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from the West Wing

Today our first quarter report cards were sent out. I am always impressed at how well the students at Fairview do. Each one is a unique individual and I believe that at Fairview our teachers do a phenomenal job helping each child reach their potential. That being said, there are times when our children, for a variety of reasons, don’t receive the highest grades. That can be frustrating for a parent. However, allow me to share some insight taken from Love and Logic that might help for those less than perfect times.

“There’s no doubt that grades are important! Because they are so important, many parents make the mistake of displaying a lot of anger and frustration when their kids get poor ones. When this happens, kids spend more energy thinking about their parents’ anger and frustration than thinking about how their grades will affect their lives. Listed below are some quick tips for responding to poor grades:

  • Spend most of your energy commenting on the good grades. The key is to help your child feel so good about what they do well that they will be willing to work harder at what they don’t do well.
  • Display sadness over the bad grades. Experiment with saying, “This is so sad. I’m sure glad that I didn’t get that grade. The good news is that we are going to love you regardless of how well or poorly you do in school.”
  • Ask questions about the bad grades like “What are your thoughts about the grade?” or “Do you have any plan to deal with the subject?” or “What sort of help can we give you on this?”
  • If consequences for poor grades aren’t motivating your child to do their work, stop providing them. When this occurs, it means that there are other issues that need to be dealt with first. These include helping your child develop a better self-concept, teaching them responsibility through chores, helping them with learning problems or different learning styles, etc.
  • Remember that good character is more important for life-long success than good”

While this article was written more for parents of older students, I believe we can all glean some important truths from what is written. I especially like the first and last tips; Spend most of your energy commenting on the good grades and remember that good character is more important for life-long success that good grades.

Conquering in compassion,

Mrs. West

Except taken from Love and Logic