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Bad Report?

It is the end of term and school reports are out.  Unfortunately your son/daughter’s report is not very promising and it says that several assignments were not completed, the grades are poor and his conduct is only fair.


During the term, you tried to get him/her to pay attention to homework and to try harder, but nothing you said seemed to have been taken into consideration and you are angry.


What do you do now?


I know a parent who once looked at the grades on her daughter’s report and when she saw what she did not like, she threw the report at the child and told her to get from in front of her and she banned her from going any where during the holiday.  Another parent flogged the child and told him how useless he was as she compared him to other children.


Parents react in various ways to bad reports and some do not even react, but before jumping into action there are some things that you should think about.


Did I contribute to this performance?  Have I provided the right environment for my child to study or did I set the right examples for him/her?  Did missing the form level meeting help to make this worst or did I listen when they reached out to me for help?


Blaming yourself would not help the situation, but you need to think carefully about your role in your child’s performance.  Consider changing anything that you think might have impacted negatively on your child’s work.  Having said that, decide on how to speak to your child without driving him away from you or making him fearful. 

Here are some ideas:


  • Let your child know that you are concerned (not angry) and set aside a time when you can sit down and discuss what is happening at school and why he or she thinks that he performed the way he/she did.


  • After hearing his or her reasons for the poor performance, try to come to an agreement on how you would both move forward.  Let him tell you what he wants from you (maybe he is concerned about your constant nagging or that you never listen to him or that he has a sight problem.)  What ever the reason is, make plans to correct the issues during the holidays.


  • If it is that he needs to have his eyes checked or to be evaluated, get it done during the holiday.  If it is that he needs extra help academically, try to get him assessed to find out how far behind he is and make the necessary plans to get him back on track.

    When you get additional academic help for him, try not to use the same teacher that is failing him at school.


  • Use vacation time to motivate your child.  Have constant chats with him/her to let them feel that they are loved and that you are interested in their well being.  If your child considered you to be a poor listener, pracitce listening more, if he thought that you nag too much, try to do less of that.


  • Encourage him to think about his past behaviour and and performance and let him decide what he can do to improve on it. Make sure that your child understands that although you can see reasons for his performance that he is accountable for his work and behaviour and that it cannot be repeated. 


  • Make him complete uncompleted work and congratulate him when he does it.


  • If you feel overwhelmed and think you can do with some help, reach out to your child’ s doctor, a counsellor or psychologist as listed on this site.


  • Plan to attend form level meetings and keep in contact with class teachers to keep track of his progress.  


  • Do not wait for a report to come home, keep checking on his work and speak to teachers if necessary.

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