As a parent, it is always difficult to see your child struggling, especially when it comes to school and grades. When you see a failing grade, your first impulse might be to punish your child. But, what good does that do? Your child is failing for a reason and it is your job to find out why. Before you punish, stop and find out what the problem is and what you and your child can do to solve it. Here are some helpful suggestions to help you, help your child.
Do Not Place Blame On Someone Else
You might feel that the failing grades are not your child’s fault. Maybe you want to blame the teacher. She didn’t give your child enough time in class to finish. The classroom is too noisy. Or, maybe she didn’t explain it well enough. Before you blame the teacher, consider having a conference or sending a quick email to the teacher. Don’t point fingers. Ask instead. Chances are that whatever your child is telling is going on in the classroom is only half of the story. When you take the time to talk to the teacher, you can feel better about knowing the real story.
Don’t Rescue Your Child
Your child’s grades are their responsibility, not yours. If your child got a failing grade on a project because he or she didn’t follow the directions or turn it in on time, work on finding a solution. You do not have to do your child’s homework-ever. Teach your child some responsibility by helping him or her become more organized and boosting self-esteem. Let your child know that you are there to support and offer guidance, but you are not there to complete assignments.
Take A Good Look
Are you finding that the failing grades are on homework or class work? If the failing grades are coming from assignments that are completed at home, then look at your child’s homework habits. Is the television a distraction? Are there too many after-school activities? If the failing grades are coming from school, then talk to the teacher about distractions in the classroom. Perhaps a solution would be to move your child to another location in the room.
Don’t Lecture Or Punish Right Away
Failing grades are sometimes caused by behavior problems, such as chatting in the classroom, but not always. Before you ground your child, give him or her a chance to redeem him or herself. Maybe the failing grades are because your child is not understanding a certain concept. In that case, punishment and grounding won’t help. On the other hand, there should be consequences for repeated problems, such as leaving books at school or constantly talking or not turning in assignments. Find a solution that works and help your child with their organization skills.
Bribery does not really work. Instead, reward. For example, you might want to come up with a reward system. Perhaps make a chart and let your child add a star or sticker for each passing grade. When he or she reaches 20, then let your child choose a movie or something fun to do over the weekend. If your child can become self-motivated, chances are, and he or she will perform better at school.
Check Out Their Health
Did you consider that if your child is failing, perhaps there is an underlying health concern? Can he see the board well? If not, maybe an eye exam is in order. Other concerns include problems hearing and learning disorders such as dyslexia or allergies.
When you learn to stay calm and collect about your child’s grades, it will go a long way in helping your child develop confidence at school. Academics should always come first and when you show your child the importance of school, you can expect them to succeed.