When your child walks into school on his or her first day of kindergarten, it’s inevitable that he or she will make plenty of mistakes on the long educational road ahead. No matter how many parenting tips you’ve received from everyone and your mother, or what discipline methods you practice, your child is bound to bring home a bad report card or a flunked pop quiz, and that’s totally okay. Children aren’t perfect and neither are you, but it is always your job to be your child’s number one supporter; chances are, your child will crave your help and advice the most when he or she is struggling in school. When your child brings home a grade he or she isn’t too proud of, avoid these behaviors that can escalate an already less-than-ideal situation.
Parenting Tips #1: DON’T raise your voice or display aggressive body language.
Your first reaction sets the tone for the entire exchange with your child, and he or she will be unlikely to approach you for help in the future if he or she expects you to react negatively. Remember that a bad grade isn’t the end of the world, remain calm, and ask your child what they think went wrong.
Parenting Tips #2: DON’T interrupt your child or place blame right off the bat.
Respect your child by listening attentively, and give him or her a chance explain the situation at hand. If the story seems odd, or something doesn’t add up, don’t automatically shift into interrogation mode; instead, remind your child that you want to help them be as successful as possible, and you can’t do that if you aren’t aware of the entire situation.
Parenting Tips #3: DON’T nitpick or obsess over trivial details.
Reassure your child that any mistakes are in the past now, and the best possible option is to learn from them and move forward. Form a proactive solution with your child that targets the issue as a whole; if your child didn’t understand the material, suggest getting a tutor or making efforts to improve study habits. If there seems to be a grading discrepancy, encourage your child to meet with his or her teacher one-on-one to discuss it.
Above all, remember that your ultimate goal as a parent is to help your child be successful in the best way that you can. If you’re lucky enough that your child seeks out and respects your opinion, don’t waste the opportunity for a valuable learning experience – one they won’t find in the classroom.