It is common for parents to be optimistic about their children, especially at the start of a new academic year. Most parents see this as an opportunity for the child to start the new class on a good note, or probably improve (if perhaps the child is repeating the class). Grades are what determine how a child is fairing in school. What we’ve all come to accept in this part of the world is that good grades signify that a child is good, while bad grades signify the opposite. However, the honest truth is this, geniuses are made, not born. This means if you want your child to do better in school, you have to be involved in their learning journey.
Nobody likes seeing bad grades. But if your child is always having this, here are ways to react and help improve their grades.
Listen To Your Child
School and grades are often not the first priority for the majority of teens. Your teen may be dealing with stress at school or even at home that you’re not aware of that could be impeding their ability to learn in the classroom. Talk to your child about their grades. Ask them why they are having trouble without assumption or judgment. It’s so important to reach out and truly listen and absorb what your child is saying.
Let your child know that you are concerned about their bad grades, and tell them you want to work together toward finding a solution. Finally, ask them what they think they need to improve.
Talk to Your Child’s Teacher
If you are yet to do this, schedule a meeting with the teacher. It is even possible that you hear two completely different reasons from your child and your child’s teacher. That’s okay. It’s absolutely reasonable to talk to your child’s teacher when you see a bad grade. Whether that grade is on an assignment or your child’s report card, reach out to the teacher. They might have some insight as to how to improve.
Also remember, the teacher should be consulted about your child’s poor performance, not blamed for it.
Avoid Shaming Them
You may want to scream at them or even beat them for bringing home a bad grade, but these scare tactics rarely work. Instead, it sends them into withdrawal mode. Most kids want to do well, they want to earn good grades and make you proud. Calling them dullards might just make them worse.
Instead, remain calm. Let them know you love them unconditionally and that you are here to collaborate with them on how to get through this difficult time. Tell them that you believe in them and feel confident you two can work this out.
Reinforce Good Habits
Perhaps your child has been getting bad grades because of the kind of habits they’ve developed. Habits like excessive screen time, getting easily distracted or playing too much. Teachers can only help them focus when they are in school – but the moment they get home, they become your responsibility. The ultimate goal for grades is to teach children how to manage time and study on their own.
It’s fine to watch children carefully while they’re still learning. They can then be gradually weaned as they progress in their academic pursuit. Take it one step at a time, just as you did when they were learning to walk. Just because they’re older doesn’t mean your help is any less important.
Remove Any Unnecessary Load
In school, children are expected to partake in extra-curricular activities. For some, they are able to balance things well and excel – while for some, they find it difficult to do so. When you see bad grades, think about all of these activities and how they might cause stress in an already anxious time. Burdens don’t just come from extra-curricular either. Some children may be dealing with depression, anxiety, bullying, or peer pressure. They might be responding to problems at home as well. Make sure you know where your child is mentally before you start yelling about that low grade.
Seek Additional Help
School can be challenging, and bad grades may be a reflection of your child needing more support. Consider hiring a tutor or enrolling your child in a study program. You may want to sit in on a few sessions to see how it goes. Afterward, talk with your child to determine if they feel like they’re learning something.