2. Allow your child to take ownership and reflect before giving any of your own personal feedback, opinions and praise.
  3.  Elicit a discussion with your child about his/her strengths and areas of improvements.  Encourage the child to use mistakes and/or areas of improvements as an opportunity to grow and learn.
  4.  Words are powerful.  Choose your words carefully as not to cause anxiety.  Instead of  the word “weakness” or “poor grades”, use the words “areas of improvement”.  Instead of “hard” or “difficult”, use “challenge you can overcome”, etc.
  5.  Discuss what the student is most proud of and also what they would like to see themselves do better.  After they have had an opportunity to reflect, offer your feedback.   Initiate a conversation of how they would like that to happen (more help at home, discussion with teacher or school counselor, hire outside help).
  6.  If you have a question about what a specific standard or description may mean on the Report card, reach out to your child’s teacher.  If it is a standards based report card in New Jersey, you could also learn more about those indicators online.
  7.  When praise is in order, let your child know you are proud of his or her efforts and encourage them to feel proud of himself/herself.  When changes must be made, let your child know that you will help.  Leave the discussion with a firm understanding of everyone’s next steps.

Way to go!  Parenting is hard work and you are doing a great job!

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