How to Talk to Your Child about a Disappointing Report Card

Rai Helpful Hints

Many parents want their children to excel and do well in school for a better future. Report card season is the time of year where parents get to look back and see how their child did. Unfortunately not all parents will receive great feedback about their child’s results, and it can be disappointing. A bad report card can be an upsetting and awkward discussion to have with your child, but there are ways to make it an easy-going conversation.

Here’s how to talk to your child about a disappointing report card.

Acknowledgement of Effort

As a parent, it’s extremely disappointing when your child receives a bad grade on high expectations. Although your child may have received bad grades, it’s important to recognise and acknowledge the effort your child gave. If parents only discuss negative parts of their child’s report cards, your child will lack confidence for improving next time.

Any positive acknowledgement about your child’s report cards will become motivation for them to try better. Instead of focusing on your child’s grades, acknowledge the teacher’s comments about your child’s interactions and strengths in class. Anything highlighted from your child’s report card, use it as a form of encouragement and acknowledgement they tried.  

The Report Card Isn’t a Mirror

Students can negatively stigma grades on report cards as a reflection of the person. It’s important your child understand a bad report card doesn’t reflect who they are as a person. Many students can get bad grades every now and then, if they don’t study. All children are smart in their own way, some children may need more help than others. A bad grade doesn’t make your child a bad student or make them who they are. For a child who plays basketball, there’s more to them than basketball. It’s the same for a child getting a bad report card – it doesn’t make them a bad child.

There’s Always Next Time

Although it’s reasonable for parents to be upset about bad report cards, there’s always next time. It’s important to remember there will always be a new report card next term, and new opportunities to improve. If your child is given discouragement about their bad report card, they may not feel motivated to improve. Building confidence in your child by encouragement will inspire them to do better next time. If your child is given discouragement about their bad report card, they may not feel motivated to improve. Building confidence in your child by encouragement will inspire them to do better next time.

The Reasoning

Every action has a reaction and your child struggling in school may be the reason for their bad report card. As a parent, take the opportunity to communicate to your child and find the reasoning behind their bad report card. If your child’s bad report card is because they struggled with school, talk about what they have trouble with. If your child doesn’t want to put any effort into their work, find out why. It’s important to take your time discussing with your child how they feel about this bad report card. Do they child feel disappointed in themselves, do they want to improve or do they not care? There are many contributing factors to your child’s bad report card. Communication and listening is the key as a parent to finding the reason.   

Moving Forward

To improve your child’s grades for their next report card, the next step is to work out a plan. Moving forward to improve can take time, and a tutor may benefit your child’s grades in taking the next step. If your child is struggling in school, a tutor can help improve your child’s learning. Tutors help rebuild children’s confidence in their abilities, making them happier to learn. If your child doesn’t care about their grades, tutors can help them become more motivated to learn. Tutors will focus on a certain area best aiding your child to achieving their best report card.