Ahhh.. Take a deep breath. The last days of school have finally arrived! Summer vacation is now literally just around the corner and we can almost feel that fantastic relief of being able to breathe easier for two whole months!
After a school year that has no doubt been filled with ups and downs, a constant sprint for motivation and task completion, and hours upon hours of homework, the ease and slow steady pace of the summer is a welcome change for everyone.
But before we can all sit back, relax ,and enjoy the sunshine, there is one potentially potent piece of paper still to be brought home:
THE REPORT CARD… Those little papers with BIG expectations attached.
Did you know that the dreaded report card doesn’t have to be so dreaded after all? It’s actually a fantastic learning opportunity for your child and for you! dread
Often times, parents call me in a panic– “My child’s grades are below the class average!’” Here’s what I tell them: If your child’s grades are not what you were hoping for, you have been given a great opportunity to identify where your child actually did succeed this year.
Success is not always reflected in the numbers.
Did your child get better at following directions? Did your child try his/her best? Did your child follow his/her schedule everyday? Did your child discover a hidden talent?
Remember that report cards should not automatically be equated with punishments or condemnation; instead, it’s time to pull up your socks and model what taking action to evoke positive change looks like. This is your chance to model positive action to your child.
So instead of, “I’m very disappointed in your math grades,” try saying, “it looks like math might have been hard this year. What made it hard and how can I help you improve?” Make sure that you praise your child for the effort they did put in and then use the report card as a tool to gather information.
By using this method, your child learns that Mommy and Daddy will love them for who they are, not based on what they can do or if they can achieve the standards set out for them. Standards and love become separate and independent of each other. This leads to children building their confidence, becoming empowered, and feeling accepted.
So, at the end of the school year, let’s take some time to praise our kids for their hard work and focus on their successes.
Let’s not reward them through monetary/tangible items, but instead let’s reward them by recognizing the effort that they have brought to their education and tell them that we are proud of them.