Grade cards and progress reports will be here soon. Parents and students dread report cards. Kids are worried about their grades as well as their parent’s reaction. Parents are stressed because their child’s grades haven’t met their expectations. They are concerned about the child’s future and begin to see a difficult path for their child.
Take some time to calm down if the grades were not as high as you would like. Then ask your child in a non-critical, nonjudgemental voice, how he feels about his grades. If he can’t come up with feeling words, offer suggestions such as shame, defeated, angry or discouraged. Continue the conversation with questions such as “What grades would you like to see next time?” or “What can you do differently next time?”.
This opens the door to trust, gives the child a sense that you are offering support and ultimately builds a stronger relationship between you and your child. Most importantly, ask your child what he thinks his strengths are. You can add a few more strengths to his list to help build confidence.
Parents need to have realistic expectations for their children’s grades. Kids that are stressed about maintaining perfect grades have a much greater risk of anxiety and depression. This could lead to unhealthy habits. Put things into perspective and ask yourself if grades are more important than your child’s mental health.
Take the focus and stress out of grades while building a stronger relationship with your kids. Remember….you’ve got a great kid behind that grade card.
If someone in your house is dreading the next grade card or progress report, sign up for Parents Moving Forward - A parent workshop to learn solutions for parenting kids with ADHD and Executive Funciton Challenges.