Three Things To Consider When Your Child Gets a Bad Report Card

By Huntington Learning Center

One question that is often asked by parents is what to do when their child receives a bad report card? There is no concrete way to address this as every situation is different, but we did find some very useful tips in a parenting blog post the New York Times published a few years ago. The blog post featured the question of one parent who asked for advice after her child’s progress report showed grades that were significantly lower than normal. The child was so scared of being punished that she initially hid her report card. Readers of the parenting blog were polled and asked to leave their opinions on what they would do in a similar situation. Here are several key points taken from their comments:

1. It Might Not Be Effort: Effort is not necessarily the problem when a student receives poorer grades than usual. There are so many variables that affect performance. The class size could be larger than normal, affecting the student's ability to get the one-on-one attention he or she needs. It could also be a matter of the time of day the class is held. Considering the environment and other variables might help to determine why your child is struggling.

2. Punishment Only Makes It Worse: Parental pressure was a major cause of concern echoed in reader responses, as they thought back to their own school experiences. Rather than learning the material, many of the readers polled recalled being so obsessed with grades that they didn't care about the subject matter itself. If your child is struggling but trying, it might make more sense to offer encouragement rather than punishing him or her right away. This could help foster confidence in the student and allow him or her to relax, which may help put focus on learning versus stressing about grades. 

3. It All Starts with Communication: Communication was another common theme from reader feedback. It might be advantageous to communicate with your child about interests and current challenges to get a better idea of potential issues. Is your student too focused on extracurricular activities at the moment? Is he or she overwhelmed by a heavier-than-normal workload? You could also speak with your child openly about your own struggles and how you overcame them, so he or she knows that everyone has struggled with school work at times. An open line of communication serves as the best way for a child to ask for help when it's needed.

In the event that you need outside assistance to get your child back on track, we encourage you to contact us today. Our tutors not only are skilled in their subject areas of expertise; they are dedicated to helping students get the best grades possible through proven practices. Whether your child needs specific subject tutoring or ACT test prep to get for ready for college entrance exams, our tutors are up for the challenge. Contact us today to learn more.