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How to talk to your kid about their school report

 It’s okay to have expectations about your child when it comes to education (Shutterstock)

Discussions about report cards can be a little nerve wrecking. It’s hard to find that balance where you can freely interact with your child and still communicate how you feel about their results.

It’s okay to have expectations about your child when it comes to education. After all you’ve worked hard to pay school fees and ensure they have a bright future ahead.

At the same time, you also have to approach the whole discussion with wisdom.

Below are some essential guidelines you should know when talking to your child about their report card.

  • Have a one-on-one discussion
  • It’s better to discuss the school report when you’re alone with them especially when the results aren’t too great. Having a room full of people asking them questions and criticizing them won’t encourage open and honest communication about the report.

    The child will generally feel less intimidated when it’s a one-on-one conversation. This way, they will be able to state what they are struggling with and will be able to see how you can help them.

  • No distractions
  • The best setting is one without any distractions. Your TV, radio and your phones should be off so that you can focus on what needs to be said. Your child might assume that the conversation isn’t too serious when their favorite cartoon or song is playing in the background.

    They might even get tempted to scroll their phone mid-discussion which is a sign that they’re not taking things seriously. The conversation will be more effective when there are no distractions. You have to let them see the seriousness.

     Don’t do all the talking when discussing their report card. It’s important to get their feedback (Shutterstock)
  • Start and end on a positive note
  • It’s always encouraging for kids when you start and end the conversation with a positive attitude. If the aura is negative, they’re more likely to be defensive and resentful towards you. But if you take everything positively, they’ll come out of their shell and share.

  • Be honest with them
  • You shouldn’t pretend to be happy with the report card when the results aren’t that great. This is actually more damaging because you’re giving them a false sense of hope.

    Let them know that you’re not too happy without being mean. They will understand that they need to do better.

  • Never insult them
  • You should never ever insult your child or call them names when they don’t meet your expectations. Your words as a parent will affect their lives forever and you’ll probably regret it later.

    Calling them ‘stupid,’ ‘illiterate’ or any other degrading word will actually hinder all their efforts and damage their esteem for a long time. If you’re on the edge, cool off before discussing anything with them.

  • Commend them for their strengths
  • Even if the overall report isn’t good, you should commend them on those subjects where they did well or showed some improvement.

    They’re probably hoping that you’ll notice their efforts and say something nice about them. They value your opinion so you should never ignore those small improvements.

  • Listen to them
  • Don’t do all the talking when discussing their report card. It’s important to get their feedback so that you understand their point of view.

    They’ll open up and tell you what the problem is and what can be done to improve. This is a key way to make them feel loved and supported.

    What ‘old person’ things do you do?
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