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How To Respond To A Bad Grade

by Teresa, The CuteKid™ Staff

At some time your child is going to bring home a bad grade on a test, paper, or their report card. For many parents the grade comes as a big surprise. But your dealing with kids bad grades affect how your child views themselves and their school achievements. Consider your goal for your child. Do you want your child to be honest with you? A child who tries his best? Or one that achieves at any cost?

Wait to respond to a bad grade. As parents we tend to overreact when
first presented with something like a bad grade. So give yourself a little time before saying something drastic like ďYouíre grounded for a month.Ē Talk it over with your spouse before reacting.

Discuss the issue. You can lecture until youíre blue in the face but not get through to your child. My dad was good at this. My sister remembers one time when he was lecturing her about grades that she almost fell asleep. Needless to say it didnít make a difference. So instead of lecturing your child on what they should be doing find out why they got a bad grade. Are they having problems with the subject matter? Do they not like their teacher? Do they find the teacherís testing methods difficult? Are they not motivated? Discovering the reason will help you figure out how to best deal with the problem.

Talk to the teacher. Having been a teacher myself, I know that teachers want students to succeed. They hate giving bad grades, even when the student deserves it. So talk to your childís teacher about their grade. Find out what the teacher believes is the problem. If it is different than what your child believes to be the problem consider having a meeting with your child, the teacher, and yourself to resolve the problems and get your childís grades back on track. In the future ask the teacher to provide you with updates on how your child is doing. That way there will be no surprises the next time your child has a test or report cardís roll around.

Solve the problem. If your child finds the subject matter difficult then it is time for you as a parent to reevaluate your expectations. You canít expect every child to excel in every subject. As parents we all want to believe that our children are gifted but in reality many children work hard and get only Bís and Cís. Consider also the nature of the class. If your child is in an advanced class and gets a B then they would have probably received an A in a regular class. You might consider hiring a tutor or getting extra help from the teacher. If your child has a hard time getting their homework done schedule a time for them to complete it each day. If your child is having problems with the teacher find out why. The teacher might actually have a bias against them for some reason, if so talk to the school and get your childís class changed.

Consider logical consequences. Many times the shame of getting a bad grade is punishment enough. But if you feel that your child isnít ashamed or unhappy with the grade that they achieved then consider something that fits the crime. Cut back on extra-curricular activities until grades get up. Or set aside time each day where your child has to do their homework and then review it yourself each night.

Start fresh. Donít continue to reflect on the kids bad grade. Consider your childís slate wiped clean and start over. Boost your childís confidence by telling them that they can do it and then help them achieve it.